back to news April 13, 2020

Otter named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

Christopher Otter, an associate professor in the Department of History, has received a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.

“I am honestly very humbled to receive this award!” said Otter via email. “I will use it to continue research for a long-term book project on the history of the Earth's technosphere. The technosphere is the sum total of all human technological activity, from fire and the earliest stone tools to today's digital networks and warming atmosphere. Hopefully I will get a reasonable chunk of the book written as well.”

Otter is an historian who focuses on the history of the material world: cities, infrastructures and technological systems. He has authored two books: The Victorian Eye: A Political History of Light and Vision in Britain, 1800-1910, and Diet for a Large Planet: Industrial Britain, Food Systems and World Ecology.

The Victorian Eye was awarded the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the American Historical Association and the Sonia Rudikoff Prize from the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. Otter received the 2010 Paul W. Brown Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2012.

Alumna Aimee Nezhukumatathil, who earned a BA in English and an MFA in poetry and creative nonfiction, was also awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

A professor of English and creative writing within the University of Mississippi’s MFA program, Nezhukumatathil is the author of Oceanic, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other books of hers include Lucky Fish, At the Drive-in Volcano, and Miracle Fruit. Her debut work of nonfiction, a collection of illustrated nature essays titled, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, is set to publish August 2020.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded fellowships to a diverse collection of 175 scholars, artists and writers on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. The 2020 fellows were selected from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants.