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SFU researchers awarded prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships

April 21, 2022
Professors Michael Hathaway (left) and Geoff Mann (right), are among 180 exceptional individuals to be chosen as 2022 Guggenheim fellows.

Two Simon Fraser University faculty members are among the prestigious list of 2022 Guggenheim Fellows. Professors Michael Hathaway and Geoff Mann join a diverse group of 180 exceptional individuals—and among nine from Canada—chosen from nearly 2,500 applicants. The international fellowships recognize their impactful social research and support further contributions to their fields.

Hathaway is a professor of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and director of SFU’s David Lam Centre for Asian Studies. His research has mainly focused on global environmentalism and debates about Indigenous rights in Asia.

During his fellowship, Hathaway will explore the rise of Indigenous networks in the Pacific Rim, which followed a series of all-Indigenous delegations travelling to China from Japan and from Canada in the 1970s. Indigenous groups returned to their home countries inspired to challenge state authorities, crafting powerful texts that awakened a generation to the ongoing colonial structures of society.

Visiting China helped delegates to reimagine themselves as global subjects who were connected to other Indigenous people, as part of what was called the Fourth World. “It was one of the first instances of all these people starting to see themselves not just as members of an individual group suffering from a particular colonial state, but as a global community of Indigenous people” says Hathaway, “and that changed everything.”

He hopes his work will draw attention to how Indigenous-led, grassroots efforts shaped the history of the Indigenous movement, both in B.C. and around the world.

Mann is a human geographer and director of the Centre for Global Political Economy in SFU’s Faculty of Environment. During his fellowship he’ll tackle a project related to the science and economics of climate change, Uncertainty and the End of Equilibrium.

Mann will examine the profound uncertainty that we face today in figuring out how to think and act when our knowledge of the future is arguably more uncertain than ever before. “It is an investigation of the ways that our experience of uncertainty, and our anxious attempts to manage it – politically, economically, institutionally and culturally – are destabilized and remade in this precarious moment,” says Mann.

Building on more than a decade of research and writing on the politics of climate change, economic policy, and the state, Mann aims to identify the limits to our grasp on what we do not know, to consider what sorts of political-economic institutions, and what kinds of knowledge, might be useful in such conditions.

Mann and Hathaway join the group of Guggenheim Fellows comprised of Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other internationally recognized honourees.

Each year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards approximately 176 fellowships to individuals making their mark in the social science, the natural sciences, the humanities, and the creative arts.  This year marks the 97th annual Fellowship competition and the work supported will aid in “our collective effort to better understand the new world we’re in, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.”

In 2011 SFU economics professor Arthur Robson, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship while in 2020 SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts instructor Sky Hopinka, from the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Technology, was also recognized.

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