Liz Rodrigues to Pursue a Mellon New Directions Fellowship Through a $220,000 Grant from the Mellon Foundation

March 17, 2023

Liz Rodrigues, associate professor and Humanities and Digital Scholarship Librarian, will pursue a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, supported by a grant of $220,000 awarded to Grinnell College by the Mellon Foundation. The Mellon New Directions program allows mid-career scholars in the humanities to undertake formal training in fields outside their own to be able to conduct high-quality cross-disciplinary projects.

"I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to pursue the renowned Mellon New Directions Fellowship. Being the first library faculty member to receive this award is a humbling experience, and it underscores the library’s crucial role as a connector of disciplines and a space where the ethical as well as the technical aspects of the information ecosystem are explored. This opportunity to expand my knowledge and expertise in computational literary studies will enable me to better serve and collaborate with the many students, faculty, and staff with whom I have the pleasure of working both now and in the future," said, Rodrigues.

Rodrigues's project, "Computing for Context, Computing as Context," will enable her to undertake training in statistics, mathematics, and computational practice that will prepare her to evaluate the underlying logics of algorithmic processes used in computational textual analysis, and reflect on the application of these tools from the perspective of an experienced practitioner to engage the potentials of computation while resisting computationalism, the conflation of computational logic with essential reality.

She will implement these methods in her developing project examining African American and multiethnic autobiographies of the early twentieth-century U.S. as formal peers to more traditionally modernist texts (which builds upon her recently published book, Collecting Lives: Critical Data Narrative as Modernist Aesthetic in Early 20th Century U.S. Literatures.

In addition to transforming her scholarship, this fellowship will also enhance Rodrigues's teaching, which includes both research literacy sessions in her role as librarian and full semester courses such as The Digital Age, a 100-level computer science course. It will also aid in her contributions to the Digital Studies concentration, and her support of digital humanities research and teaching across campus in her roles as Humanities and Digital Scholarship Librarian and co-director of the Vivero program.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

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