UC Santa Cruz humanities alumna named 2017 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow

Career-building two-year fellowship provides $67,500 annually for recent humanities Ph.D.s to gain work experience in their field

Sophia Magnone

UC Santa Cruz humanities alumna Sophia Magnone has been named a 2017 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.

Magnone is one of 20 new Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows nationwide who will take up two-year assignments with government agencies and non-profit organizations, working in the fields of policy, civil rights, arts and culture, and the media.

Designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities, the career-building fellowship allows recent humanities Ph.D.s to gain significant experience in a variety of fields.

The program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Since ACLS launched the Public Fellows program in 2011, over 100 nonprofits and government offices across the United States have partnered with us to highlight the wealth of career fields where humanities Ph.D.s can not only make an impact, but thrive professionally,” noted John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS.

“By contributing their skills and expertise to some of society’s most pressing issues, like immigration, equity and diversity, and mass incarceration, Public Fellows demonstrate that the humanities Ph.D. has serious practical and public value,” he added.

Magnone--who graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 with a Ph.D. in Literature--said she will be working as Development Manager for the Feminist Press in New York.

Founded in 1970, the Feminist Press is an educational nonprofit organization created to advance women's rights and expand feminist perspectives. It publishes feminist literature from around the world and has become a cutting-edge publisher for books on contemporary feminist issues of equality and gender identity.

“I've had many opportunities in my Ph.D. studies to think about how literature shapes the world beyond the classroom and about the crucial role played by literary works in creating and changing culture,” said Magnone. “I'm very excited to translate my experience as a scholar and teacher of feminist literature into the mission-driven work of the Feminist Press.”

“Feminist Press approaches publishing as a project of social justice and public education, and that's very much in line with the core values and skills I've learned as a humanities Ph.D.,” she added.

Magnone noted that the Institute for Humanities Research at UC Santa Cruz and the UC-wide graduate career program, Humanists@Work, have been instrumental in helping her figure out her career potential.

“Both are doing great work to help graduate students and recent Ph.D.s of the humanities conceptualize non-traditional and/or non-academic career paths,” said Magnone.

“These resources were invaluable to me in figuring out that the Public Fellows program was a good fit for me and my goals, and helping me understand the connections between my Ph.D. studies and other forms of public intellectual work.”

The two-year Mellon ACLS Public Fellows program provides an annual stipend of $67,500, plus health insurance.