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Christian Lee Novetzke awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for book project

January 13, 2022

Christian Novetzke-photo by Dennis Wise
Jackson School Professor Christian Lee Novetzke/Photo by Dennis Wise

Jackson School Professor Christian Lee Novetzke has received a prestigious fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his new book project titled, “A Flower of Fire: Religion, Caste, and Gender in the Political Poetry of Savitribai Phule (1831–1897).”

The book on Savitribai Phule, a “low-caste” or Shudra social reformer of the 19th century, will explore her political poetry and thought on a wide range of subjects, including religion, caste, gender, history, slavery, colonialism, and education.

In Oct. 2021, Novetzke authored an article published by titled, “Savitribai Phule: The firebrand intellectual who powerfully used the term ‘Dalit’ in her poetry,” which explores how Phule’s groundbreaking work influenced the struggle for the rights of women, Shudras and Dalits in 19th-century India and into the present.

The fellowship, announced by the NEH on January 11, 2022, represents one of 208 humanities projects selected nationwide. Novetzke was one of two from Washington state to receive the fellowship for 2022-2023. Read the full NEH press release here.