History PhD candidate Travis Knoll receives Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship
Duke History PhD candidate Travis Knoll received an AY 2018-2019 Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship. With this support, he will pursue his dissertation on affirmative action, Catholicism, and Black movements in Brazil. This work traces the decisive role played by a group of Black Catholics priests and lay people on Rio's urban periphery whose religiously-informed activism led to the 2001 state law in Rio de Janeiro that mandated racial affirmative action (including quotas) in the state's public universities. The Worker's Party (PT) later implemented these policies in federal universities and the public sector in 2012 and 2014.
Putting together a competitive application would not be possible without the experience gained from Bass Connections' "The Cost of Opportunity" project on Brazilian higher education, feedback and ideas exchanged in the 2017-2018 Kenan Institute for Ethics' Religion and Public Life Working Group, and the countless class and outside conversations with History faculty, fellow graduate students, and Brazilian collaborators.