Department ofAfrican American Studies

Please join us in congratulating Ebony Coletu for being named a 2017 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar!

From the Penn State news site: Ebony Coletu, assistant professor in the Departments of English and African-American Studies at Penn State, has been named one of 10 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars for 2017 at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Malkiel Scholars Award supports junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars.

Coletu’s primary area of research addresses the rhetoric of application forms within a historical and sociological framework that accounts for the way biographic details are used to distribute institutional resources. Her current book project, “Forms of Submission: Writing for Aid and Opportunity in America,” explores a 125-year history of applications for financial support, employment and admission, and the ways institutions address problems with inequality at the level of the applicant’s biography.

Each Malkiel Scholar will receive a 12-month research fund while working toward tenure. The award is structured to free the time of junior faculty who have passed their midpoint tenure review — including those from underrepresented groups and others committed to eradicating disparities in their fields — so that they can both engage in and build support for systems, networks, and affinity groups that make their fields and campuses more inclusive.

The Malkiel Scholars Award was established in honor of Nancy Weiss Malkiel on the occasion of her 40th year of service on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation board of trustees, including 10 years as its chair. Malkiel in 1969 became the first woman to join the faculty of Princeton University’s history department, served for 24 years as Dean of the College, and is a leading scholar of civil rights and race relations in early and mid-20th-century America.

For more information on the Malkiel Scholars Award program, visit