Three University of Pennsylvania Professors Receive 2012 Guggenheim Fellowships

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460April 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – Jamal J. Elias, Justin McDaniel and Benjamin Nathans of the University of Pennsylvania have been awarded 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships. All are in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

They are among 181 scholars, artists, and scientists selected from a field of nearly 3,000 applicants in the Guggenheim’s 88th annual competition for the United States and Canada.

Elias is professor and chair of the Religious Studies Department.  He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of South Asia Studies. While a Guggenheim Fellow, he will pursue a major research project on the history of the Mevlevi Sufi order, sometimes called the "Whirling Dervishes," from its inception in the 13th century until the advent of the modern era.

McDaniel is an associate professor of religious studies. McDaniel’s fellowship will support his research project on the making of Buddhist leisure culture in Asia.

Nathans is an associate professor of history.  His Guggenheim research project is on Soviet dissidents, human rights and the Soviet Union after Stalin.

More information and a complete list of the 2012 Fellows is available at