Aysha Pollnitz, an associate professor of History, was awarded a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship for her new project on the translation of liberal education to the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Dr. Pollnitz is an intellectual historian of early modern Europe and, more recently, the Atlantic world. She investigates the impact of liberal education on students and on the political and religious culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Rather than inculcating ideology and restraining political action, she shows that humanism (the study of classical grammar, rhetoric, history, moral philosophy, literature, and scripture) gave its students the power to refute their pedagogues, adapt doctrines, and assert their wills.