Grad Student Reyelts awarded IDRF

MSU History graduate student Tara Reyelts has received a prestigious Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program award, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Reyelts is one of seventy awardees selected from a total of 942 submitted applications from graduate students at 117 universities.  This year’s awardees represent thirty-three universities and ten disciplines: anthropology, area and cultural studies, art history and architecture, classics, geography, history, literature, political science, sociology, and urban planning.  Reyelts is advised by Professor Nwando Achebe. She will use funding from the IDRF for research on her dissertation, which has the working title “The Gendering and Ungendering of Law and Justice in Precolonial and Colonial Ogidi, Igboland, 1890-1960.” She will spend 12 months in Nigeria exploring the gendering of Igbo justice and law and the ungendering of law during the colonial era. In so doing she will contribute to historical scholarship of African women and gender, indigenous Igbo law, and colonial law. She theorizes gendering as the process of practicing a female-dominated precolonial legal system and ungendering as the process of disenfranchising women and female spiritual forces under colonial rule. She focuses on women as consumers and practitioners of law. Congratulations Tara!