Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Stone Center PhD Jesus Ruiz awarded ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship

September 4th, 2020

Story by William Penniman, Stone Center graduate student and Publicity Assistant

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies is proud to announce that Jesus Ruiz, recent Tulane PhD graduate in Latin American Studies, has received a prestigious ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) fellowship for postdoctoral study at Duke University in 2020-2021. ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of seventy national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. The Emerging Voices Fellowship program, launched in May 2020, “is designed to assist a vanguard of scholars whose voices, perspectives, and broad visions will strengthen institutions of higher institution and humanistic discipline in the years to come” (ACLS).

Dr. Ruiz will be using this grant to dive into the field of critical digital humanities, teach courses on digital humanities and colonial Latin America, and lead workshops within the program. He is also developing his first book manuscript, a historical study of the Haitian Revolution, based on the dissertation he wrote during his time at Tulane. Jesus made his mark on the Stone Center for Latin American Studies as well as Tulane’s History Department, working closely with Dr. Kris Lane, Dr. Guadalupe Garcia, and other meaningful mentors.

Dr. Jimmy Huck, director of graduate studies at the Stone Center, writes:

“Jesus was an exemplary doctoral student and teaching assistant at the Stone Center. His research was consistently superior and always innovative; his dedication was unsurpassed and inspirational to his professors and fellow graduate students alike; and his personality was expansively congenial, generous, and friendly. He made an indelible mark on the Stone Center and we are just so fortunate and proud to have played a role in his intellectual formation and scholarship.”

During his graduate studies, Jesus was ambitious, inquisitive, and hands-on with his research – securing various grants for archival research in Haiti, France, Spain, and the United States. He learned Haitian Creole and French while at Tulane and acquired advanced skills in French and Spanish Paleography. “I couldn’t write about the Haitian Revolution without going to the French archives,“Jesus told me. “I made it happen.” A recipient of many awards, grants, and fellowships, he is a dedicated scholar and servant to his community as well. In the years leading up to the defense of his dissertation, Jesus worked with asylum seekers in New York.

We are proud of Jesus for continuing to excel and “make it happen” in his academic and professional journey. He does not hide the fact that “New Orleans stole [his] heart,” and from New Orleans we wish him all the best at Duke as an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow. As a concluding note, see these words from Dr. Kris Lane about his former advisee, fellow historian, and friend:
“The image of Jesus that sticks in my mind is of him in a chicken suit, big and bearded and sweating profusely after removing the portion covering his head. Jesus had arrived at Prof. Justin Wolfe’s house to say hello for Lundi Gras, and he had ridden across town on a bicycle, this after coming to Mardi Gras from New York (years before the coronavirus) as he couldn’t bear to miss it. He had been all over New Orleans dressed as a chicken. Like the good advisor I was trying to be, I nudged to see how his dissertation research was going and he immediately informed me of the great things he had found in France’s Overseas Archives in Aix-en-Provence and how excited he was to get to untapped archival materials in Simancas, Spain. Somehow Jesus managed to balance his academic work, his private life (marriage and a child), a job with the feds (I remember being quizzed by a TV-worthy agent in my office), and the fullest social life of any graduate student I have known. Jesus’s dissertation is a model of interdisciplinary rigor and transnational vision. I know he will make the most of his ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship, and although it’s an honor for Tulane to have produced such an outstanding new scholar, Duke University is even luckier to have landed Jesus in their postdoc. He’s one of a kind.”