College of Arts & Sciences Anthropology Professor Named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Caleb Everett Among Just 32 Scholars Recognized in Inaugural Fellowship Class

Caleb Everett, associate professor of anthropology in the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences, has received an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Just 32 scholars nationwide received funding through the new annual fellowship program, aimed at supporting in-depth research in the social sciences and the humanities.

Everett will receive $200,000, which will allow him to take two years to focus on his groundbreaking research on linguistic diversity.

Everett’s proposal, “Five dying worlds: Towards a truer understanding of linguistic diversity,” addresses the dramatic shift in our understanding of language that has occurred over the past decade, and how linguistic differences affect and reflect other variations of the human experience.

Everett will create an innovative e-manuscript that combines text, sound and visual data, to bring the current knowledge on linguistic diversity to the general public and policymakers.

The first section will highlight five groups (for example the Ycatec Maya and the Karitiana of Amazonia) facing strong challenges to their linguistic and cultural survival. The second section will discuss Everett’s groundbreaking research, which shows that differences in how people speak impact how they think. Finally, he will outline the current rate of language death, using the five people groups to demonstrate the difficult choices faced by speakers of endangered languages.

“I’m thrilled to be an inaugural recipient of an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship,” Everett said. “This award will advance in numerous ways my ongoing research program. Through that research I’m seeking to better illuminate, with many colleagues, the full extent of human linguistic diversity in the world today, and to better understand the role of that diversity in shaping the human experience more generally.”

College of Arts & Sciences Dean Leonidas Bachas said, “It is an honor to have our faculty’s scholarship recognized and supported by a world-class organization like the Carnegie Corporation. This award further validates the importance of Professor Everett’s pioneering work in anthropology, specifically the study of endangered languages. I look forward to supporting the advancement of his research.” 

The Carnegie Corporation launched the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship program to provide new perspectives on its overarching theme for 2015: Current and Future Challenges to U.S. Democracy and International Order. It will award a total of $6.4 million through the initiative.

Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian said, “It is my hope that the work of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows will help inform the American public as well as policymakers.”

Carnegie sought nominations from over 700 universities, think tanks, publishers and non-profit organizations for the inaugural class of fellows. More than 300 individuals were nominated, and the distinguished selection panel chose just 32 proposals for funding.

Fellows represent such esteemed institutions as Stanford University, Harvard University, Georgetown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jurors included six current and former university presidents, and other thought leaders.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement of knowledge and understanding. Its work focuses on the issues that he considered of paramount importance: international peace, education, and the strength of the American democracy.

April 22, 2015