Amherst College Professor Adam Sitze Receives Fellowship for Book on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna

August 18, 2008                
Contact: Caroline J. Hanna
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. — Adam Sitze, assistant professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College, has received a prestigious International and Area Studies Fellowship, an award from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The honor will enable Sitze to finish a book he is writing on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a semi-juridical institution tasked with uncovering the truth about gross abuses of human rights committed in South Africa between 1960 and 1994.

Adam Sitze, Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought
Adam Sitze, assistant professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought

“I’m honored to have received this award,” said Sitze, who will be on leave from Amherst this fall and spring to work on the book. “I’m grateful to be able to spend my sabbatical immersed in a set of questions that has intrigued and perplexed me for years.”
The project will expand on Sitze’s doctoral dissertation, which focused on the ways that certain South Africa literary traditions contributed to the TRC’s attempt to establish public accountability for apartheid. He plans to use his ACLS/SSRC/NEH award to explore important but forgotten precedents for the TRC not only in South African legal history but also in British imperial jurisprudence more generally.

Sitze earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, where he was a MacArthur Scholar from 1996 to 2003. He was appointed to the Amherst faculty in 2005.

The ACLS offers fellowships and grants in more than a dozen programs for research in the humanities and related social sciences at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. The ultimate goal of an ACLS-funded project is a major piece of scholarly work that will take the form of a monograph or other equally substantial form of scholarship. Fellows and grantees in all programs are selected by committees of scholars appointed for this purpose.

This year, the ACLS received 1,034 fellowship applications from around the world for 65 awards. Only 10 were chosen for the ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship. For more information, visit

Founded in 1821, Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 1,600 students from most of the 50 states and more than 30 other countries. Considered one of the nation’s best educational institutions, Amherst awards the B.A. degree in 34 fields of study.



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