"From addressing the consequences of climate change to furthering our understanding of human behavior to fusing forms of artistic expression, this year’s 26 extraordinary MacArthur Fellows demonstrate the power of individual creativity to reframe old problems, spur reflection, create new knowledge, and better the world for everyone. They give us reason for hope, and they inspire us all to follow our own creative instincts."

—John Palfrey, President

  

2019 MacArthur Fellows

Elizabeth Anderson
Philosopher

Employing pragmatist methods to examine the ways that various institutions, policies, and social practices serve to promote or hinder conditions of democratic equality

Ann Arbor, MI
sujatha baliga
Attorney and Restorative Justice Practitioner

Expanding access to survivor-centered restorative justice strategies that interrupt the criminalization of people of color and break cycles of recidivism and violence.

Oakland, CA
Lynda Barry
Graphic Novelist, Cartoonist, and Educator

Inspiring creative engagement through original graphic works and a teaching practice centered on the role of image making in communication.

Madison, WI
Mel Chin
Artist

Harnessing the power of art to raise awareness of social concerns through a practice that defies categorization.

Egypt, NC
Danielle Citron
Legal Scholar

Addressing the scourge of cyber harassment by raising awareness of the toll it takes on victims and proposing reforms to combat the most extreme forms of online abuse.

Boston, MA
Lisa Daugaard
Criminal Justice Reformer

Developing alternative approaches to policing and law enforcement practices to improve outcomes for those struggling with substance use disorder and mental illness.

Seattle, WA
Annie Dorsen
Theater Artist

Pioneering a new genre of theater that dramatizes the ways in which nonhuman intelligence is profoundly changing the nature of work, culture, and social relationships.

Brooklyn, NY
Andrea Dutton
Geochemist and Paleoclimatologist

Furthering current understanding of sea level dynamics by reconstructing the extent and rate of sea level rise in the ancient past.

Madison, WI
Jeffrey Gibson
Visual Artist

Melding indigenous North American materials and forms with those of Western contemporary art to create a new hybrid visual vocabulary and prompting a shift in how Native American art is perceived and historicized.

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Mary Halvorson
Guitarist and Composer

Experimenting at the intersection of jazz and rock with a signature sound on her instrument and an aesthetic that evolves and surprises with each new album and configuration of bandmates.

New York, NY
Saidiya Hartman
Literary Scholar and Cultural Historian

Tracing the afterlife of slavery in modern American life and rescuing from oblivion stories of sparsely documented lives that have been systematically excluded from historical archives.

New York, NY
Walter Hood
Landscape and Public Artist

Creating ecologically sustainable urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories.

Oakland, CA
Stacy Jupiter
Marine Scientist

Integrating local cultural practices with field research to design conservation strategies that protect ecosystem biodiversity and the well-being of coastal communities.

Suva, Fiji
Zachary Lippman
Plant Biologist

Investigating the genetic mechanisms determining flowering and flower production and developing tools for breeding hardier, higher-yielding crops.

Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Valeria Luiselli
Writer

Challenging conventional notions of authorship in fiction, essays, and inventive hybrids of the two that pose profound questions about the various ways we piece together stories and document the lives of others.

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Kelly Lytle Hernández
Historian

Challenging long-held beliefs about the origins, ideology, and evolution of incarceration and immigrant detention practices in the United States.

Los Angeles, CA
Sarah Michelson
Choreographer

Expanding the scope of contemporary dance in works that extend and subvert classical, modern, and postmodern traditions and make evident the physical realities of dancers’ performance.

New York, NY
Jeffrey Alan Miller
Literary Scholar

Shedding light on how the writing practices of Renaissance scholars shaped foundational texts of modern Christianity, philosophy, and literature.

Montclair, NJ
Jerry X. Mitrovica
Theoretical Geophysicist

Revising our understanding of the dynamics and structure of Earth’s interior and developing models to better predict the geometry and sources of sea level change in the modern world and the geological past.

Cambridge, MA
Emmanuel Pratt
Urban Designer

Integrating agriculture, education, and design in a resident-driven approach to community development and turning neglected urban neighborhoods into places of growth and vitality.

Chicago, IL
Cameron Rowland
Artist

Using physical objects and contractual relations—such as items seized in civil forfeiture or furniture made by prison labor—to make visible the mechanisms through which systemic racism is perpetuated.

Queens, NY
Vanessa Ruta
Neuroscientist

Investigating how stimuli in the physical world shape the function of neural circuits and are translated into innate and learned behaviors.

New York, NY
Joshua Tenenbaum
Cognitive Scientist

Combining computational models with behavioral experiments to shed light on human learning, reasoning, and perception, and exploring how to bring artificial intelligence closer to the capabilities of human thinking.

Cambridge, MA
Jenny Tung
Evolutionary Anthropologist and Geneticist

Revealing links between social environmental factors—such as social status and social integration—and genomic variation and how these connections impact health, well-being, and longevity.

Durham, NC
Ocean Vuong
Poet and Fiction Writer

Marrying folkloric traditions with linguistic experimentation in works that explore the effects of intergenerational trauma, the refugee experience, and the complexities of identity and desire with eloquence and clarity.

Amherst, MA
Emily Wilson
Classicist and Translator

Bringing classical literature to new audiences in works that convey ancient texts’ relevance to our time and highlight the assumptions about social relations that underlie translation decisions.

Philadelphia, PA
Fellows In the Media

December 5, 2019
"The Sound of Science in the Sea"
North State Public Radio
Kelly Benoit-Bird, 2010 MacArthur Fellow

December 3, 2019
"The Year 2019, as Seen by Five Artists"
The New York Times
Dawoud Bey, 2017 MacArthur Fellow
Teresita Fernández, 2005 MacArthur Fellow

December 3, 2019
"Many Ways to Breathe Life Into Chicago's South Side"
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Emmanuel Pratt, 2019 MacArthur Fellow
Related Grantees: Field Foundation of Illinois, Sweetwater Foundation

December 2, 2019
"Ally: From Noun to Verb"
Boston Review
Vijay Iyer, 2013 MacArthur Fellow

December 2, 2019
"Return of the Mac"
Style Weekly
Taylor Mac, 2017 MacArthur Fellow
All fellows in the Media

Note to Media

Members of the media seeking comment or to interview a MacArthur Fellow or staff person should call 312.917.3690 or email Kristen Mack, Interim Director of Communications.

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