Early Career Research Awards (ECRA)

Seth Abrutyn, Sociology

Seth Abrutyn has been an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Memphis since 2011. As a general sociological theorist, his interests include social psychology, emotions, mental health/medical sociology, suicide, and institutional evolution. In essence, his work emphasizes synthesizing disparate theories in order to make more robust and comprehensive theoretical principles. In addition to his more general concerns, he has recently become engaged in theoretical and empirical work aimed at extending and reformulating Emile Durkheim's work on suicide. His work can be read in the American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Sociological Theory, and the American Journal of Public Health. 


Scott Fleming, Computer Science


Robert Kelz, Foreign Languages & Literatures

Robert Kelz is Assistant Professor of German and Associate Director of International Studies at The University of Memphis. Dr. Kelz teaches lower division language classes, as well as advanced courses on innovative topics including contemporary German music, post-WWII German history through the lens of soccer, 21st-century German comics, and antifascist, Zionist, and fascist literature from 1933-1945. Students appreciate his "irresistible enthusiasm," "round-the-clock availability" and "incessant hilarity." In the words of one alumnus, "Dr. Kelz successfully challenges his students to become more than they ever thought they could be." Dr. Kelz researches emigrant German-speaking Jews, antifascists, and nationalists in Latin America, and has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on this topic. His work deploys extensive archival research in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Austria to explore German-language media, schools, and cultural institutions across the political spectrum. His book, Paul Walter Jacob y las músicas prohibidas durante el nazismo (Ediciones Musicales, 2015), co-authored with the musicologist Dr. Silvia Glocer (University of Buenos Aires), is a hybrid project that explores Nazi musical policy from an exilic perspective through rigorous analysis, original translations, and thorough annotations.