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Gardiner Receives 2021 ACLS Fellowship

UT's Georgi GardinerGeorgi Gardiner, assistant professor in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Philosophy, has been named a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). ACLS is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations, dedicated to the advancement of all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences.

ACLS fellowships provide salary replacement for scholars who are embarking on six to twelve months of full-time research and writing. With this fellowship, Gardiner plans to investigate the epistemology of rape accusations, focusing on formal institutional procedures. Her project, entitled She Said, He Said: Rape Accusations and the Balance of the Evidence, will focus on cases where there are accusations of rape, followed by denials, with no further significant case-specific evidence.

Gardiner indicated the timing of this fellowship was fortuitous.

“My project focuses on acquaintance rape accusations, especially in legal contexts such as Title IX investigations,” Gardiner said. “The #MeToo movement was a vast public reckoning about the prevalence of acquaintance rape. Title IX regulations changed in August 2020 and my project assesses those changes by asking which legal standards of proof should govern Title IX procedures.”

She Said, He Said will be the first monograph on the epistemology of rape accusations and will be a flag-bearer for the emerging field.

Alan Rutenberg, research development manager in the Office of Research and Engagement, assisted Gardiner with her application.

“Faculty awards, including fellowships and memberships in scholarly societies, serve as important marks of the distinction of an institution’s faculty,” Rutenberg said. “A fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies ranks in the highest category of faculty awards, making it an indicator of the high caliber of faculty at UT.”

The longest running program in the organization’s portfolio, the ACLS Fellowship program supports outstanding scholarship with the potential to make significant contributions to knowledge within and across fields. Fellowships totaling nearly $3.6 million have been awarded to 60 scholars selected from nearly 1,300 applicants through a multi-stage peer review process.

For more information about ACLS and other major fellowship programs, contact Alan Rutenberg (