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2018/2019 J. Winfield Fretz Visiting Research Scholar in Mennonite Studies, Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen

Monday, April 2, 2018

Dr. Nobbs-ThiessenThe Institute of Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel University College announces the 2018/2019 recipient of the J. Winfield Fretz Fellowship in Mennonite Studies, Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen.  A Latin American historian whose research focuses on the evolving history of the low-German Mennonite diaspora in the region, he completed his PhD at Emory University in 2016 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.  His book project, Landscape of Migration: Mobility and Agro-Environmental Change on Bolivia’s Tropical Frontier, is currently under review for publication.  It explores the role of indigenous Andean, Mennonite and Okinawan settlers in Bolivia’s “March to the East,” which was per capita one of the largest tropical colonization projects of the 20th century.  His work has been published in the Journal of Mennonite Studies, Agricultural History, and the Journal of Latin American Studies.  

Dr. Nobbs-Thiessen will take up residency at Conrad Grebel in May 2019 for two months. Drawing on resources at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario and Milton Good Library, he plans to “explore the environmental, economic and religious factors that produced and sustained multi-generational trans-border Mennonite communities” in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The J. Winfield Fretz Fellowship in Mennonite Studies invites visiting scholars to engage in research, teaching, and relationship building with faculty and students at Conrad Grebel and the University of Waterloo, as well as the local community, around Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies themes. The Fretz Endowment, from which this fellowship is drawn, was established to recognize Grebel’s first president, J. Winfield Fretz, whose scholarship on the sociology of Mennonites had a significant impact around the world. 

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