With a daughter just a week old, Sunil Amrith had good reason to be awake before dawn on Wednesday.
But the early morning hours turned especially lively — and joyous — when the MacArthur Foundation listed the Harvard historian among this year’s 24 “Genius” Grant recipients.
“Honored and delighted to be a #MacFellow — and still in shock!” Amrith tweeted at 6:53 a.m.
The prestigious fellowship recognizes “exceptional creativity” with a $625,000 award. The money will allow the 38-year-old scholar to pursue his ideas and activities with full freedom.
“The real difference it will make is that it will make the projects that were somewhere in the dream category possible, the ones that don’t neatly fit into a research grant application but nevertheless bring out other dimensions of the issues I am passionate about,” said Amrith, the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and a professor of history. “The no-strings-attached element gives an even heightened sense of responsibility of needing to do something good with it.”
The Kenya-born Amrith, who left the University of London for Harvard two years ago, is