Norfolk State professor Aprilfaye Manalang, department of history and interdisciplinary studies, was recently notified that she is the recipient of the highly competitive Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) fellowship. Her research project is titled The Role of Military Service and Religion in Shaping American Citizenship: Comparative Analysis of Filipino-Americans Protestants and Catholics.
In her research, Dr. Manalang maintains that there has been a national fundamental shift in the demography of the United States. She has found that the country has seen an increase of immigrants from Asia and Latin America over the course of the past 20 years—more than in any other time in American history. This record-breaking shift not only impacts the United States but also deeply impacts Virginia. For instance, one of the largest Filipino populations in the United States is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This notable presence is connected to the fact that the largest naval base in the world is in Norfolk, Virginia—the overwhelming majority of Filipinos have migrated to the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area due to historic U.S. naval recruitment. Therefore, given what David Bearinger accurately describes as the “changing face of Virginia,” Dr. Manalang will be specifically exploring the following research question: How does military service and religion shape Filipino immigrants’ connection to the public sphere?
The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities offers fellowships to scholars and writers in the humanities. The maximum fellowship stipend is $15,000 per semester and fellowships are awarded for one semester or for a full academic year. Dr. Manalang’s fellowship will take place during the summer of 2016 at the University of Virginia, and she will be invited back in the fall to give a guest lecture on her fellowship research.