Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Robert Henderson - University of Maryland

Project: “Dream Deregulated: The Transformation of Housing Finance, 1968–1985”

Henderson photo

Robert Henderson is a writer and analyst at Sage Computing.

His dissertation sheds light on the historical roots of a most vexing current political and economic dilemma – the deregulation of America’s housing markets. While many scholars have explored the political ideology of suburbanization, Henderson pushes the field in new directions by investigating the financial and regulatory mechanisms underpinning the markets themselves. His dissertation is titled “Dream Deregulated: The Transformation of Housing Finance, 1968-1985.”


Suleiman Osman - History of American Civilization, George Washington University

Project: The Birth of Postmodern New York: Gentrification, Post industrialization and Race in South Brooklyn from 1950 to 1980

Osman photo

Fellowship year: 2006

Mentor: Thomas Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania

Suleiman Osman is Associate Professor of American Studies at George Washington University.

He specializes in U.S. urban history, the built environment, U.S. cultural and social history, and the study of race and ethnicity, with a particular focus on the way urban space both shapes and is produced by culture and politics. His book Inventing Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York was published by Oxford University Press in February 2011. A history of gentrification in Brooklyn, the book explores the relationship between New York’s physical and symbolic cityscapes. Tracing the efforts of a new middle class to reinhabit and restore aging Victorian neighborhoods, Professor Osman examines how Brooklyn’s declining commercial and industrial landscapes were recast as postindustrial sites of anti-bureaucratic authenticity.

Professor Osman is also pursuing a broader project that looks at 1970s’ urban politics and culture. His recent chapter, "The Decade of the Neighborhood,” in Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman’s Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, offers an analysis of the “neighborhood movement” of the 1970s and traces the widespread and eclectic revolts against urban growth politics in New York, Boston and other cities in the 1970s.


Anthony Ross - History, University of Michigan

Project: The Ownership Society: Mortgage Securitization and the Metropolitan Landscape Since the 1960s

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Anthony Ross is a Research Associate at the University of Michigan.

“The Ownership Society” examines the systematic transformation of the U.S. home finance industry between the 1960s and the 1990s.  During the early postwar era, a federal-local system of home finance compromised between the capital mobility required for suburban growth and the barriers that sustained localized financial relationships.  In the late 1960s, this system began to change.  To attract new sources of capital to a tightening mortgage market, policymakers partnered with financial elites to create a state-supported institutional network that would transform illiquid mortgages held by local financial institutions into liquid securities marketable on national and international capital markets.  By abstracting the value of place-bound mortgages and consolidating circuits of capital, mortgage securitization transformed the political economy of home finance.  Other policy changes during the 1970s and 1980s, such as the liberalization of branching regulations, contributed to the growth of securitization and the de-segmentation of the industry.  By the end of the 1980s, the  securitized home finance system had replaced the federal-local system of the early postwar era. “The Ownership Society” explores the causes and effects of this transformation through policy history and local case studies.  Its approach combines an economic history of home finance with a cultural history of homeownership.


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