MSU history professor receives important Humboldt fellowship

MSU history professor receives important Humboldt fellowship

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University Associate Professor of History Alexandra “Alix” Hui will spend three summers in Germany after receiving a Humbodt Research Fellowship for Experienced Scholars, one of the most prestigious academic awards in Germany.

Given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the awards are designed to foster international exchange and networking among scientists and scholars. Hui is among several faculty members in the MSU History Department researching the history of science and technology as part of the department’s History of Science and Technology Node of Excellence.

“Professor Hui’s award points to the international prominence of Mississippi State’s History of Science and Technology Node of Excellence, both as a research and teaching enterprise,” William L. Giles Distinguished Professor and MSU History Department Head Alan Marcus said. “Hui and her colleagues are making quite a name for themselves in America and abroad.”

Hui’s recent research examines how music impacts the way people perceive and experience the world around them. She focuses on the construction of perceptual and material sonic spaces. She also researches how governments and corporations have used music in public spaces to influence people, such as factories in the early 20th century using music to help employees work at a faster pace.

As part of the fellowship, Hui will spend the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019 working in Germany. Going abroad during the summer allows Hui to continue her teaching and research at MSU during the fall and spring semesters.

“In addition to receiving this award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, it is a tremendous honor to receive the support of the host institutions,” Hui said. “Both the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Rachel Carson Center for the Environment and Society in Munich are considered some of the most elite institutions in the world in their respective research fields.” 

Before joining MSU’s history faculty in 2009, Hui received her doctorate and master’s degrees in history from the University of California at Los Angeles. She received her bachelor’s in physics, with a concentration on astronomy and astrophysics from Pomona College.

For more on Hui and her research, see More on the Humboldt Foundation can be found at