Two Maine educators have won Guggenheim fellowships, joining an elite group of 181 scholars, artists and scientists from North America.

Kristen R. Ghodsee, a gender and women’s studies professor from Bowdoin College, and Catherine Besteman, a professor of anthropology at Colby College, received word of their fellowships this week.

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According to the foundation, nearly 3,000 people applied. Fellowships are awarded based on prior achievement and “exceptional promise,” according to a Guggenheim press release.

Besterman will study “An unexpected life: Somalis, Mainers, and the new global normal.”

Ghodsee will study “State socialist women’s organizations reconsidered: The committee of the Bulgarian women’s movement and African feminisms, 1965-1990.”