Cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the namesake of the Bechdel Test, was named a recipient of one of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant” Wednesday. Bechdel is probably best known for her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, which began in 1983, and her 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home, which was recently turned into a musical that became a Pulitzer finalist and is heading to Broadway soon. But even if you don’t know her work, you might be familiar with her last name thanks to her eponymous “test,” which judges movies based on whether they feature at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. Bechdel credits her friend with inventing the test, though it was the subject of a 1985 Dykes to Watch Out For strip.
Documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer was also named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. Oppenheimer’s 2013 film, The Act of Killing, which asked those responsible for Indonesian mass murders to re-enact their crimes, was nominated for an Oscar. His latest film, The Look of Silence, focuses on the survivors of those killings. Other recipients from the arts world include jazz musician Steve Coleman, poet Terrance Hayes, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, and public artist Rick Lowe. The full list is available here. MacArthur Fellows receive a stipend of $625,000, which is awarded to them over five years.