2012 Newcombe Fellows Named at Woodrow Wilson Foundation

Additional Materials

FOR RELEASE:   April 24, 2012

Susan Billmaier   |   Program Officer, Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship   |   (609) 452-7007 x310
Beverly Sanford   |    Vice President for Communications   |   (609) 452-7007 x181


Doctoral candidates working on religious and ethical values
are 32nd group named in prestigious fellowship program

PRINCETON, NJ—The moral distinctions that shape the Tea Party movement, modern understandings of Sufism and their relation to liberal Islam, 20th-century religious and humanitarian missions to Africa, everyday social speech and democratic politics: These are just a few of the topics addressed by the 2012 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which has administered the Newcombe Fellowship for more than three decades, has announced the selection of 21 Newcombe Fellows for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year. These Fellows are doctoral candidates writing dissertations on topics involving religious and ethical values. Each Newcombe Fellow receives a 12-month award of $25,000.

Of the 550 applicants for the 2012 Fellowship, 58 were named as finalists. The 21 Fellows ultimately selected include scholars in religion, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, art history, Asian studies, and Near Eastern studies. They come from 13 institutions nationwide. (See full list of the 2012 Fellows below.)

Funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Newcombe Fellowship was created in 1981. It remains the nation’s largest and most prestigious such award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.

“The Newcombe Foundation Trustees are deeply gratified that Newcombe Fellowships have had significant positive impact on so many scholars’ professional lives, and that these scholars have made many noteworthy contributions to the scholarship of ethics and religion,” said Thomas N. Wilfrid, Executive Director of the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation.

Over the past three decades, the Newcombe Fellowship has supported just over 1,100 doctoral candidates, most of them now noted faculty members at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

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The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation continues Mrs. Newcombe’s lifelong interest in supporting students pursuing degrees in higher education. It has awarded scholarship and fellowship grants totaling over $50 million since 1981.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. In these areas of challenge, the Foundation awards fellowships to enrich human resources, works to improve public policy, and assists organizations and institutions in enhancing practice in the U.S. and abroad.


Mont Allen   •   Art History, University of California, Berkeley
The Death of Myth on Roman Sarcophagi

Chloe Bakalar   •   Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Small Talk: The Socialities of Speech in Liberal Democratic Life

Geoff Bakken   •   Sociology, University of Wisconsin
“Let’s take our country back!” The Tea Party Movement in the American Political Field

Sarah Bakker   •   Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Fragments of a Liturgical World: Syriac Christianity and the Dutch Multiculturalism Debates

Prithviraj Datta   •   Political Science, Harvard University
Freedom of Association and the Promise of Progressive Political Theory

Daniela Dover   •   Philosophy, New York University
The Ethics of Persuasion and Argument

Joshua Gedacht   •   Modern World History, University of Wisconsin
Islamic-Imperial Encounters: Colonial Warfare, Coercive Cosmopolitanism, and Religious Reform in Southeast Asia—1801-1941

Robert Harkins   •   Modern World History, University of California, Berkeley
The Politics of Persecution: Religious Conformity and Republican Obedience in England, 1553-1603

Kelly Heuer   •   Philosophy, Georgetown University
How to Do Things with Reasons: Agency, Value, Choice

Maha Jafri   •   English Literature, Northwestern University
“The Town’s Talk”: Gossip, Sociability, and the Victorian Novel

Theresa Keeley   •   American History, Northwestern University
Reagan’s Gun-Toting Nuns: Catholicism and U.S.-Central American Relations

G.A. Lipton   •   Religion, University of North Carolina
Making Islam Fit: Ibn ‘Arabi and the Idea of Sufism in the Secular Age

Betty Nguyen   •   Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin
Buddhist Calamity Cosmologies: Being Virtuous in an Immoral World

Megan Cole Paustian   •   Literatures in English, Rutgers University
Narratives of African Improvement: Missions, Humanitarianism, and the Novel

Bruno Reinhardt   •   Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
Tapping into the Anointing: Power, Pedagogy and Ecclesiology in Ghanaian Bible Schools

Maxim Romanov   •   Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Public Preaching in Medieval Islam (900-1350 CE): Between “Clerical” and Popular Islams

Camisha Russell   •   Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University
The Assisted Reproduction of Race: Thinking through Race as a Reproductive Technology

Anelise H. Shrout   •   History, New York University
“Distressing News from Ireland”: The Famine, the News and International Philanthropy

Ronit Stahl   •   History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
God, War, and Politics: The American Military Chaplaincy and the Making of Modern American Religion

Bharat Venkat   •   Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
Moral Failures: Co-Infected Histories and the Diagnostics of Disease in South India

Rose Wellman   •   Anthropology, University of Virginia
Feeding Moral Relations: the Making of Kinship and Nation in Iran

* Dissertation titles are subject to change. The titles reflected here were correct at the time the awards were made.


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