Fellowships awarded for research on ethical and religious values

Three Ph.D. students in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences have won fellowships for their research on ethical and religious values from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation.

Twenty-one Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows were named for the 2011-2012 academic year. These fellowships, created in 1981, remain the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences who are addressing questions of ethical and religious values. There were 585 applications for the fellowships; the 21 winners come from 15 institutions nationwide.

The winners from the College are:

Kathleen Curtin (English and comparative literature). Curtin’s dissertation, “Reading Scripture, Suffering, and the Self in Early Modern England,” explores how methods for reading Scripture impacted the way early modern English authors wrote about their experiences of religious persecution.

Carrie Duncan (religious studies). Duncan’s dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Participation: gender and leadership in the ancient synagogue,” explores representations of women in Jewish inscriptions from Late Antiquity.

Kathleen Foody (religious studies). In her dissertation, “Theologies of Dissent: Critical Islam and Shi`i Renewal in Modern Iran,” Foody explores how Shi`i Muslim scholars in Iran draw on and re-form Islamic tradition in order to critique state violence and defend the rights of citizens.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation (www.newcombefoundation.org) continues Charlotte 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 (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. 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.