On June 6, 2013 Institute Faculty Fellow Charles T. Mathewes will be a keynote speaker at the 2013 Christian Scholars’ Conference, A Crisis in Ethics: Theology, Business, Law and the Liberal and Fine Arts. Mathewes’ address, “The Future of Political Theology,” is open to the public. Mathewes will also be a respondent for the panel “Augustinian Thoughts for the Twenty-First Century: A Panel on the Political Theology of Charles T. Mathewes,” among others. Find a full schedule of events here.
Earlier this month the Institute hosted a workshop for the Culture and Catastrophe working group. The problems of man-made and natural disaster are endemic to human existence and constantly threaten to intrude upon and disrupt the security of our lives. Surprisingly, however, the ways humans have accounted for failure, disaster, and catastrophe have not received sustained, scholarly attention. This working group is creating an interdisciplinary volume to initiate sustained analysis at the intersection of the social sciences and humanities on this topic as part of the Institute’s Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change.
Postdoctoral Fellow Ethan Schrum has a newly published article, “Social Science over Agriculture: Reimagining the Land-Grant Mission at the University of California-Irvine in the 1960s.” Schrum argues University of California President Clark Kerr’s plan for a land-grant mission centered on social science rather than agriculture largely failed, but it revealed the power of a belief that new approaches to social science could solve social problems and promote prosperity on a heretofore unknown scale.
Schrum’s article appears in The Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education, a volume that emerged from the June 2011 Penn State conference “The Legacy and the Promise: 150 years of Land-Grant Universities.”
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Neslihan Cevik recently traveled to Pamplona, Spain to speak at the Social Trends Institute‘s Expert’s Meeting on “Fashion and Identity in a Cultural Key.” The seminar explored the ways that fashion as a sign of cultural modernity highlights “the different ways in which Chinese, Muslim and Indian cultures articulate meaningful responses—coherent with their own cultural traditions—to the challenges posed by modernity.”
Read more about the work of the Institute’s fellows here.
Institute Academic Advisory Board member Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn has wonderful things to say about the Institute following her visit last month for the annual meeting of the Advisory Board and the overlapping conference “The Present Challenges and Believable Futures of Liberal Democracy.” Lasch-Quinn praises the Institute’s award-winning journal, it’s “penetrating” surveys, and it’s Fellows program, as well as what makes the Institute “so distinctive” among its peers in the academy. Find Lasch-Quinn’s full comments on U.S. Intellectual History here.
Image courtesy of theatlantic.com
Institute Alumni Fellow Wilson Brissett has a new piece on The Atlantic’s website, “The Boston Bombing: Made in the U.S.A.” Brissett and co-author Patton Dodd argue that the Tsarnaev brothers, rather than being quickly-labeled adherents of radical Islam, are actually the most recent iteration of an American classic, the “culturally isolated, fanatical religious killer.” Read the full article here.
The Institute is thrilled to congratulate Dissertation Fellows Stephen Macekura and Christina Simko on successfully defending their respective dissertations. Macekura’s dissertation explores the relationship between global environmentalism and international development. Simko’s dissertation focuses on interpretive responses to the events of September 11, 2001, in American political and commemorative culture. Congratulations to you both!
Read more about the work of the Institute’s current fellows here.
Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish highlights Thomas de Zengotita’s article for the Spring 2013 issue of The Hedgehog Review, “Ethics and the Limits of Evolutionary Psychology,” calling it a “lengthy, searching critique of evolutionary psychology.” Read the full article here.
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The Institute congratulates Associate Fellow Tim Hartman, recipient of the 2013-2014 Dissertation Fellowship from the Louisville Institute for “Rethinking Christian Identity after ‘Christendom’: Revelation, Religion, and Culture in Kwame Bediako and Karl Barth.” Louisville Dissertation Fellowships seek to recognize and support scholarly projects that promise a significant contribution to the study of American religion, with preference given to proposals that address lay spirituality and theology and the institutional reconfiguration of American religion. Way to go, Tim!
Read more about the Institute’s fellows here.
On Monday April 22 WMRA’s Virginia Insight featured Institute Director of Survey Research Carl Desportes Bowman and Associate Fellow Megan Juelfs-Swanson discussing the Culture of American Families Project.
The three-year study of American parenting explores the ways that family culture can be even more important than parenting styles. The importance of specific parenting motivations such as “value of education,” “importance of religion,” and even “levels of optimism” vary widely among family cultures.
You can listen to the interview and download reports from the study.