The University Center for Human Values is pleased to announce the award of the Laurance S. Rockefeller 2017-18 Graduate Prize Fellowships to ten advanced graduate students who are working on interdisciplinary dissertations in the area of ethics and human values.
*Year of Study noted represents 2017-18 academic year.
Brahim El Guabli is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature. He was born and raised in a rural Berber village in the South of Morocco. Brahim’s dissertation entitled “The Minor Re-writes the Nation: Memory of Loss, Archives, Historiography and State Cooptation in Morocco” investigates Moroccan literature’s engagement with the traumatic legacies of what came to be known as the “years of lead” in Morocco (1956-1999). Drawing on texts written in French and Arabic, Brahim probes how testimony and memory dialogue with, contest, and unsettle both the historiography and historiographical production of post-independence Morocco. Using an interdisciplinary approach to conduct a new reading of an important corpus of novels and memoirs, Brahim places questions of loss, agency, citizenship and historiographical justice at the center of trauma and trauma narratives as they pertain to the situation in Morocco. Brahim’s work has appeared in Arab Studies Journal, The Journal of North African Studies and Francosphères. He is also the co-editor of the forthcoming special issue of The Journal of North African Studies entitled “Violence and the Politics of Aesthetics: A Postcolonial Maghreb Without Borders.”
Gabrielle Girgis is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Politics. Motivated by a general interest in the fields of political theory, moral philosophy, and religion, her dissertation explores the nature and political-philosophical grounds of religious liberty. Specifically, it investigates the proper basis and scope for this principle as a distinct right of legal protection for religion and conscience. Central to her project is an effort to explain the human and public value of religion and conscience, and to draw moral-legal implications from that account for civil liberties in a pluralist liberal democracy. Before pursuing her PhD at Princeton, she earned a BA in the Program of Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Emily Hulme is a fifth year in the Department of Classics and a member of the interdepartmental program in Classical Philosophy. Her dissertation focusses on the techne theme in the Platonic dialogues and contextualizes this theme within 4th century Athenian intellectual culture. In the dialogues, Plato refers to cobblers, sculptors, weavers, and other demiurgoi hundreds of times; and, he describes his philosophical hero, Socrates, as the descendant of the legendary craftsman Daidalos. In her dissertation, she argues that Plato uses this theme to differentiate Platonic philosophy from the practices of his educational rivals, the sophists, as well as his philosophical rivals, the Presocratics. Before coming to Princeton, Emily received her B.A. in Classics, with minors in Philosophy and Biology, from Stanford University and her M.A. in Classical Philology from the University of Arizona.
Dongxian Jiang is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Politics, specializing in political theory. His main research interests include nationalism and liberalism, colonialism and imperialism, human rights, global public reason, and comparative political theory. His dissertation explores the possibility of justifying the universal validity of liberal principles, especially the constitutional protection of civil and political rights, in the face of cultural differences in the entire world. In addition to contemporary normative issues, Dongxian is also interested in history of political thought, especially modern Western political thought and Chinese intellectual history. Dongxian received bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Philosophy from Peking University (China) and a M.A. in Political Science from Duke University.
Suzie Kim is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Politics. Her research interests are theories of personal autonomy, preference formation and rational choice, and state paternalism. In my dissertation, I examine under what conditions state interventions that promote personal autonomy in processes of preference formation are justified. Given that human preferences are formed within a particular normative environment, the question arises when a liberal state may be justified in intervening to create an environment that is particularly better for the individual to shape own values and preferences. Specifically, I am interested in state regulations aimed at promoting the individual's ability to control her preference formation in the media, child education, and pharmaceutical drugs. Suzie graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy and economics from Rice University and holds an M.Phil degree from the University of Cambridge in Political thought and Intellectual history.
Dana Lee is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Her research interests generally include intellectual history of the Near East, Islamic legal history and theory, comparative law, and the relationship between law and ethics. Her dissertation traces the development of the concept of legal necessity in the Islamic legal tradition, its employment in legal discourses and cases, and its invocation on behalf of state actors or those accused of civil or criminal wrongdoing. More broadly, her dissertation explores how law resolves tensions and negotiates the relationship between stability and rule of law, social demands, and the claim of divinely and ethically ordained engagement with human action. Dana holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame; a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law; and an M.T.S. from Harvard University Divinity School.
Daniel May is a fifth year graduate student in the Religion, Ethics, and Politics subfield of the Department of Religion. His research interests include political ethics, modern Jewish thought, democratic theory, nationalism, and 20th century intellectual history. His dissertation explores the emergence of tragic conceptions of politics in post-War Jewish political thought, as Jewish thinkers turned to pluralism, particularity, and realism as they recast the political mission of Jews and Judaism for a world unmade by genocide and mass murder. It engages with the work of Jewish thinkers in the post-War period that sought to reconcile Jewish nationalism and liberalism, as the genocide in Europe seemed to demonstrate the necessity of both projects as well as the fragile relationship between the two. Prior to arriving at Princeton, May worked for many years as a community organizer in Los Angeles and New York City. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Pomona College, and holds a Masters in Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School.
Erin Miller is a fourth year graduate student in the Politics Department. Her primary research interests are in contemporary democratic theory, rights theory, American constitutional law, and normative ethics. In her dissertation, Erin explores the values underpinning the freedom of speech, and how the nature and effects of speech change depending on the context in which it is uttered. Currently, she is arguing that "amplified speech," or speech conveyed to large audiences over mass media, does not realize the same self-expressive values as other sorts of speech, and therefore can be regulated according to different standards. Elsewhere, Erin has written about constitutional constraints in criminal law, such as the due process required for imposing "collateral consequences" on criminal offenders and the standards for reviewing mitigating evidence in capital sentencing. She has a B.A. in philosophy and political science from Yale University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School; she is a member of the bar of New York.
Sam Preston is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Philosophy. He works primarily in ethics and metaphysics. In his dissertation, Sam offers an original account of blame, and uses that account to shed light on punishment and desert. He argues that blame and punishment are more deeply interrelated than philosophers have often thought, and that facts about moral desert are grounded in facts about the norms governing blame and praise. Apart from his dissertation, Sam writes on metaphysical explanation, law, and intentional attitudes like intention, belief, trust, and certainty. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University.
Kim Worthington is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her dissertation examines historical claims, contestation, and memory in the production of Nelson Mandela's memoirs, and in the construction of Mandela in popular consciousness. She assesses the ways that Mandela was ‘written’ into history and himself scripted the opening narrative of a democratic South Africa and its twentieth century background. By shedding light on the concretization of Mandela as the icon of the liberation struggle and architect of the transformation of South Africa, Kim’s research aims to show lacunae in South Africa’s historiography and emphasizes nuance in our understanding of public figures. Kim completed an MA as the UNESCO Fellow at the University of Connecticut in 2013. She holds a BA and an Honours degree from Rhodes University, South Africa.