The University Center for Human Values is pleased to announce the award of the University Center's 2011-12 Graduate Prize Fellowships to ten advanced graduate students who are working on interdisciplinary dissertations in the area of ethics and human values.
The University Center for Human Values is pleased to announce the award of the University Center’s 2011-12 Graduate Prize Fellowships to ten advanced graduate students who are working on interdisciplinary dissertations in the area of ethics and human values.
Tom Dannenbaum is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Politics. His dissertation examines the implications for just war theory of demanding respect for the moral integrity of soldiers. The dissertation argues that participation in even just wars places a severe moral burden on soldiers and asks whether we can make sense of this without reverting to pacifism. Dannenbaum's broader research interests include international and comparative law, transitional justice, and human rights. He has a BA with honors and distinction in philosophy and public policy from Stanford University and a JD from Yale Law School.
Molly Farneth is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Religion. By focusing on the dialectic of conflict and reconciliation in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, her dissertation addresses the question of how ethical conflicts can be confronted and overcome in diverse communities. She tracks the role of religious practice in this process and also suggests how Hegel’s account might inform contemporary democratic theory and practice. Farneth’s broader interests include religious and democratic ethics, philosophy of religion, ritual theory, and feminist and postcolonial theories of religion. She received an AB with honors in religion and government from Bowdoin College and an MTS from Harvard University.
Michael Lamb is a third-year student in the Department of Politics with wide-ranging interests in political theory, ethics, and religion. His dissertation examines the normative implications of a “politics of hope” and argues that hope is best conceived as a virtue. Exploring the relationship between religion and politics, he also attempts to show how certain virtues can be cultivated by citizens with diverse religious, philosophical, and moral commitments. Michael recently served as chief of staff for campaigns for Governor and Congress in Tennessee. He has a BA in political science from Rhodes College and a second BA in philosophy and theology from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Ross Lerner is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of English. His dissertation seeks to develop a genealogy of the concept of religious fanaticism across the European Reformation. The project engages in analysis of literary, theological, and philosophical texts from the late medieval period through to early modernity in England and Germany to examine the forms of life and belief fanaticism gets attached to. By posing the question of what literature has to do with religious violence and how it helps us rethink relationships between religion and politics in this period, it also asks what kinds of violence fanaticism enacts and what kinds of violence it resists. His interests include lyric and epic poetry; allegory; drama; history of religion and theology; history of philosophy; radical politics. He has a BA from Haverford College
Jessica Lowe studies eighteenth and early nineteenth century American legal history. Her dissertation, Murder in the Shenandoah, is about a 1791 Virginia murder in which a young gentleman killed a laborer during a fist fight. Jessica's dissertation tells the story of the case as it wound its way through the various stages of Virginia's criminal process, and uses this narrative to explore republican law reform in Virginia in the era of the Constitution’s framing and adoption. Before coming to Princeton, Jessica worked as a practicing attorney, clerking on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and in the District of Connecticut. She also practiced appellate litigation with Jones Day in Washington, D.C., where she worked on a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Jessica graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 2002, attended Yale Divinity School, and received her BA from the University of Virginia
Barry Maguire is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Philosophy. His dissertation defends the autonomy of the ethical domain, and the distinctiveness of ethical explanations. He argues that ethical truths are either partly explained by some other ethical truths, or else not explained by anything at all. Hence views which attempt to explain ethical truths just in terms of psychological facts, or logical facts, or other scientific facts are mistaken. His work has implications for substantive normative theory, normative epistemology and general metaphysics. He has a BA from Balliol College, Oxford.
Corey J. Maley is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Philosophy. His dissertation is on the relationship between morality and the self-conscious emotions of guilt and shame and includes an exploration of how philosophical theorizing on these topics can be informed by findings from the social sciences (and vice versa). His other research interests include the philosophy of science, particularly foundational issues in cognitive science and computation. Maley has a BS in computer science, mathematics, and psychology, and a BA in philosophy, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Melissa Moschella is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Politics. Her dissertation defends parental rights to control the education of their children, conceiving those rights as grounded in the obligations that flow from the unique biological connection between parent and child, and as providing the moral space within which parents can fulfill their obligations according to the dictates of their conscience. Her other research interests include history of political thought, bioethics, natural law theory, virtue ethics, philosophy of law, and theories of personal identity. She has an MA summa cum laude in philosophy from the University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and an AB magna cum laude in social studies from Harvard.
Elias Sacks is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Religion. His dissertation explores the conception of Jewish practice in the Hebrew and German writings of the eighteenth-century thinker Moses Mendelssohn, proposing a new interpretation of Mendelssohn’s work, and drawing on this interpretation to contribute to ongoing discussions in history and philosophy. Elias’s broader research interests include Jewish thought, philosophy of religion, hermeneutics, political theory, and Jewish-Christian relations. After receiving an AB in religion from Harvard University, he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received an MA in philosophy of religion from Columbia University.
Padraic Scanlan is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of History. His dissertation insists on the importance of the early colonial history of Sierra Leone to the history of the British empire. The tiny colony, founded to prove the feasibility of the end of the slave trade, was the site of critical British experiments in racial theory, labor discipline, missionary work, tropical medicine, and military recruitment. The dissertation explores these experiments, and shows how they contributed to the durable (if vague) modern concept of ‘international development’. Padraic has a BA with first-class honors in history from McGill University.