Fellowship

20 Years of Fellows: Paul Bloomfield

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we've checked in with former fellows to gather reflections on their fellowship years, to get an update on their fellowship projects, and to see what they are working on next. Read them all here.

Paul Bloomfield headshotPaul Bloomfield was a 2007–2008 UCHI faculty fellow and is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Moral Reality (2001) and The Virtues of Happiness (2014), the editor of Morality and Self-Interest (2008) and the co-editor of Oxford Handbook for Moral Realism (forthcoming), all on Oxford University Press.


What was your fellowship project about?

I work in moral philosophy, broadly construed, and the subject of my UCHI project was the relation of being morally good to living well and being happy. This is, perhaps, the single guiding question of moral philosophy. I argue that all forms of immorality are inherently self-disrespecting, and that self-disrespect and happiness are mutually exclusive. So, the stripped-down argument goes like this:

  1. Morality is necessary for self-respect
  2. Self-respect is necessary for happiness
  3. Therefore, morality is necessary for happiness

What is it to be morally good? I answer this in terms of “the cardinal virtues”: courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom. I defend the view that becoming virtuous gives us everything we need to be as happy as is possible for us, given who we are and the circumstances into which we are born.

Would you give us an update on the project?

The project yielded a number of papers but, as a whole, was published as a monograph in 2014 entitled The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life by Oxford University Press. It has been reviewed in numerous journals and was the subject of an “Author Meets Critics” session at the 2016 American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting.

How did your fellowship year shape your project, or shape your scholarship in general?

I think what was most useful for me was the way that interacting with my fellow UCHI fellows forced me out of simply speaking to other philosophers and made me develop my views and arguments in ways that are more easily comprehensible to non-specialists. So, the book ended up having less jargon and a slower pace than it would otherwise have had.

Would you share a favorite memory from your time as a UCHI fellow?

I have always tried to keep my writing gender neutral and to avoid gendered pronouns. This is easier in philosophy than one might think, if one sticks to plural subjects (“they” or “people”), and impersonal singular pronouns when needed (“one”). When I presented my work to my fellow fellows, I was very pleased when two of them, Sharon Harris (who subsequently became the second director of UCHI) and Brenda Murphy—both of whom are Professors of English—noticed what I was up to and complimented me on my approach and my writing.

What are you working on now (or next)?

I have two major projects going right now. The first is that I am co-editing with Professor David Copp (UC Davis) The Oxford Handbook of Moral Realism. This will be a start of the art collection of views surrounding the idea that there are metaphysical facts about morality—facts about what is good and bad and right and wrong—and that morality is neither to be “eliminated” or “reduced” to emotions or attitudes or some other non-factual basis.

The other project is a monograph focusing on the cardinal virtues, which I mentioned above.

Our theme for UCHI’s 20th anniversary year is “The Future of Knowledge.” What would you say are some of the challenges facing the future of knowledge? And what do you think is most exciting or promising about the future of knowledge?

I think there are deep and important moral, social, and political implications to how “knowledge” is understood in the future. As we know, currently information and knowledge is being swamped by misinformation and conspiracy theories and, it now seems, the old idea that in the “marketplace of ideas, truth will win out” has been called into question. Unfortunately, I do not think the most promising ideas are terribly exciting. I think the solution begins with a patient search for common dialectical ground with those with whom we disagree, at least those who are open to reason. Then we will need humility to be open-minded with them and we’ll have to be mature enough to compromise in the name of peace and democratic prosperity. The frightening part is how to handle those who will not listen to reason, and there, I’m afraid, I’ve nothing close to a helpful solution: currently, I see no way to reason with people who are unreasonable.

20 Years of Fellows: Alea Henle

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we’ve checked in with former fellows to gather reflections on their fellowship years, to get an update on their fellowship projects, and to see what they are working on next.

Alea Henle headshotAlea Henle was a 2011–12 dissertation research scholar. A librarian and historian, she is now is Head of Access & Borrow at Miami University. She has a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Connecticut. Over the past years, she’s worked in libraries from Washington, D.C. to Colorado to New Mexico and taught classes in history, librarianship, archives, and records management. Her research interests center on how decisions in libraries, archives, research centers, and commercial database providers increasingly shape the resources available–making materials paradoxically both easier and more difficult to locate.


What was your fellowship project about?
My fellowship project was my dissertation—on historical societies and historical cultures in the early United States and the ways efforts to collect and preserve materials for the writing of American history shape moden practices.

Would you give us an update on the project?
To my very great delight, the book based on the dissertation came out last year! Rescued from Oblivion: Historical Cultures in the Early United States is available from the University of Massachusetts Press, as part of the Public History in Historical Perspective series.

How did your fellowship year shape your project, or shape your scholarship in general?
The fellowship gave me time and space to think through how to organize the immense wealth of research I’d already accumulated—and the additional material that I kept coming across. I also appreciate the interactions with other fellows and their comments and suggestions—and, of course, the opportunity to learn about the wonderful projects they were working on!

Would you share a favorite memory from your time as a UCHI fellow?
I think it was at our original go-around where we discussed our research projects (or perhaps it was when a particular scholar presented) but one of the key phrases that remains with me came from another fellow’s project: a worm in a box is never just a worm in a box.

What are you working on now (or next)?
Oh, I’m working on multiple fronts at the moment. As a historian, I’ve slid into the early 20th century and am currently exploring early postcards—specifically batches of postcards that were sent to one person or individual (where possible, from the same person). I blog about this at aleahenle.com about once a week. Then I’m also working on library scholarship (since I have a Ph.D. in history but my day-to-day job is as a librarian), with a current project focusing on valuations of library collections for insurance purposes. And in my personal time (not spare time—that’s something I don’t really have) I’ve started writing (and indie publishing) contemporary and historical fantasy. Whew!

Our theme for UCHI’s 20th anniversary year is “The Future of Knowledge.” What would you say are some of the challenges facing the future of knowledge? And what do you think is most exciting or promising about the future of knowledge? The challenges facing the future of knowledge?
Here I’m going to put on both my historian and librarian hats—these include the pervasive multiplicity of information and the fragility of many of the ever-increasing formats. Ironically, paper is much more robust a medium for historical purposes than many digital formats as the latter often require specialized software and/or technology. My original research as a fellow, after all, was about early efforts to deal with preserving information/knowledge! Then there are also the witting and unwitting discussions about sources of knowledge versus sources of information—who’s an expert and/or trustworthy and who isn’t (and what criteria is used to decide). It’s all very new—and very old.

Announcing the 2021–22 Humanities Institute Fellows

The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) is proud to announce its incoming class of humanities fellows. This year, as UCHI celebrates its twentieth anniversary, we are excited to host two visiting fellows, four dissertation scholars, and nine UConn faculty fellows—including the Henry Luce Foundation Future of Truth fellow and the Mellon UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group Fellow. We have fellows representing a broad swath of disciplines, including History; English; Philosophy; Political Science; Sociology; Communication; Anthropology; Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; Africana Studies; Asian & Asian American Studies; Human Development & Family Sciences; and Art & Art History. Their projects span from the Renaissance to the present and cover a wide range of topics from racism in the academy to environmental justice. For more information on our fellowship program see our Become a Fellow page. More details about our twentieth anniversary 2021–22 fellows and their projects are forthcoming. Welcome fellows!

 

Visiting Residential Fellows

Sherie Randolph headshot

Sherie M. Randolph (History and Sociology – Georgia Institute of Technology)
“‘Bad’ Black Mothers: A History of Transgression”

Shiloh Whitney headshot

Shiloh Whitney (Philosophy – Fordham University)
“Emotional Labor: Affective Economies and Affective Injustice”

UConn Faculty Fellows

Meina Cai headshot

Meina Cai (Political Science and Asian and Asian American Studies)
“The Art of Negotiations: Legal Discrimination, Contention Pyramid, and Land Rights Development in China”

Haile Eshe Cole headshot

Haile Eshe Cole (Anthropology and Africana Studies)
“Belly: Topographies of Black Reproduction”

Shardé Davis headshot

Shardé M. Davis (Communication; Africana Studies; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group Fellow
“Being #BlackintheIvory: Contending with Racism in the American University”

Prakash Kashwan headshot

Prakash Kashwan (Political Science)
“Rooted Radicalism: Transformative Change for Food, Energy, Water, and Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Change.”

Laura Mauldin headshot

Laura Mauldin (Human Development & Family Sciences; Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; and Sociology)
“For All We Care”

Micki McElya headshot

Micki McElya (History)
“No More Miss America! How Protesting the 1968 Pageant Changed a Nation”

Kathryn Moore headshot

Kathryn Blair Moore (Art & Art History)
“The Other Space of the Arabesque: Italian Renaissance Art at the Limits of Representation”

Fiona Vernal headshot

Fiona Vernal (History and Africana Studies)
“Hartford Bound: Mobility, Race, and Identity in the Post-World War II Era (1940-2020)”

Sarah S. Willen headshot

Sarah S. Willen (Anthropology)
Future of Truth Fellow
“‘Chronicling the Meantime’: Creating a Book about the Pandemic Journaling Project”

Dissertation Research Scholars

Erik Freeman headshot

Erik Freeman (History)
Draper Dissertation Fellow
“The Mormon International: Communitarian Politics and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1890”

Carol Gray headshot

Carol Gray (Political Science)
“Law as Politics by Other Means: An Egyptian Case Study as a Template for Human Rights Reform”

Drew Johnson headshot

Drew Johnson (Philosophy)
“A Hybrid Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse”

Anna Ziering headshot

Anna Ziering (English)
“Dirty Forms: Masochism and the Revision of Power in Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literature and Culture”

Call for Applications: 2021–22 UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group Fellowship

With the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Connecticut, UCHI, together with the Faculty of Color Working Group of the New England Humanities Consortium, is pleased to accept applications for the UCHI/FOCWG Faculty Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year. The fellowship is intended for full-time UConn faculty members from historically disadvantaged minority groups and/or those whose projects specifically confront institutional blocks for BIPOC faculty.

Criteria for successful applicants include, but are not limited to: quality of research proposal; strength of reference letters; and articulation within the proposal of how this project can contribute to a larger support network for faculty of color in the region and/or to understanding and addressing impediments to success for BIPOC faculty in higher education.

Applications for the UCHI/FOCWG Fellowship are due on February 1st and should be submitted through UCHI’s regular fellowship application portal on Interfolio. All submission requirements are identical to regular UCHI Humanities fellowships; and applicants will be assessed by the same interdisciplinary review panel of outside academics. When applying, we ask that you indicate on the application form that you would like to be considered for the UCHI/FOCWG Fellowship. Indicating that you would like to be considered for the UCHI/FOCWG Fellowship does not preclude you from being offered a UCHI Fellowship—indeed, any application for the UCHI/FOCWG fellowship is considered as an application for a standard UCHI fellowship.

UCHI/FOCWG Fellows are full members of the UCHI fellowship class and have all the same benefits and responsibilities. See here for fellowship application materials and further information on the fellowship program.

APPLY NOW

Call for Applications: 2021–2022 UCHI Fellowships

Where can the humanities take us? UCHI invites applications for its annual residential fellowships. Apply by February 1, 2021.

UCHI is very excited to announce that applications are now open for our 2021–2022 residential fellowships. Our fellowships include a stipend, office space, and all the benefits of a Research I university. Just as important, we provide community and time for scholars to write, argue, engage, and create.

UCHI offers residential fellowships in three categories: UConn Dissertation Research Fellowships, UConn Faculty Fellowships, and Visiting Scholar Fellowships. UConn Faculty fellowships include the UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group fellowship, intended for full-time UConn faculty members from historically disadvantaged minority groups and/or those whose projects specifically confront institutional blocks for BIPOC faculty.

Qualified applicants in all three fellowship categories are invited to apply via Interfolio by February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Each fellowship’s application page provides a position description, qualifications, and application requirements. Applicants to each position receive a free Interfolio Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

Apply for a UConn Dissertation Research Fellowship

Apply for a UConn Faculty Fellowship

Apply for a Visiting Scholar Fellowship

For more details on our fellowships see our Become a Fellow page and read our FAQ. If you have any questions, please write to us at uchi@uconn.edu.

Get to Know a Fellow: Ashley Gangi

In this Get To Know a Fellow video, 2020–2021 Dissertation Research Scholar Ashley Gangi discusses her project “May I Present Myself? Masks, Masquerades, and the Drama of Identity in Nineteenth Century American Literature.” To hear more about her project, register to attend her Fellow’s Talk on November 18, 2020 at 4:00pm.

To see all UCHI videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Get To Know a Fellow: Kerry Carnahan

In our first Get To Know a Fellow video, 2020–2021 Dissertation Research Scholar Kerry Carnahan discusses her project—a new translation and commentary of the Song of Songs. To hear more about her project, register to attend her Fellow’s Talk on October 28, 2020 at 4:00pm.

To see all UCHI videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.