Graduate School News

Three UNC Ph.D. Candidates Receive Prestigious National Fellowship

April 20, 2011

PRINCETON, N.J.—The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced the selection of 21 Newcombe Fellows for the upcoming 2011-12 academic year, all doctoral candidates in the final year of dissertation work on religious and ethical values. Each Newcombe Fellow receives a 12-month award of $25,000. Three UNC doctoral candidates — Kathleen Curtin (english and comparative literature), Carrie Duncan (religious studies), and Kathleen Foody (religious studies) — have been named Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2011-12 academic year.

Kathleen 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’s dissertation, The Rhetoric of Participation: gender and leadership in the ancient synagogue, explores representations of women in Jewish inscriptions from Late Antiquity.

In her dissertation, Theologies of Dissent: Critical Islam and Shi`i Renewal in Modern Iran, Kathleen 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.

This year’s Fellows were chosen from a pool of 585 applicants and represent many fields of study, including religion, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, women’s studies, political science, jurisprudence, and music, and come from 15 institutions nationwide.

Funded by The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious such award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values. The Newcombe Fellowship has supported more than 1,100 doctoral candidates, many of whom are now noted faculty members at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Full press release