Graduate School News

Two UNC Ph.D. Candidates Receive Prestigious National Fellowship

April 30, 2010

PRINCETON, N.J.—What are the commonalities between science and ethics? How do fringe banking institutions, like currency exchanges and check-cashing outlets, create their own moral economy? What are the moral foundations of intragroup violence in South Africa?

The 2010 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows are addressing these and many other questions. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced the selection of 20 Newcombe Fellows for the upcoming 2010-11 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. Two UNC doctoral candidates — Emily Baran (history) and Adam Cureton (philosophy) — have been named Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2010-11 academic year.

Ms. Baran's dissertation is entitled Faith on the Margins: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova, 1945-Present. Her scholarly work focuses on Russian and East European history, with a particular emphasis on Soviet-era religious repression and the transformation of religious life since 1991 in former Soviet republics. A 2003 graduate of Macalester College, she has previously received fellowships and grants from Duke University, the University of Kansas, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright-Hays Program, and has been a Helen Darcovich Memorial Dissertation Fellow at UNC. Her papers have won awards from the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, and from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She has served as the graduate student representative on the executive board of the Association of Women in Slavic Studies since 2007.

Mr. Cureton, whose primary interests are in ethics, history of ethics and metaethics, holds a BPhil from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His dissertation at UNC is entitled On the Nature, Grounds and Limits of Social Moral Rules. He currently has a Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Foundation Fellowship and has also held graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Humane Studies. He did both baccalaureate and master's degrees in philosophy at the University of Georgia.

This year's Fellows, chosen from a recordbreaking pool of 670 applicants, represent six fields of study, including philosophy, history, religion/theology, anthropology, sociology, and American studies, and come from 18 institutions nationwide. The year's cohort is the 30th group of Fellows named since the program's inception in 1981.

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 1,000 doctoral candidates, many of whom are now noted faculty members at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.