The purpose of the Graduate Summer Seminars is to help nurture and encourage the next generation of Christian Scholars by providing rigerous seminars where students are challenged not only academically but to think more deeply about the integration of faith and scholarship. The Seminars also seek to link future faculty with Christian mentors and colleagues in their field from around the country.
The Seminars are for current Ph.D.students in history or literature. However, both seminars are interdisciplinary so students with related research interests are also encouraged to apply.
Application Deadline: March 31, 2001
$600 Stipend awarded plus up to $300 in travel expenses. All books, meals and acccommodations are provided. Twelve students will be selected for each seminar.
The Seminars are co-sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Pew Younger Scholars Program. Funding is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Created Identities: Self and Community in Christianity,
Literature, and Literary Theory
In this course, we will examine Christianity, literature and literary theory as expressions of self and communal identity. We will read selections from the Bible, poems, essays and fiction, and several articles from literary theory which argue that identity is "constructed" through language and discourse. How do recent theories of identity such as the "split subject" of psychoanalysis, or the idea of race as a "social construct" compare with the biblical insistence on a humanity created in the image of God? What has been the Christian understanding of the self in relation to both God and community? How have writers from a variety of genders, races, and ethnicities given creative expression to the problem of identity, especially as identity emerges through conflict between an individual and his/her community? Although the literary readings will be taken from American and African American literary traditions, students with interest in other literatures—British or Third World, for example—are encouraged to apply.
Katherine Clay Bassard is an Associate Professor of Literature at the
Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of _Spiritual interrogations: culture, gender, and community in early African American women's writing (Princeton, 1999).
America in Crisis: Identity and Race in the Civil War Era
During the Civil War era, the dominant theme of domestic politics was relations between North and South. When sectional hostility erupted in the most bloody war in our history, the nation was forced to confront questions of national character. At stake during the Civil War was the very existence of the United States, and the war posed what clearly became persistent themes in our history, including the fate of African-Americans. This seminar investigates this era of antebellum sectional conflict, Civil War, and Reconstruction as we search out clues for the identity of America. The seminar will consider what roles national and sectional identities play in precipitating sectional conflict, Civil War, and Reconstruction. How does an American national identity change as a consequence of its experiences between 1840 and 1880? In what way is Southern and Northern regional identity transformed by the experience of war and Reconstruction? How do race, ethnicity, gender, and religion influence or distort national and regional identities in this period? What is the relationship between national and local identities in this period? Although the readings will focus on sectional conflict, Civil War, and Reconstruction, students interested in different time periods and in disciplines other than history are welcome to apply.
Orville Vernon Burton is Professor of History and Sociology, Professor and Senior Research Scientist, National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is author of "A Gentleman and an Officer":A social and military history of James B. Griffin's Civil War(Oxford, 1996).
Pew Younger Scholars Program
Graduate Summer Seminars
University of Notre Dame
810 Flanner Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
219-631-4097 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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