AUB has received a special three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support faculty initiatives in the arts and humanities.
The fellowships provided by the grant “represent a tangible effort by AUB to support faculty in the arts and humanities and to create an environment for faculty and students where the study of arts and humanities can flourish,” said Provost Ahmad Dallal.
The first three recipients of the grant are assistant professor Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (CVSP), who has been awarded the 2012-13 Faculty Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities, and assistant professor Alexis Wick (History) and associate professor David Wrisley (CVSP/English), the recipients of the Fall Fellowships.
Sarah Bin Tyeer (School of Oriental and African Studies, 2010) and Karim Sadek (Georgetown University, 2012) have been appointed as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in the Arts and Humanities.
Bin Tyeer is a specialist in Qur’anic studies, pre-modern Arabic literature, and comparative literature and theory. Sadek is a social and political philosopher, with a strong interest in contemporary critical theory and Islamic political thought, particularly radical democratic theory and practice. The two successful candidates were chosen from among approximately 40 young scholars who applied for the fellowships between April and June of this year.
The Arts and Humanities Initiative Committee, composed of faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and chaired by Professor Maher Jarrar, is tasked with scrutinizing all applications for the Mellon Fellowships and overseeing initiative activities. The committee encourages other eligible faculty members to submit applications for the two remaining 2013 Spring Fellowships. The deadline has been extended to October 5, 2012, and full information regarding application for the grant appears on the Provost’s Office website, under “Initiatives.” New applicants will be added to the current pool and final awards will be announced in mid-October.
The Arts and Humanities Initiative was established in March 2012, when AUB received the three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to integrate faculty development with curricular innovation in the arts and humanities, including the humanistic social sciences.
“This is a dynamic initiative that incorporates fellowships and programmatic activities to nurture the development of a core group of arts and humanities faculty and provide them with opportunities for personal and professional development,” explained Provost Ahmad Dallal. “Our long-term objectives are to nurture a sustained community capable of strengthening the environment for humanistic inquiry at AUB, and to promote the arts and humanities as viable areas of inquiry among our students.”
The fellowships are intended to encourage junior and mid-career faculty to actively reimagine their disciplines, conduct innovative research, and develop new courses and programs that explore humanistic study from multiple disciplinary and regional perspectives.
The fellows will participate in a regular program of activities (seminars, workshops, and an annual conference) that will give equal emphasis to research, teaching, and curricular renewal. The core group’s activities will be organized under the overarching theme of Cultural Encounters, a natural choice for AUB and for Lebanon, which is an historic crossroads of cultural and civilizational interaction.