At the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Amster will complete her book manuscript, Medicine and the Saints, a history of the French-Moroccan encounter through medicine. As the language between body and body politic, healing was a Moroccan form of Islamic sovereignty, which integrated the sacred into geography, politics and history. In post-revolutionary France, legislators used medicine to define the rational citizen and his rights in the Republic. Colonial medicine was thus a meeting of selves and political imaginaries, and the modern Moroccan state is the result. This project broadens the concept of Islamic modernity, from an intellectual project of nationalists to the fragmenting of the Islamic body and a new relationship to the physical environment.
Ellen Amster is Assistant Professor of Middle East History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research focuses on health and healing in the Islamic world, midwifery, French empire in North Africa, and Sufism. Her recent publications include "'The Harem Revealed' and the Islamic-French Family: Aline de Lens and a Frenchwoman's Orient in Lyautey's Morocco," French Historical Studies, Spring 2009 (32:2) and "Saints and the Islamic City: Looking for Sacred Space in Fes, Morocco," The Urban History Newsletter, October 2006, Number 36. Her forthcoming book is tentatively entitled, "Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956," (Austin: University of Texas Press). Amster earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and has received fellowships from the Fulbright-Hayes Program, the Chateaubriand Scholars Program of the Government of France, the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, the Foreign Language Area Studies Program, the Mellon Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.
Basu's dissertation considers the discourse of criminality in early modern culture, especially in drama and popular literature, and argues that the literary depiction of crime was often a way of negotiating changing social relations in the period. The project explores how particular practices, bodies or groups are marked as "criminal" - even as it suggests the need to question the boundaries that constitute this category. While critics such as Carroll, Woodbridge and Fumerton have produced seminal studies in recent years on the criminalization of the vagrant poor, Anupam approaches the discourse of crime as part of a broader matrix of socioeconomic transformation that includes not only the displaced underclass but also other emergent social spheres that structure new forms of civic and private identity. The demonized figure of the criminal - the vagrant rogue, the urban cony-catcher, the whore, the trickster etc – is ubiquitous in early modern texts, testifying to a fear of the criminal and a fascination with criminality that often far outstrips its actual historical circumstances. Reading a wide variety of texts, from ballads and jestbooks, rogue and cony-catching pamphlets, to plays by Dekker, Middleton, Shakespeare and Jonson, Anupam argues that this fascination with criminal deviance results from the widespread economic and social mobility and displacement that accompanied the development of early capitalism. The dissertation traces how the imagined figure of the criminal becomes a projection for concerns about order and stability in the face of apparent social crisis: problems of vagrancy and poverty, changing notions of status and class, the redefinition of domestic and public spheres, and the rapid development of an urban, commodity culture.
Anupam Basu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at UW-Madison. He has been a fellow at the University of Warwick, UK in 2007-08 and is currently completing his dissertation at the Institute. His interests include early modern popular literature and drama - especially the intersections of literary criticism, studies of material culture, and social history - as well as literary theory.
At the Institute Bauer is working on a book manuscript entitled Bodily Desire - Desired Bodies: Gender and Desire in Early Twentieth-Century Novels and Paintings, where she proposes that literature and the visual arts of this time did not merely reflect existing social and cultural structures, but became instruments in the far-reaching transformation notions of gender, desire, and sexuality underwent. Pursuing an interdisciplinary approach that applies techniques of literary analysis to paintings and of pictorial analysis to literature, Bauer shows that novels by Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, and Vicki Baum, and paintings by Christian Schad, Otto Dix, and Egon Schiele echo each other in highlighting sexuality and subverting notions of gender. In an era that was influenced by Freud's research and hence aware of the import of the psyche, the works Bauer studies are symptomatic of a new visualization and vision of bodies that questions the prominence afforded to the psyche. Bauer shows how these artists' turn to the body to negotiate gender anticipates the current gender debate, which has suggested the body as a site where biology and social constructions of sexual difference meet.
Esther Bauer is currently an Assistant Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her area of specialization is German literature and culture since the mid-nineteenth century, and her research focuses on questions of subjectivity, gender, desire, and visualizations of bodies. Bauer has published and presented on writers Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Vicki Baum, and Judith Hermann, and on painters Egon Schiele and Christian Schad. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in German literature from Yale University and an M.A. in German, English, and Linguistics from the University of Freiburg, Germany. Bauer has received fellowships from the DAAD, the Whiting Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and the Connecticut/Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program.
Berkhofer is completing a book manuscript, "Fabricating Histories," which considers the relationship between forgeries and historical writing in the high Middle Ages. This project uses forgeries to examine medieval mentalité, which supposed a different relation between text, memory, and the past than in modern times. Based on comparative archival research, the work uses traditional methods, information technology, and post-linguistic turn theory. When completed, it will provide the first synthetic analysis of medieval forgery in a transnational European context.
Robert F. Berkhofer III is an associate professor of medieval history at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. His work focusses on northwestern Europe, particulary France, England, and the Low Countries in the period from ca. 900 to 1250. He is the author of Day of Reckoning: Power and Accountability in Medieval France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and the co-editor of The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350 (Ashgate Publishing, 2005). From 2001 to 2006 he was co-editor of the The Medieval Review, an electronic book review journal for all fields of Medieval Studies with more than 2500 subscribers. Berkhofer, who earned his Ph.D at Harvard University, has received support for his current project from the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Historical Research in London.
Drawing on archival research and interviews, the book examines the extent to which individual memories intrude upon the cultural and historical memory inculcated at the USHMM. The book will argue that the design of the museum, as well as its programming and exhibits, at times encourages and at other times suppresses memories that might be considered liminal to, and in tension with, a more or less 'official' Holocaust memory.
Michael Bernard-Donals is the Nancy Hoefs Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an affiliate member of the Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies. Professor Bernard-Donals received his PhD in English at Stony Brook University (SUNY), and taught English at Mississippi State University and the University of Missouri, Columbia, before coming to the University of Wisconsin in 1998. Professor Bernard-Donals' work falls into three principal areas: the history and theory of rhetoric, particularly the relation between its classical roots and its contemporary iterations; contemporary critical theory, and its intersections with rhetorical theory; and questions of history, memory and representation, particularly as they bear on the Holocaust and other instances of state terror. His books include Mikhail Bakhtin Between Phenomenology and Marxism (Cambridge 1994); Rhetoric in an Antifoundational World (Yale, 1998, with Richard Glejzer); The Practice of Theory: Rhetoric, Knowledge, and Pedagogy in the Academy (Cambridge, 1998); Between Witness and Testimony: The Holocaust and the Limits of Representation (SUNY 2001, with Richard Glejzer); An Introduction to Holocaust Studies (Prentice-Hall, 2004); and Forgetful Memory: Remembrance and Representation in the Wake of the Holocaust (SUNY, 2009).
At IRH, Chan is writing a book to challenge and replace traditional moral thinking about the ethics of war that takes the form of the just war theory. He argues that the rules governing how nations and armies fight wars are too permissive and fail to take account of the evil of killing innocent people and the moral and psychological damage to soldiers. In applying virtue ethics to war, Chan examines what the response of ethical human beings and communities should be towards their enemies, and shows that war is often inappropriate even if the conditions for just war are satisfied.
Chan is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, with research interests in moral psychology, virtue ethics, the ethics of war, medical ethics, and Greek philosophy. He edited an anthology on Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will (Springer Books, 2008). Recent articles of significance include "Reasoning without Comparing," American Philosophical Quarterly (2009); "Wrongful Life, Wrongful Disability, and the Argument Against Cloning" in Ethical Issues in the Life Sciences, ed. Frederick Adams (Bowling Green: Philosophy Documentation Center, 2007); "How War Affects People: Lessons from Euripides," Philosophy in the Contemporary World (2006); and "Are There Extrinsic Desires?" Nous (2004). Chan studied philosophy at the University of Melbourne in Australia (B.A. Honors), the National University of Singapore (M.A.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). He has been a Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities in 2004-5, and a two-time Fellow at the Salzburg Global Seminar. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the St. Francis International Center for Healthcare Ethics in Hawaii, and at the United Nations Association of Singapore.
From 1957-1993 Chester Himes's ten-volume crime fiction series was published, set in a place he called Harlem. In nine of the ten novels in the series Himes highlights characters who mirror the most egregiously racist stereotypes in play in U.S. popular culture: pickpockets, pimps, prostitutes, madams, murderous drug underworld kingpins, unscrupulous politicians, and religious schemers and scammers, among others. I argue that in focusing on those character types as the anti-heroes for the series Himes determined to force readers to rethink the easy assumptions that Jim Crow segregation and racism promoted regarding black Americans, their various cultural forms, genetic traits, and desires. Rather than choosing to operate outside of idealized middle-class national norms of conduct, his black criminals were simply making rational decisions akin to the decisions made every day in legitimate money-driven markets for achieving exactly the same goal: access to the American Dream via the socioeconomic avenues made available to them.
Norlisha Crawford is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of English at UW-Oshkosh and Director for the African American Studies Program (AASP). She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2001. She was a faculty member in the Dept of English at Bucknell University (PA) for five years before going to UW Oshkosh, in 2005, specifically to direct the AASP. Her main areas of research interest are African American crime fiction, African American women's literature, post WW II, and African American science fiction. She is spending academic year 2008-2009 working at the Institute, completing revisions on a manuscript about Chester Himes's Harlem crime series.
At the IHR, Garver is working on "Textiles in the Carolingian World, c.715-c.915," a book-length study of the meanings and functions of cloth and dress in the Carolingian lands. Early medieval people used clothing and decorative textiles to make political and spiritual statements. Churchmen's views of female textile fabrication were ambivalent: though these men relied upon and valued the women's products, textile workers' lack of male supervision aroused suspicion. Yet other sources present textile labor as a female virtue. Archeological and written evidence makes clear women's pivotal contribution to the Carolingian economy and society through their fabrication of cloth. Studying textile production offers an opportunity to examine the Carolingian Empire within a global context. Garver will address how Carolingian cloth fabrication and trade fit into wider Eurasian patterns and explore the implications of textile exchange for diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate. Investigating textiles is therefore allowing her to re-assess the ninth-century transformation of western European society while addressing questions of gender, status, power, and economy. By focusing on a single item she is able to cross both disciplinary boundaries and the traditional divides of social, cultural, religious, and economic history.
Valerie L. Garver is Assistant Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests center upon the social, cultural, and religious history of the Carolingian Empire. Questions concerning women, gender, and family and the historical and interdisciplinary study of material culture lie at the heart of her work. She is the author of Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World (Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2009), and her most recent article is “Learned Women? Liutberga and the Instruction of Carolingian Women,” in Lay Intellectuals in the Carolingian World, ed. Patrick Wormald and Janet L. Nelson (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 121-38. Garver, who earned her PhD from the University of Virginia, has received support from the Fulbright Program, Northern Illinois University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Notre Dame.
Professor Leonard Kaplan received his undergraduate and law degrees from Temple University in 1962 and 1965, and an LL.M from Yale Law School in 1966. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 1977, and he was a Research Fellow at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He taught at the University of Nebraska Law School from 1966 to 1968, and served as a Staff Attorney in the office of Community Legal Counsel in Chicago from 1971 to 1974, when he joined the University of Wisconsin Law School faculty. Professor Kaplan has co-edited six books and written over thirty articles. He was a co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of a journal, Graven Images: Studies in Culture, Law and the Sacred, now a book series with Lexington Books (Rowman Littlefield). He is the director of the Law School's Project for Law and the Humanities. He also has been a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry since 1977. He has served on the organizing committee for International Congresses on Law and Psychiatry through the 1990s to date. Professor Kaplan was First Vice President, and a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health since 1992. In 2009 he became President-elect of the organization. In 2002, Professor Kaplan received the Academy's Michael Zeegers Lifetime Achievement Award for distinction in the pursuit of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Human Rights Initiatives in the field of Law and Mental Health. He currently holds a UW-Madison Law School Fellowship.
During his fellowship year, LaFleur is working on a study of China's five cardinal peaks (Mt. Tai in the east, Mt. Heng in the south, Mt. Song in the center, Mt. Hua in the west, and another Mt. Heng in the north). Laid out in powerful "cosmic-architectural" fashion, the great Chinese mountains framed political and historical discourse in early China. Since early times, the Chinese imagined heaven as round and earth as square, and their linkage has played a prominent role in three thousand years of political and historical writings. To this day, the mountains remain important as cultural sites and pilgrimage centers. LaFleur's research has combined fieldwork on and around all five mountains with study of each mountain's textual tradition—the most prominent fragments of which are carved (by travelers and poets over the millennia) into the mountainsides themselves. Several photographs of the mountains can be seen on LaFleur's homepage (see link, below).
Robert André LaFleur is a historian and anthropologist who focuses on the intersection of text and culture in Chinese life. His work has included studies of the Chinese almanac and its role in popular religion, the "exilic imagination" in Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) China, and the role of literary borrowing in Chinese historiography. He is the author of China: Global Studies (ABC-Clio, 2003), and a substantially revised second edition due out in late-2009. LaFleur received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought. He is professor of history and anthropology at Beloit College, where he chairs the Asian Studies program and teaches a wide variety of courses on East Asian history and culture. His research project is supported by a Millicent C. McIntosh Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
The aim of this book is to locate modernity at the intersection of colonial politics and orientalist epistemology, and to follow its trajectory as it traverses through non-European artistic and intellectual production. This book traces modernity as a narrative of mutual, if not necessarily coeval, exchange between Europe and non-Europe. As objects of its investigation, the book focuses on German writings on India from the early 19th to the 20th centuries; Hindi films made by German directors in Bombay in the early-to-mid 20th century, and Indian textual/critical engagements with Germany - especially in Hindi and Urdu writings in the 20th century. Instead of providing a survey, this study spotlights texts and historical moments key to understanding modernity. The first half of the book discusses German engagements with India in philological and philosophical writings. The second half juxtaposes disciplinary knowledge with artistic expressions in literature and cinema. The book is divided into 4 chapters, each one of them starts with a discussion of a "German" text and ends with a discussion of an "Indian" text. Through this multilayered analysis—spanning two centuries, several disciplines and multiple genres and media—the current study seeks to intervene in contemporary scholarship on modernity in the Humanities to bridge the gap between discussions of modernity and scholarship on colonialism and imperialism within German Studies.
B. Venkat Mani is Associate Professor, Department of German and faculty affiliate of the Center for German and European Studies, the Center for European Studies, Global Studies, Women's Studies Research Center, and Program in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at UW-Madison. Mani's teaching and research interests include 19th and 20th century German and European literatures and philosophy. His work considers theories of multiculturalism, postcolonialism, migration, globalization, and cosmopolitanism. His publications include Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007). At the IRH he is working on his second book manuscript, Transposed Signs of Modernity, a study of German engagements with India.
Marshall's project takes a new angle Rossetti's art by working from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on art history, the history of science, and literary studies, particularly the recent work on book history. These fields are especially useful for her consideration of Rossetti's oeuvre in light of distinctively Victorian anxieties about the body and materiality. Investigating scholarship regarding the ways Victorians sought to tie down concepts and words into physical forms offers novel perspectives for interpreting painting, that much more troublingly physical medium. Uniting the findings of book historians, who consider the ways in which the physical attributes of text as published object create meaning, with those of art historians, who consider the materiality of pictures, this project hopes to illuminate Victorian middle-class definitions of matter and spirit.
Nancy Rose Marshall is an Associate Professor of Nineteenth-Century European Visual Culture in the Art History Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on Victorian Studies. Marshall, who earned her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University in 1998, wrote a dissertation entitled, "'Transcripts of Modern Life?' The London Pictures of James Tissot 1871-1882," part of which subsequently became a catalogue for a traveling exhibition originating at the Yale Center for British Art: James Tissot: Victorian Life / Modern Love. The Tissot project began an interest in realist representational modes and their intersection with modernity and the urban environment, resulting in City of Gold and Mud: Representing Victorian London (forthcoming from Yale University Press, 2010).
Martin's IRH project draws on her interests in late Renaissance religion and culture across the continent of Europe. By focusing on its international "republic of letters," the project explains why the staunchly Protestant Milton made and kept so many close friends in Italy and how that experience left an indelible mark on his life and work. The project also touches on her related interests in the international origins and development of early modern politics (especially republicanism), science (with particular emphasis on Galileo and Bacon), and science fiction.
Catherine G. Martin was a Dunavant Professor (a term named professorship) at the University of Memphis during 2005-8. Martin has written extensively on the development of the late allegorical epic, the subject of her first book, The Ruins of Allegory: "Paradise Lost" and the Metamorphosis of Epic Convention. This book was the 1999 recipient of the Milton Society's James Holly Hanford Award; her IRH project extends its scope by thoroughly documenting Milton's "epic" debts to Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso, and their lesser known compatriots. Her most recently completed monograph, Milton among the Puritans, is more political in focus, reexamining the poet's contribution to what was once called the "Puritan Revolution" from a revisionist perspective. It is currently under review at Oxford University Press. In the interim she has produced two edited collections, Milton and Gender (Cambridge, 2004), and Francis Bacon and the Reconfiguring of Early Modern Thought (Ashgate, 2005). Martin received her Ph.D from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and in addition to the honors and awards listed above, she was the recipient of a dissertation fellowship there. More recently she received the John Donne Society's 2006 award for the most distinguished essay of that year, and in 2009 delivered the plenary address at the Donne Society's annual conference. Future publications continue in all the areas outlined above, including Donne, another long-term interest, with the addition of further explorations of both Baconian and Spenserian allegory.
Niles's IRH project, Anglo-Saxon Mentalities, concerns how the people of Anglo-Saxon England conceived of the basic elements and categories of their world, and hence how they navigated that world according to deep-set (though evolving) ideas regarding the self, society, and nature. It explores how those people used vernacular literature for communal ends, harnessing its affective power so as to express, often in symbolic form, the values that were felt to be the basis for collective action. Central to this project is a "keywords" approach whereby problems in mentality are opened up through study of core elements in the early English lexicon. Relating to Niles's IRH project is the Burdick-Vary Symposium "Other People's Thinking: Language and Mentality in England before the Conquest" scheduled for April 17-18, 2009.
John D. Niles has devoted much of his scholarly career to study of the language, literature, and culture of England during its earliest recorded period (ca. ad 450-1200), with a specialty in Beowulf. He has strong interests in the theory of oral narrative, and he has undertaken extensive fieldwork relating to storytelling and singing traditions in Scotland. Niles joined the Department of English at UW-Madison in 2001 after having previously taught at Brandeis University and, for 25 years, at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained the PhD in Comparative Literature at Berkeley in 1972. His teaching specialties include Old English language and literature, Chaucer, Middle English popular literature, the folklore and mythology of the British Isles, the ballad, and the history of the English language. He is the incoming president (2010-2011) of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. Among his publications are Beowulf: The Poem and Its Tradition (1983), Homo Narrans: The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Literature (1999), Old English Enigmatic Poems and the Play of the Texts (2006), Old English Heroic Poems and the Social Life of Texts (2007), and Beowulf and Lejre (2007). He is the co-editor of A Beowulf Handbook (1997) and Klaeber's Beowulf, 4th edition (2008) and has edited Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition (2007), among other books, and his articles have appeared in many specialized journals and scholarly collections.
At the Institute Scheil is working on a book on the understanding of Babylon in the Western imagination from the classical period to the present. This wide-ranging project in intellectual history and literary criticism explores the seminal early medieval understandings of Babylon and tracks the later reception of this complex body of allusive lore. Although Babylon has enjoyed an unbroken record of allusion and adaptation in the West, used extensively by writers in every century, this project will be the first synthetic view of this rich history, detailing a wide variety of literary, rhetorical and ideological appropriations of the great city of eastern antiquity.
Andrew Scheil is an Associate Professor of English and a McKnight Presidential Fellow (2007-2010) at the University of Minnesota. His fields of research include Anglo-Saxon literature and culture; late antique, medieval, and early modern literature; poetry, historiography, and exegesis. His first book, The Footsteps of Israel: Understanding Jews in Anglo-Saxon England (Michigan 2004) won the 2005 Best First Book Prize of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists and the 2008 John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America. He has published articles on Anglo-Saxon topics in journals such as Anglo-Saxon England, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Exemplaria, Literary Imagination, and Neophilologus. His current project was funded in 2007-2008 by a NEH Fellowship for University Teachers. Scheil was educated at Rutgers University (BA) and the University of Toronto (MA and PhD).
Shafer-Landau's IRH project intends to explore the philosophical issues surrounding the good life and the meaning of life. The central questions he will pursue are these: what makes for a good human life? What role does happiness and desire-satisfaction play in human welfare? How should we understand what people are asking about when they inquire about life's meaning? What are the essential elements in a meaningful life? What are the links between living a good life and a meaningful one?
Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses primarily on the foundations of ethical theory. His publications include Moral Realism: A Defense (Oxford University Press 2003); Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? (Oxford University Press 2004); and The Fundamentals of Ethics (Oxford University Press 2009). He is the editor of the series Oxford Studies in Metaethics, and the editor of The Ethical Life (Oxford University Press 2009), Metaethics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Routledge 2008) and Ethical Theory (Blackwell 2007). Shafer-Landau received his B.A. at Brown University, his M.A. at Oxford University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona.
During her tenure at the Institute she is working on catechisms, which were second only to Bibles in numbers of editions in the sixteenth century, and the construction of religion in the Reformation. Her work explores what the fragmentation of European Christendom meant epistemologically and culturally. Catechisms made Christianity portable: as they claimed, they contained between their two covers all that a person needed to know, in order to be a "Christian."
Lee Palmer Wandel is Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She is the author of Always Among Us: Images of the Poor in Zwingli's Zurich (Cambridge University Press, 1990); Voracious Idols and Violent Hands: Iconoclasm in Reformation Zurich, Strasbourg, and Basel (Cambridge University Press, 1995); and The Eucharist in the Reformation: Incarnation and Liturgy (Cambridge University Press, 2006). She is the co-editor of Facing Death (Yale University Press, 1996), which won the Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communication; and the volume from the Burdick-Vary conference at the Institute, Early Modern Eyes, which is forthcoming. Wandel received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Her work has been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, Yale University, and, at the University of Wisconsin, fellowships at the IRH, a Vilas Associate Fellowship and the Kellett Mid-Career Award.
Williams' IRH project traces the origins of the political lie from Plato up through Hannah Arendt in the twentieth century. He is particularly interested in the foundational issues and theories of philosophical truth that tend either to facilitate these lies or condemn them, and additionally, the relationship of truth to the functioning of democratic institutions. Sections of the book will be dedicated to Plato, Cicero, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Kant, Schmitt, and Arendt. He has also organized a symposium on the General Will held on the UW-Madison campus in October 2008.
David Lay Williams is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and in 2008-09 Honorary Fellow at the Institute for Research in Humanities. He is the author of Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007), which argues for re-reading Rousseau in light of his evident enthusiasm for Plato. He has published numerous essays on political theory and the history of political thought in journals such as The Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Political Thought, Polity, Telos, and Critical Review on Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Habermas, deliberative democracy, and terrorism.Williams received his PhD in Government from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 and has earned a grant from UW-Madison's Center for European Studies and a previous System Fellowship from the Institute for Research in the Humanities in 2003-04. In addition to his work on deception, he is co-editing a volume on the General Will with James Farr at Northwestern and writing a commentary on Rousseau's Social Contract.