2014 Student Research Fellows Announced

SC Humanities is pleased to announce that two Student Research Fellows have been selected for 2014: Brenna Byler of Converse College and Judith Carlisle of Furman University. Student Research Fellowships are awarded annually on a competitive basis to undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior years attending an accredited university or college in South Carolina to explore research and scholarship in the humanities. The 2014 fellows will conduct humanities research and present their findings in a public program at a South Carolina venue.

Brenna Byler will write a research paper on “The Effects of Essentialist Labels on Beliefs About Moral Conversion” which will be submitted to the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Research Symposium, the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, the South Carolina Society of Philosophy undergraduate sessions, and to undergraduate academic journals. She will investigate the Aristotelian idea of “essence” (unchangeable natures that people possess) and how it affects beliefs about the possibility of future growth, change, and moral conversion.

Judith Carlisle’s project on “The Devil Went Down to South Carolina: A Philosophical Reflection on Evangelical Christian Views on God and Politics” will be a philosophical consideration of the way in which one’s theological and philosophical beliefs are reflected in one’s political conceptions. She will travel to churches in different regions of South Carolina, including Rock Hill and Greenville, to study whether unity of Evangelical political beliefs is supported by a similarly unified philosophical theology.

Brenna Byler and Judith Carlisle are the first Student Research Fellows of SC Humanities since the 1990s. SC Humanities Board of Directors made the decision to begin offering  Student Research Fellowships again after receiving feedback from deans and professors who attended the Humanities in Higher Education Summits in 2009 and 2011. These academic humanists indicated that there were not many research opportunities available for students majoring in humanities disciplines and that such an opportunity would be encouraging in departments that are often losing funding and majors.

Brenna Byler     Judith Carlisle

(L to R: Brenna Byler of Converse College and Judith Carlisle of Furman University)

Executive Director Randy Akers said: “I believe it is important to support the work of future scholars and professionals in the humanities and to further stress the viability of the humanities in an increasingly technological age.”

SC Humanities looks forward to supporting Brenna and Judith in their excellent research plans. For more information about the Student Research Fellowships, including guidelines and application, please visit the website: http://schumanities.org/grants/studentfellowships  or contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or tjwallace@schumanities.org.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.