Lilly Graduate Fellows - Second Cohort


Jonathan Buttaci received his BA in Philosophy and Classics at the University of Notre Dame in 2009. He is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, now in his fifth year. His interests include ancient philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy and literature. He has also earned a secondary MA in Ancient Greek. Jon is particularly interested in drawing philosophical insights from the ancient and medieval philosophers, namely Aristotle and Aquinas, and bringing their work to bear on contemporary philosophical problems. His dissertation is on Aristotle’s account of intellect and the principles of knowledge.

Devin Byker received a BA in English, French, and Music from Calvin College in 2009. He is currently a PhD candidate in English at Boston University, where he is studying late medieval and early modern drama. His dissertation examines the possibilities, limitations, and failures of last dying words in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Devin’s research and teaching interests include late medieval and early modern literature and drama, trans-Reformation religious culture, ordinary language philosophy, phenomenology, and the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Hannah Arendt.

Paul Camacho received his BA and MA in Philosophy from Boston College. He is currently pursuing a joint PhD in Philosophy at Villanova University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. His research focuses on the interplay between metaphysics and ethics in the history of philosophy, with a special emphasis upon the transmission of Platonism in Late Antiquity. His dissertation examines the relationship between love and freedom in the thought of Augustine, and explores the implications of Augustine's thought for the modern notion of autonomy.

Joel Scott Davis received his Bachelor’s degree from Samford University in Music Theory and Composition before earning Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Composition from Claremont Graduate University. He is an Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Theory-Composition Studies at Samford University and has held previous faculty appointments at The Master’s College, Claremont Graduate University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His compositions and original film scores have been performed at Carnegie Hall and featured in international film festivals and PBS broadcasts, respectively. His scholarly interests are reflected in his DMA paper The Populist Variations: The Role of Hymnody in the Music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and John Adams.

Amanda Dykema received her BA from Indiana Wesleyan University, her MA from UNC Charlotte, and her PhD in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Her current project analyzes the role of propriety and the place of racialized subjects in an ostensibly post-racial U.S., identifying inappropriateness as an aesthetic and political category by which cultural productions rearticulate racial and other forms of difference. Her research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first century U.S. literature and literary criticism, ethnic literature and minority discourse, critical theory, and cultural studies.

Kristen Gaylord received her Bachelor's degree in English literature and art history from Westmont College and completed her Master’s degree in art history and archaeology at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts (IFA). She is pursuing a PhD at the IFA, focusing on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on postwar America, and is also interested in the history of photography, Egyptology, and Latin American modernism. Kristen’s dissertation treats artist/activist/teacher/nun Sister Mary Corita Kent and the Immaculate Heart College, investigating the vibrant 1960s arts culture of the school in the overlapping contexts of Pop art, Catholic activism, protest movements, collective labor, and ethical theology.

Brian Hamilton is a PhD candidate in Christian ethics at the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation explores the political significance of voluntary poverty as practiced by the medieval followers of Francis of Assisi. He works more generally in Christian social ethics and political theology, with a particular focus on economic justice and questions of violence. Brian received his BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Messiah College, and his Master of Theological Studies in the history of Christianity from the University of Notre Dame.

Heidi Hausse received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in European history. She is pursuing a PhD in early modern European history at Princeton University, where she earned an MA in 2011. Her dissertation focuses on the intersections of medicine, technology and culture in early modern Germany (c. 1500-1700) in the changing ideas and practices of surgically dismembering and reassembling the living body.  Her broad research interests include cultural history as well as the history of science in late medieval and early modern Europe. She has an article forthcoming from the Journal of Early Modern History in Spring 2014 entitled “European Theories and Local Therapies: Mordexi and Galenism in the East Indies, 1500-1700.”

Nicholas Jacobson received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2007 from Seattle Pacific University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is interested in astronomy and geography within the Arabic and Latin language traditions, and would like to identify the ways in which scientific texts intersected with religious, legal, and political concerns during the high medieval period. His MA thesis focused on Franciscan and Dominican travel writings from the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.

Emily Neumeier received her BA in 2008 from Boston College, with a major in Art History and a minor in Islamic Civilizations. After graduation, she moved to Istanbul on a Fulbright grant in order to conduct research on Islamic calligraphy. Emily then earned an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on modernist Turkish painting. She continued at Penn to pursue her PhD, and is now writing a dissertation on the architecture of wealthy provincial families living in the 18th-19th-century Ottoman Empire. Emily has served as a curator for exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as the Pera Museum in Istanbul. She currently resides in Istanbul as a fellow of the American Research Institute in Turkey.

Stephen Ogden earned his BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies at Rhodes College in 2005. After teaching English in Egypt and completing a fellowship with the Trinity Forum Academy in Maryland, he finished his MAR in Philosophy of Religion at Yale Divinity School in 2009.  He has continued his studies at Yale University, pursuing a joint doctorate in Philosophy and Religious Studies. His major research interests are in ancient and medieval philosophy, particularly the appropriation of Aristotle by later Latin and Arabic thinkers.  He is writing a dissertation entitled “Receiving and Making Aristotle’s Intellect:  A New Assessment of Ibn Rushd and Aquinas on Aristotelian Cognitive Psychology and Metaphysics.”

Mike Popejoy graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and studied at the Freie Universität Berlin through the support of a Fulbright Research Grant from 2008-2009.  Popejoy is in his fifth year of the PhD program in philosophy at Purdue University, and is currently spending the year at Harvard University as a Fellow in Philosophy.  Although his interests are generally very broad, he is especially interested in metaphysics and philosophy of religion, both in a contemporary context as well as in classical German philosophy.  He is currently writing a dissertation on pantheism in Spinoza, Hegel, and contemporary philosophy of religion.

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins primarily focuses on post-World War II transatlantic intellectual and political history. His dissertation is tentatively entitled, “The Other Intellectuals: Raymond Aron and the United States: 1947-1983.” This project seeks to reorient the thought of Raymond Aron – the French sociologist and Cold War champion of liberalism – away from his decades-long critique of the French Marxists intellectual scene. Instead it portrays Aron as an early and perceptive critic of American international relations theory, neo-liberalism and debates over liberalism and the end of history. It also explores Aron’s role in the reception of American intellectual thought into France. Daniel is currently a consulting editor and regular contributor for The Immanent Frame. His work has also appeared in Book Forum and Prospect Magazine. He currently teaches in the politics department at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and will be a visiting researcher for the 2014-2015 academic year at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. He has subsidiary interests in debates concerning theology, secularism and the philosophy of history.

Kelly Weirich received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 from Whitworth University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her dissertation is on indicative conditionals. Besides philosophy of language, Kelly’s primary philosophical interests are in metaphysics and philosophy of religion.

Rachel Schneider received her BA in Global Studies and English Literature from Seattle Pacific University in 2006. After three years of working in student affairs, she began a Ph.D. program in Religious Studies at Rice University.  Her dissertation will focus on race, religion, and social transformation in contemporary South Africa.  Her broader research interests include anthropology of religion and ethics;  theory and method in the study of religion; Christianity in Africa and global Christianity.

Paul Zajac received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 from Loyola University Maryland with a double major in English and Drama. He is currently at The Pennsylvania State University pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature, which he plans to complete in spring 2015. Paul’s dissertation examines early modern concepts of contentment as a psychological, political, and religious principle, especially as represented in pastoral literary works. Relevant authors include Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, and Milton. He recently published “Reading Through the Fog: Perception, the Passions, and Poetry in Spenser’s Bower of Bliss,” ELR 43.2 (Spring 2013): 211-38, and he has an essay forthcoming atSEL on Sir John Suckling and the construction of cavalier authorship during the English Revolution.

Mentors, Second Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Susan Felch received her undergraduate education at Wheaton College and her Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C.  She has taught in the English Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1992 and is also currently the Director of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship. Her research interests are in sixteenth-century British literature and contemporary literary theory, and she teaches first-year rhetoric, introductions to world and British literature, Shakespeare and other sixteenth-century authors, literary theory, and senior seminar. Recent publications include two volumes of The Emmaus Readers: Listening for God in Contemporary Fiction (Paraclete 2008, 2009), coedited with Gary Schmidt, with whom she also edited the four volume Spiritual Biographies of the Seasons, and Elizabeth I and Her Age (W. W. Norton, 2009), coedited with Donald V. Stump, which received the 2010 Teaching Edition prize from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. In 2009, she won the Josephine A. Roberts Scholarly Edition Award for her book Elizabeth Tyrwhit's Morning and Evening Prayers (Ashgate, 2008), and in 2000, she received an honorable mention for her first book, The Collected Works of Anne Vaughan Lock (RETS, 1999). Her work on Queen Elizabeth, Lock, and Tyrwhit have been recognized as “significant and authoritative contributions to the field of early modern scholarship.” Professor Felch is co-director of the Kuiper Seminar, a course for new faculty at Calvin. She enjoyed growing up as a TCK (third-culture kid) in Papua New Guinea and still enjoys traveling.

William Portier serves as the Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton. He came to the University of Dayton in 2003 after teaching for twenty-four years at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., where he served as Chair of the Theology Department (1989-98), Henry J. Knott Professor of Theology (1997-2003). He is the author of Isaac Hecker and the First Vatican Council(1985) and Tradition and Incarnation (1994), a widely-used undergraduate text in theology. He is also the editor or co-editor of three other books on U.S. Catholicism and has contributed nearly one hundred articles and reviews in the areas of theology, U.S. Catholic history, and Catholic higher education. His graduate courses in the areas of historical and systematic theology generally support the MA and PhD programs at Dayton.  His Divided Friends, Portraits of the Roman Catholic Modernist Crisis in the United States is due in Fall 2013 from The Catholic University of America Press.

Noteworthy News

LFP Office Closed for Holiday Break

The LFP office will be closed December 20, 2021-January 4, 2022. We wish you a joyous Christmas celebration!

November LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for November 2021 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship

The 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and the Arts will be taking applications through January 19, 2022. To learn more about this two-year, residential postdoctoral fellowship at Valparaiso University, click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2021 LFP Book Award

We are pleased to announce that On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom by David I. Smith has won the 2021 LFP Book Award. For more information and to see the five finalists, click here.

Grove City College Hosts Regional Conference

Grove City College invites participants and presenters for a regional conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads" April 7-9, 2022. For more information, click here.

Hope College Big Read

Hope College is hosting a Network Exchange March 6-8, 2022 to showcase their annual month-long community-wide reading program. Click here for more information.

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.

Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference at Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is hosting a conference on April 8, 2022 entitled Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference: Problems and Possibilities. For more information, click here.

Vatican II and Higher Education: Leading Forward

Sacred Heart University will host a regional conference on October 13-15, 2022 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Vatican II and the University's founding. For more information including a call for papers, click here.