Current LFP Update

LFP Update 14.2

May 2019

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the activities of 1) Lilly Network institutions, 2)  present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:


The 2019 LFP National Conference: The Character of the University

The 29th National ConferenceThe Character of the University, will take place on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 18-20, 2019. 

From their inception in the high Middle Ages, universities saw their essential mission as the formation of their students’ character, involving the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtue animated by eternal truth. In contemporary times, many prominent critics of higher education lament that the modern academy has all but forgotten—even rejected—character formation.   

But there are signs that character education is alive and well. Due in part to the contemporary revival of virtue ethics in philosophy and theology, a broad range of academic disciplines and research programs are now focusing on the nature of the virtues and how character might be shaped in the context of families, schools, and faith communities.

The Character of the University will explore the challenges and opportunities for character formation in the context of 21st-century higher education. How might educators better understand and practice their shared aims to help students grow in virtue as they prepare to pursue lives of meaning and purpose? How might this task require colleges and universities to re-examine their own intellectual, moral, and even spiritual commitments?

Download a Conference Flyer here

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, Click Here.  The registration Deadline is September 4, 2019.



The 2019 Workshop for Senior Administrators: Our Students: Their Spiritual and Religious Lives

Immediately preceding the National Conference will be the Twentieth Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Our Students: Their Spiritual and Religious Lives. The Workshop will be held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 17-18, 2019, and aims to help senior administrators help senior administrators from church-related institutions understand their students’ religious and spiritual lives and consider broad missional responses to this information in terms of faculty development, teaching, spiritual/pastoral care, and student services. Dr. John Schmalzbauer, Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, will present contemporary data on the religious lives of college students. The presentation will explore the religious and spiritual lives of students at church-related colleges and universities, drawing on UCLA’s American Freshman study and recent surveys from Catholic, evangelical, and mainline Protestant institutions. It will focus on the rise of the “nones,” the impact of cultural and religious diversity, and the relevance of student spirituality for academics and student affairs. This presentation will be followed by workshop conversation convened by Denise Doyle, Provost Emerita of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas; Brian Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana; and Kathleen M. Light, Provost of the University of the Incarnate Word. The workshop will not offer a declension narrative; rather, we hope to understand contemporary shifts in our students’ lives so that we can best align our institutional practices with these shifts. In short, we want to engage the students we have, not the ones we think we have.

The Workshop is offered at no cost to senior administrators at Lilly Network member institutions. Each Institution is eligible to register one senior administrator (president, vice president, academic dean, provost, or equivalent). One participant from each school will be reimbursed for travel costs up to $600. Meals and hotel accommodations will also be paid for by the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. Additional participants from member schools will be on a waiting list until September 4, 2019, and will be enrolled as slots become available.

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, click here 



New Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows Selected 

This year, the Program received 94 completed applications from prospective candidates in humanities and arts disciplines vying a  Postdoctoral Fellowship. A selection committee of  Valparaiso University faculty winnowed the number of candidates to four finalists who visited the Valparaiso University campus. We are extremely pleased to announce that Jillian Snyder has accepted the offer of the Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship.  Jillian Snyder is a literary scholar whose work focuses on spiritual and somatic experience in early modern England. Her project, Sincere Performances: The Affective Scripts of the Pulpit and Stage in Post-Reformation England, examines how preachers and players grappled with the lived bodily experience of Protestant reform. The project explores the homiletic and theatrical performance of five bodily reactions—weeping, blushing, sighing, trembling, and laughing. Jillian’s other research interests include Shakespearean adaptation and reception, particularly in twenty and twenty-first century American religious culture. She received her PhD (2019) from the University of Notre Dame. Her research has been funded by Notre Dame’s Presidential Fellowship, the Mellon Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Jillian joins current fellows Jason Gehrke in religious studies, Christine Hedlin in English, and Cassandra Painter in history. From this year forward, there will now be four Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows at Valparaiso University. 



Call to Apply for Lilly Network Grants

We are very happy to announce that the Lilly Network received a five-year grant of $2.5 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2018 to support activities on Network campuses that connect Christianity and church-related mission to the academic vocation. We invite Lilly Network member schools to submit grant proposals in order to take advantage of these newly available funds by September 15, 2019. Proposals can be submitted for the following:



Save the Date and Call for Papers: Regional Conference at Sacred Heart University: “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century”

On April 16-18, 2020, Sacred Heart University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a conference titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century. Confirmed speakers include Gregory Kalscheur, Boston College, Carolyn Woo, Purdue University, Michael Higgins, Sacred Heart University, and Gerald. J. Beyer, Villanova University.

The Core of a Catholic University is its intellectual and faith life. However, Catholic colleges and universities, today, face vexing challenges: a growing secularism and careerism among students, an increasing number of students who identify as “nones,” a “hyper-specialization” among faculty and an epistemology of relativism within disciplinary thought, and a diminishing focus on Mission and Catholic Identity. Faced with these challenges, Catholic colleges and universities wrestle with the question of how to maintain a robust and distinct Catholic identity that will prevail across the institution. This Conference affirms that the compass that can serve as a creative guide for transforming Catholic higher education is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition which, characterized by rigorous intellectual inquiry and with rich roots in the past, animates an ongoing conversation in the present that looks to the future.

We invite conference paper proposals or roundtable discussion topics that engage the Conference themes.

For More Information and the Call for Papers, Click Here.  Proposals are due November 1, 2019.



Save the Date: Regional Conference at Valparaiso University: "Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities"

On April 24, 2020, Valparaiso University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, invites you to a special symposium, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities,” on April 24, 2020. The symposium will take place in three sessions, with the first focusing on problems, the second on possibilities, and the third on integrating issues of faith, nationalism, and the problems of historical memory into undergraduate curricula.

Description: Today’s world is witnessing to new configurations of alliances and conflicts between religious institutions and the state. Religion is a key player in rewriting nationalist narratives that underpin state policies. In the United States, evangelical Christians influence state policies and contribute to nationalist agendas. The Orthodox Church is a leader in the resurgence of nationalism in post-Soviet Russia and the rehabilitation of the mythological past of “Holy Russia” that contributes to the state’s ideological agenda. Analysts express concern that religion will fuel the flames of nationalist isolationism and increase the possibilities for international incidents of polarization, violence, and war. Critics call for the complete separation of religious organizations from the state. In some places of the world, cooperation between religious institutions and the state can become a positive force at the local and international levels. Religious leaders can consult the state and contribute to the formation of national identity that is inclusive and does not pose a threat to international peace.

Confirmed panelists:

Antoine Arjakovsky, Collège de Bernardins, Paris

Scott Hibbard, DePaul University, Chicago

Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend

Robert Saler, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis

Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., Santa Clara University

Slavica Jakelic, Valparaiso University

Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College

Philipp Gollner, Goshen College

Samuel Graber, Valparaiso University



News from Current and Former Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows

Here are some of the recent accomplishments and new positions of our current  and former Postdoctoral Fellows:

Jason Crawford (2009-2011) was named Faculty of the Year at Union University in May 2019.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings (1999-2001) recently published a new book: A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, with University of North Carolina Press. Also, in May 2018, she published the edited volume Roman Sources for the Study of American Catholicism, with University of Notre Dame Press.

Darren Dochuk (2004-2005) has a new book that will be published by Basic Books on June 4, 2019: Anointed With Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America.

Ashleigh Elser (2017-2019), current fellow, will begin as Assistant Professor of Religion (Biblical Studies) at Hampden-Sydney College in fall 2019. 

Sam Graber (2008-2010) published his book Twice-Divided Nation: National Memory, Transatlantic News, and American Literature in the Civil War Era in spring 2019, with University of Virginia Press. Sam also was promoted at Valparaiso University to Associate Professor of Humanities and Literature. In June, he will participate in a faculty seminar on Civil War memory led by David Blight at Yale University.

Matt Hedstrom (2005-2007), has been awarded an ACLS Fellowship for 2019-2020. Information on his project can be found here.

Mary Henold (2003-2005) was awarded a Fulbright to teach American history at Pázmány Péter Catholic University’s Institute of English and American Studies in Hungary. She will spend Spring 2020 in Budapest with her family.

Anthony Minnema (2015-2016), Assistant Professor of History at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, published “A Taifa in Exile: Sayf al-Dawla and the Survival of the Banu Hud” in Al-Masāq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 31.1 (2019).

Kenneth Pearce (2014-2016) at Trinity College Dublin has authored the following recent and forthcoming journal articles: “Locke, Arnauld, and Abstract Ideas” (British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 2019); “What Descartes Doubted, Berkeley Denied, and Kant Endorsed” (Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 2019); “William King on Free Will” (Philosophers’ Imprint, forthcoming); “Intentionality, Belief, and the Logical Problem of Evil” (Religious Studies, forthcoming); and “Ideas and Explanation in Early Modern Philosophy” (Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, forthcoming). During the spring of 2020, he will be on sabbatical from TCD as a visiting scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. Sabbatical projects include a monograph on the religious context of the philosophy of George Berkeley and a collaboration with Graham Oppy (Monash University, Australia) on an introductory philosophy text, Is There a God? A Debate, for the new Routledge series, Little Debates on Big Questions.

Anna Stewart (2012-2014) was appointed in 2018 as Assistant Dean of Christ College, Valparaiso University.

Chelsea Wagenaar (2016-2018)’s second collection of poems, The Spinning Place, won the 2018 Michael Waters Prize and is forthcoming in fall 2019 from Southern Indiana Review Press. Her individual poems appear recently or are forthcoming in Birmingham Poetry Review, Cave Wall, The Southern Review, and Meridian. In summer 2019, Chelsea will begin the position of Director of the University Writing Center at Valparaiso University.

Jeff Zalar (2002-2004) recently published his book Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914, with Cambridge University Press (January 2019). Jeff is Associate Professor of History and the inaugural holder of the Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati.



News from Current and Former Lilly Graduate Fellows

Here are some of the recent accomplishments and new positions of our current and former Lilly Graduate Fellows

Karl Aho (Cohort 3) serves as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tarleton State University, a proud member of the Texas A&M University system in the greater Fort Worth area. He recently received a grant to develop an Open Educational Resource textbook organized around primary texts in the history of philosophy.  Along with Lilly luminaries like Mark Schwehn and Jane Kelley Rodeheffer, he has a chapter in Christian Faith and University Life: Stewards of the Academy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He also continues to publish on all things Kierkegaard. He is perhaps most proud of a recent short article "Kierkegaard on Escaping the Cult of Busyness," which is freely available on The Institute of Art and Ideas's website.

Kristin George Bagdanov (Cohort 5) has published (March 2019) Fossils in the Making, a collection of her poetry.

Sarah Berry (Cohort 5) has recently accepted the position of Assistant Professor of English Literature at Grove City College.

Josh Cohen (Cohort 6) currently is a Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellow at Morehouse College and has an article forthcoming in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, entitled “Exodus and Typological Plasticity in Delany, Melville, and Stowe.”

Susan Bilynskyj Dunning (Cohort 1) currently is Sessional Lecturer in Classics and Historical Studies at University of Toronto. Her article “The Republican Ludi Saeculares as a Cult of the Valerian Clan” is forthcoming in Historia. Her monograph The Ludi Saeculares and the Saeculum: Time, Festival, and Authority in the Roman World is under review with Oxford University Press. She is working on the project “Humans as Gods in the Roman World,” a study of human associations with divinity among non-elites in Roman society. This project is being funded by a two-year fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

Philip Michael Forness (Cohort 4) has published his first book: Preaching Christology in the Roman Near East: A Study of Jacob of Serugh (Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Kristen Gaylord (Cohort 2), after three years working at MoMA, became the Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth. Her position there began in August 2018.

Daniel Gee (Cohort 10) was recently appointed as Assistant Conductor of the Long Beach Symphony, serving under Music Director Eckart Preu. In July 2018, his work as a church musician took him down to Brazil where he was invited to give masterclasses in choral conducting and vocal technique at a church music symposium sponsored by the Assemblies of God denomination in São Paulo and Jundiaí. As a composer, Daniel’s commissioned work Jubilee! was premiered in July 2018 by pianist Neil Di Maggio and Vioinist Han Soo Kim, both faculty members at Westmont College, at a private house concert. Currently directing the USC Apollo Men's Chorus, Daniel finished his yearlong post as associate conductor for the Oriana Women's Choir, during which he commissioned and premiered a new work for treble voices, When You Wake, by composer Emma Lou Diemer. The work is set to be published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing.

Rachel B. Griffis (Cohort 4) is in her third year as Assistant Professor of Language and Literature at Sterling College. She also serves as Director for the Integration of Faith and Learning. This fall, she received a Humanities Kansas grant to host a symposium titled “Virtues of Place: Wendell Berry and Rural Kansas” at Sterling College. She has forthcoming articles in Christianity & Literature and Christian Scholar’s Review.

Brian Hamm (Cohort 3) currently is a Frankel Postdoctoral Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. His article “Constructing and Contesting Portuguese Difference in Colonial Spanish America, 1500- 1650,” was published this year in the Portuguese journal, Anais de História de Além-Mar. He has a chapter forthcoming in an edited volume, The Spanish Caribbean and the Atlantic World in the Long Sixteenth Century, which will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in June 2019.

Sarah Horton (Cohort 8) has co-edited (with Richard Kearney, Stephen Mendelsohn, and Christine Rojcewicz) the forthcoming book Somatic Desire: Recovering Corporeality in Contemporary Thought (Lexington Books, 2019). She also has recently published “Illegible Salvation: The Authority of Language in The Concept of Anxiety,” in Authorship and Authority in Kierkegaard’s Writings, ed. Joseph Westfall (London: Bloomsbury, 2018); and “The Joy of Desire: Understanding Levinas’s Desire of the Other as Gift,” in Continental Philosophy Review 51, no. 2 (2018): 193-210. Sarah also presented a paper at the 24th Annual Meeting of the North American Sartre Society, October 26-28, 2018: “The Look as a Call to Embodied Authenticity: Sartre and Beauvoir on the Other.”

Nick Jacobson (Cohort 2) defended his PhD thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in history of science and history, and in spring 2019 he will be in France at the l'Observatoire de Paris to begin a two-year post-doc. There, he will work with a team of researchers who are editing a collection of manuscripts that contain astronomical canons known as the Alfonsine Tables.

Emily Neumeier (Cohort 2) began in 2018 as Assistant Professor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

Stephen Ogden (Cohort 2) had a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Philosophy (2015-2017). In 2017, he was hired as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. During the 2018-2019 academic year, he holds a Mellon Junior Faculty Fellowship at the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, where he is completing work on a book manuscript, “Receiving and Making Aristotle's Intellect: A Study on Ibn Rushd and Aquinas.” He has published: “Problems in al-Ghazali's Perfect World: Objections and Counter-Objections to His Best Possible World Thesis,” in Islam and Rationality: The Impact of al-Ghazali. Papers Collected on His 900th Anniversary, Vol. 2, ed. by Frank Griffel (Brill, 2016); and “On a Possible Argument for Averroes’s Single Separate Intellect,” Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 4 (2017).

Jonathan Riddle (Cohort 6) started, in fall 2018, a tenure-track position in history at Wheaton College, with his wife, Karie Cross Riddle, beginning a tenure-track job in political science at Calvin College.

Benjamin Safranski (Cohort 1) teaches theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and also teaches humanities at a classical model middle school. He has a book forthcoming with Lexington Press called St. Cyprian of Carthage and the College of Bishops as well as the forthcoming book chapter “After the Fashion of God: Deification in Cyprian,” in Deification in the Latin Patristic Tradition, ed. Jared Ortiz (Catholic University of America Press).

Sam Stoner (Cohort 1) currently is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Assumption College. In addition to teaching in Assumption’s core curriculum, philosophy major, and Core Texts and Enduring Questions program, he has continued to develop his research on the history of Western philosophy, with a special focus on Kant and German Idealism. His published articles include: “On the Primacy of the Spectator in Kant’s Account of Genius” in the Review of Metaphysics; “Kant on the Power and Limits of Pathos: Toward a ‘Critique of Poetic Rhetoric’” in Philosophy and Rhetoric; and “A Note on Virgil’s Account of Hell in Dante’s Inferno” in the St. John’s Review. His forthcoming articles include: “Kant on the Philosopher’s Proper Activity: From Legislation to Admiration” in Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy; “Who is Descartes’s Evil Genius?” in the Journal of Early Modern Studies; and “Kant on Common-sense and the Unity of Judgments of Taste” in the Kant Yearbook. He currently is co-editing a book entitled Kant and the Possibility of Progress and working on a monograph entitled  Kant’s ‘Common-sense’ Aesthetics.



LFP National Network Board Welcomes Molloy College to the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities

The National Network Board met for its semi-annual meeting March 30-31, 2019, in Chicago and, along with other tasks, approved Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York, for membership in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities.  Welcome Molloy College! 



Update on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

Over the past two years,  Lilly Graduate Fellows Program received 45 nominations from 21 Lilly Network schools in 2018 and 53 nominations from 20 schools in 2019. From these 98 nominations, 71 applied, and a selection committee of 8 interviewed 24 finalists in Indianapolis, IN. Over the course of the two-day interview process, we came to know the remarkable individuals who made it to this final stage of this process. We will be announcing shortly the composition of the Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who will be mentored by Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University and Mark Ruff of Saint Louis University.

A very special thanks to all of you who nominated your students for this highly competitive fellowship.  Your hard work keeps this program vital, as does the education and formation that our Fellows receive at your institutions. Again, thank you.

The two active cohorts will attend conferences throughout the summer. In August 2019, the Ninth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows mentored by Gretchen J. Van Dyke of The University of Scranton and Doug Henry of Baylor University, will host their concluding campus conference at the Saint John’s Guesthouse at Saint John’s University. Mentor John Ware of Xavier University of Louisiana, will host the Tenth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows for their second campus conference at Xavier University of Louisiana in June 2019, along with mentor Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College.

In August 2018, the Eighth Cohort mentored by Susan VanZanten of Valparaiso University and Patrick Byrne of Boston College, which completed its three-year fellowship in summer 2018, will come together this fall for a Reunion Conference on October 17-18, 2019, two days prior to the Annual National Conference at Baylor University (October 18-20, 2019). At the end of their reunion, members of the cohort will join the other participants of the National Conference. 



Deadlines for Grants

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2019

For more information, visit the LFP website. 



From the Colloquium at Our Blog, Exiles from Eden 

To learn about the readings of the Graduate Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows, please see Jenna Van Sickle's “From the Colloquium” post on the LFP-sponsored blog, Exiles from Eden.



Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.



Noteworthy News

LFP Office Closed

The Lilly Fellows Program office will be closed from Tuesday, June 25 to Monday, July 8, 2019.

May LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for May 2019 is now available. Click here.

Registration for the 2019 National Conference now open!

Click here to see more information and register for the 29th annual National Conference at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 18-20, 2019.

2019 Administrators Workshop registration is now open!

Click here for more information and to register for the 20th Annual Administrators Workshop October 17-18, 2019 at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Performing Arts

The Winner of the 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Performing Arts is Blis Devault, Xavier University (Cincinnati), for A Slice of Pie: A Love Story. For more information and a list of finalists, click here.

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.

Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

The LFP is now sponsoring a new blog, Exiles from Eden.  Go check it out!