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Dissertation Fellows

Each academic year, the Center awards fellowships to students enrolled in a College of the Liberal Arts department or program, who each conduct scholarship that reflects the CDD's concern with civic life and the character and quality of public discourse.

Past recipients of the CDD Graduate Fellowship have received a one-semester release (fall or spring) from teaching or related service and a research grant to humanities graduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts who are supported on assistantships. Under the sponsorship of the CDD, Dissertation Fellows become involved in a weekly, faculty-led dissertation writing group, and present their research in a public venue.

This year's CDD Dissertation Fellows are listed below:

Kris Klotz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy. His dissertation develops an agonistic conception of reasonableness, or “reasonable agonism,” in light of the agonistic tradition’s critiques of liberal political philosophy. The agonistic conception of reasonableness developed in this dissertation has both a legitimating and a critical function. On the one hand, this conception of reasonableness requires political institutions that accommodate the antagonistic nature of politics. On the other hand, this account of reasonableness has a related critical function, namely, the contestation of prevailing normative orders that can be viewed as illegitimate according to those excluded by such orders.

Michelle Kaczmarek is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. Her dissertation studies the translingual practices of Jesuit rhetorical education in India during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by looking at the earliest Jesuit Tamil grammar and the establishment of the College of St. Paul’s alongside the controversial writings of Roberto de Nobili. In doing so, this study brings together rhetoric as a theory of discourse, an accumulation of practices, and a teaching tradition and traces the Jesuits’ adoption of a “translingual” approach to rhetoric, in which meaning-making becomes socially and materially negotiated and language is defined by its use rather than by convention.

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