The Thomas Jefferson Society of Postdoctoral Fellows allows young scholars the opportunity to teach in a collegial interdisciplinary setting while continuing their own research. Fellowships are awarded to scholars in all areas of the liberal arts who have in the past 7 years completed doctoral dissertations on one or more of the great books and have shown a commitment to the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the great books. The fellowships normally carry a teaching load of one course each semester and are renewable for a second year.
The Society of Postdoctoral Fellows has been supported by generous grants from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching American Founding Principles and History, the Veritas Fund, the Thomas Smith Foundation, and a number of individual donors in Texas. In announcing its most recent gift to the Jefferson Center, Rear Admiral Mike Ratliff, President of the Jack Miller Center, said:
"The Thomas Jefferson Center has made a remarkable contribution to education at the Austin campus and established a national reputation for excellence and innovation in a short period of time. This has been possible because of the support and encouragement of Dean Randy Diehl and the leadership Lorraine and Tom Pangle. The JMC is honored to be a partner in this work, and to provide support for these fellowships, which provide crucial help to young scholars just starting their careers."
Application information for the 2014-15 academic year will be available soon.
Giorgi Areshidze is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas at the University of Texas. Since 2011, he has been an Assistant Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. Areshidze received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, where his studies focused on political philosophy and American politics. He received his BA in Political Science from Middlebury College in 2004. He is currently finishing a book manuscript entitled Enlightenment’s Theological Legacy: Democracy’s Spiritual Crisis and the Liberal Transformation of Religion. The book explores the ambiguous results of the modern Enlightenment’s contested effort to transform and privatize religion, by reflecting on the role of religion in three formative case studies of American political development—the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Progressivism. Key political and philosophical figures whose political theologies are explored in the book are Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Alexis de Tocquevlle.
David Newheiser (PhD, University of Chicago) works on classic Christian thought and contemporary continental philosophy. By attending to affinities between texts that are apparently distant in context and concern, his research aims to open possibilities for productive conversation among disparate communities - within the academy and in the public sphere. His first book, The Darkness of Hope, draws upon Dionysius the Areopagite and Jacques Derrida in order to argue that faithful life is nourished by a self-critical hope that presses forward without guarantees. He has published articles on the gift of love, the responsibilities of reading, and the debate over same-sex unions, and he is co-editor of a volume on the relation between faith and desire.