2016-17 Visiting Faculty Fellows
The Humanities Writ Large Steering Committee has selected three Visiting Faculty Fellows for the 2016-17 academic year. They are:
- Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Vassar College
- Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy, Assistant Professor and Distinguished Chair in Africana Studies, Dickenson College
- Caroline Stark, Assistant Professor of Classics, Howard University
Professor Lam is a philosopher who studies epistemic rationality and justification—the factual and cognitive basis of belief. Conceived as audio documentary in the vein of This American Life, The Ted Radio Hour, and Freakonomics Radio, its focus will be philosophical examination of ideas that arise from ordinary and remarkable stories of human life. With the series Lam hopes to advance the relationship between the public and academic philosophy and between philosophy and narrative-storytelling. Both relationships are currently strained or non-existent. While at Duke he will work closely with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong in Philosophy and with the faculty and students of StoryLab.
Professor van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy is an anthropologist concerned with performance, cultural production, and social justice movements in the Caribbean and wider African Diaspora. Her primary affiliation at Duke will be in Cultural Anthropology, with links to African and African American Studies, Music, and the Center for Documentary Studies. She will be working on two interrelated projects focusing on rapso, a Trinidadian musical genre that combines the oral tradition with revolutionary ideology. The first is the manuscript of her forthcoming book, Rapso and Revolution: Musical Performance, Activism, and the Postcolonial Subject in Trinidad. The second is a 30-minute video short of a documentary film entitled Rapso Chants. She will also pursue a pedagogical project, the development of a Caribbean Arts Oral History Digital Archive, an online resource that will document a rich and under-appreciated cultural history.
Professor Stark studies ancient cosmology, anthropology, ethnography, and the reception of classical antiquity in later periods and other cultures. She will be working on two projects while at Duke. The first is "The Io Project," a digital resource on the reception of Classics in Africa and the African diaspora. The project serves as a gateway for scholars, teachers, students, and the public at large to engage with the art, literature, and scholarship of Africa and the African diaspora in dialogue with the ancient Mediterranean. Stark’s second project is an electronic edition of the first commentary of Manilius' Astronomica, a 1st c. CE astronomical poem. It will link the commentary to other extant evidence of Manilius' influence in the cultural and intellectual history of the fifteenth century since the poem was rediscovered in 1417, drawing on letters, poems, artwork, scientific data, and other material. Her fellowship will allow her to tap the expertise of professors Clare Woods and Gregson Davis in Classics while engaging with StoryLab and Duke's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.