Carolina Public Humanities is pleased to announce a new fellowship and adams-emailsizeworkshop for graduate students in the humanities, arts, and social sciences: “The Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities.”  This fellowship honors the distinguished philosopher Maynard Adams (1919-2003), who was a long-time professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, a prominent advocate for the value of the humanities in public education and in public cultures, and a campus leader who established the Program in the Humanities and Human Values in 1979.  The new Adams Fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from the Taylor Charitable Trust.

Meet the 2018 Adams Fellows

Samah Choudhury is a third year doctoral student in Religious Studies, studying Islam and Muslims in America. Her research concerns American Muslim identity, community formation, and cultural production; it is informed by contemporary debates on class, race, and gender. She completed her B.A. at the University of Michigan in Political Science and her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She lives in Durham with her partner, Jarron, and their two cats, Mamluk and Seljuk. Samah is originally from the very real and definitely not made up town of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Sean DiLeonardi is a fourth-year graduate and teaching fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. His dissertation project explores the intersections of literature and technology in the American midcentury, and he ahs extended these interests into various publics forums for using popular culture to understand technology’s role in daily life. Sean hails from Chicago, Illinois and is currently enjoying North Carolina life with his wife and two children.   

Tamara Fakhoury is a doctoral student in philosophy who is interested in normative ethics, social philosophy, and feminism. Her dissertation investigates resistance to oppression and the moral psychologies of resistors. Her Master’s these at UNC focused on the responsibilities of victims to resist their own oppression. She is Arab American and has spent much of her life traveling back and forth between the United States and Lebanon, her home country. Before coming to UNC, she earned her bachelors degree in philosophy from the American University of Beirut. When she is not doing philosophy, she is a visual artist. Her paintings have been featured in arts journals and exhibition spaces throughout the Middle East.

Caleb Harrison is a PhD Candidate in the Philosophy Department. Born in Alaska, he is slowly working his way south, having stopped at St. Olaf College (MN) to pick up his BA in philosophy, and international development, on the way to Chapel Hill.  His research interests are primarily at the intersection of normative ethics and social and political philosophy, and he enjoys teaching feminism and philosophy of race. His dissertation is on trust, and trust in groups, with a particular focus on trust (or its lack) in the police. When he is not teaching or writing, he is walking with his wife and their dog, likely complaining about the heat.

Sonny Kelly is a scholar, performer, story teller, motivator, speaker, and comedian. Sonny is a graduate of St. Mary’s University (MA, Communication Studies, ’08) and Stanford University (BA, International Relations, ’98). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication Studies & Performance Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. His research is focused on Critical /Performance Ethnography, Critical Pedagogy, and Youth Activism/Empowerment. Sonny has served as a U.S. Air Force officer, a non-profit organization director, university admissions counselor, award winning pharmaceutical salesman, college communications instructor, and a church youth pastor. He teaches courses in Public Speaking, Performance and Interpersonal Communication. Sonny has also acted professionally on stage and television for over 20 years.

Francesco Nappo is a fourth-year student from Naples, Italy. His main interest is in the philosophy of science, but he also reads passionately about topics in environmental ethics and political philosophy. Before coming to UNC, Francesco completed his undergraduate studies at Ghislieri College of Pavia, Italy, and obtained a Master’s degree in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He loves cycling and sometimes dreams of riding the Tour de France.

Christopher Blake-Turner was born in St. Albans, England. While studying for a BPhil in philosophy at Oxford he met his wife, Joanna. They’re now both philosophy graduate students at UNC Chapel Hill, and they share their home with a frisky-yet-skittish foxhound mix called Anabelle. Chris has research interests in epistemology, ethics, and logic. In bygone years, he tried his hand at many pursuits other than philosophy, including interning for a private investigation firm, and appearing in a piece of devised physical theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Barbara Sostaita is a second-year doctoral student in the Religious Studies department. Before coming to UNC, she completed a MAR in theology at Yale University and a BA in religion and international relations at Salem College. Having completed fieldwork in Tucson, Arizona and New Haven, Connecticut, she is interested in the role of faith and church institutions in the lives of migrants in times of transition, dislocation, and relocation. She is also a write and blogger and her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Latina, Feministing, Vivala, and xojane.

Lauren Townsend grew up in Bradenton, Florida and have my Bachelor’s in Philosophy from the University of South Florida. I wrote my Master’s thesis on boredom at UNC-Chapel Hill and am continuing to work on philosophy of emotion here for my PhD. I am especially interested in how our evaluations of emotions and emotional labor are mistaken. I enjoy teaching (especially intro courses), and engaging philosophically with all kinds of people through the Parr Center’s Outreach Program, which allows me to facilitate philosophical discussions in retirement communities, first-grade classrooms, and all kinds of other spaces. Outside of philosophy I enjoy cooking and baking, weightlifting, and admiring my wonderful dog.

Mary Elizabeth Walters is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her MA in military history from UNC in 2014. Her major field is military history, her three minor fields are modern European history, 19th and 20th century American history, and women’s and gender history. She spent 2015-2016 in Albania and Kosovo on a National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship. Walter’s dissertation research on the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis builds from her MA thesis, titled “New Military Humanitarians: Competition and Cooperation between NATO and Humanitarian Agencies in 1999 Kosovar Refugee Assistance in Albania.” Walters is from the small town of Cheraw, SC. When not working on her dissertation, she can often be found with her head buried in a book or playing her Celtic harp.


Click here to meet past Adams Fellows