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The Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities 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 in 1979. The Adams Fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from the Taylor Charitable Trust. This year, the Adams Fellows will also be joined by two Global Education Fellows.

2022-2023 Adams Fellows for the Public Humanities

Kylie Broderick is a Ph.D. candidate and Mellon Fellow in modern Middle East history at UNC. She is also the managing editor of Jadaliyya and a Co-Editor of the Resistance, Subversion, and Mobilization page. At the National Humanities Center, she teaches the Introduction to the Modern Middle East course. Her interests are in the political economy of the Middle East, as well as histories of gender and capitalism, social mobilizations, and socio-economic class construction in Lebanon and Syria. Outside of academia, her passions are bicycling, playing video games, reading fantasy books, and helping her community through local activism.

Matt Gibson is a Ph.D. candidate in UNC’s history department, specializing in Global History with an emphasis on Military History. His dissertation is about military power and the British military advisers’ role in organizing various indigenous groups into local and national armed forces in Iraq after World War I. He also received an M.A. from UNC, where he wrote his thesis about gun confiscation in Iraq after World War I. In his spare time, he likes watching films and reading.

Sierra Roark is a Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, specializing in historical archaeology. Sierra’s work investigates plant use, identity, and the exchange of ecological knowledge in the American South and Middle Atlantic. A North Carolina native, Sierra completed her bachelor’s in history and anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Outside of research, Sierra enjoys hiking, traveling, and watching films.

Khari Chanel Johnson is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is passionate about the intersection of communication, food, and Black women. She is most interested in gastronomic societies and cooking communities to discover how conviviality and commensality create identity and build community. She aims to better understand how Black women have resisted oppressive structures through cooking and eating together. She holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of California Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Gastronomy from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Her favorite meal is anything her mama is cooking.

 Aaron Thieme is a fourth-year PhD student in philosophy. His   research focuses on issues in value theory and the philosophy of death. He is particularly interested in artificial intelligence and the questions it raises about sentience and ethical consideration, and sees these issues around the emerging technology as both fruitful and urgent for public engagement.. Before coming to UNC, he earned an MA in philosophy from Bowling Green State University. Outside of philosophy, he enjoys soccer and tennis.

Logan Mitchell is a second-year philosophy PhD student specializing in ethics and philosophical questions about mindfulness. They received their BA in Philosophy, along with a Certificate in Ethics and minor in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. In addition to philosophy, they also teach mindfulness and help develop curriculums with the nonprofit Mindfulness First. Logan is the philosophy department’s inaugural K-12 Outreach Fellow, and serves as a graduate mentor for the Balter Undergraduate Diversity Fellowship.

Sierra Lawson is from Wyoming and earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Alabama. They have been working in undergraduate classrooms for over six years as an instructor, teaching assistant, and research consultant. Their work examines transatlantic discourses on women’s labor from medieval Iberia to the colonial Peruvian Andes. When they’re not reading or looking at colonial and medieval artwork for their dissertation research, Sierra enjoys rollerblading, cooking, and hosting dinner parties with their friends.

Delaney Thull is a philosophy PhD student from Mobile, AL. Her research focuses on questions about the meaning of our emotions in moral psychology and political philosophy. She completed her MA in philosophy at UNC in 2021. She graduated from Princeton University with her AB in Philosophy and a certificate in Values & Public Life. In this fellowship, she looks forward to thinking about and developing language for articulating why the public humanities are so valuable.

Aurora Yu is a third-year graduate student with interests primarily in Early Modern Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Moral Theory, and 20th century Continental Philosophy. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Classics from the University of Rochester, and an MAPH from the University of Chicago. Outside of philosophy, she loves music and is expanding her musical repertoire to include the harp. Being a musician at heart, she agrees with Socrates that philosophy is the greatest kind of music.

Irene Newman is a PhD candidate in the American studies department. She studies white power organizing in the late twentieth century. Irene is an associate editor of Southern Cultures and a field scholar at the Southern Oral History Program. She was recently selected for an Impact Award, presented by the Graduate School to honor graduate students working to shape a better future for North Carolina.

Additional Global Education Fellows:

Sophie Eichelberger is this year’s Carolina Asia Center Public Humanities Fellow. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, she went to Davidson College for undergrad. At Davidson, she majored in East Asian Studies and English. She wrote a senior honors thesis in the Asian Studies department related to the tea ceremony, aesthetics, and politics in pre-modern Japan, but her Master’s research has now shifted to dress, gender, and politics in the pre-modern period. Currently, her favorite book is The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and she loves anything high fantasy. When not doing schoolwork, she enjoys taking care of her excessively large plant collection. Her fellowship is being generously sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center.

Jocelyn Burney is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religious Studies and this year’s inaugural Uhlman Fellow in Jewish Studies Public Humanities. Her research centers on the material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially ancient Judaism and Christianity. She is also a field archaeologist involved in several excavation projects. She earned a BA in Religious Studies and Archaeology from UNC and an MAR from Yale Divinity School. She is a Tau Epsilon Phi Graduate Student Fellow in Jewish Studies, awarded through the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. Outside of work, she enjoys experimenting with homebrewing and fermentation with her partner, David, and taking long walks with their dog, Pella. Her fellowship is being generously sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.