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In Brief: More News from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Books published by philosophy and religious studies faculty during the past two years

Contract Faculty Changes: Seven new contract faculty were appointed to the department in Fall 2022: Nicholas Barber, assistant teaching professor in philosophy, Dario Cecchini, postdoctoral research scholar, Brandon Kidd, postdoctoral teaching scholar, Joe Krylow, assistant teaching professor in philosophy, Relwan Onikoyi, lecturer in religious studies, David Pruitt, assistant teaching professor in philosophy, and David Taylor, assistant teaching professor in philosophy. Ben Bryan completed a two-year term as a postdoctoral teaching scholar in philosophy at the end of Spring 2023.

Faculty Scholarship: Members of the department’s faculty conduct scholarly research on a wide range of topics. In philosophy, these include early modern philosophy, Hegel, African American philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of psychology and the ethics of artificial intelligence. In religious studies, they include Christian and Judaic studies, Islam in the modern world and religion and politics in both contemporary America and contemporary Japan. During the past two years, departmental faculty have published six books (see the above picture). Publications of journal articles and chapters in books increased by 30% from 2013-2018 to 2018-2023.

Scholarly Reassignments: Three members of the department’s faculty were granted scholarly reassignment during the 2022/23 academic year. William Adler, distinguished university professor of religious studies, received a yearlong scholarly reassignment supported by a fellowship from Dumbarton Oaks (a division of Harvard University) for scholarship at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC. During the year Adler worked mainly on the preparation of a critical edition of the Greek text of the Palaea Historica, a Byzantine retelling of biblical history composed no earlier than the ninth century. Veljko Dublejević, associate professor of philosophy, received a one-semester scholarly reassignment for Spring 2023 to work at NC State on a project called The ADC of Human Moral Judgment and Artificial Morality. Xavier Pickett, assistant professor of religious studies and Africana studies, received a yearlong scholarly reassignment supported by a Ford Foundation Fellowship for scholarship at Columbia University, where he worked mainly on the manuscript of a projected book, Black Irreligious Fire: Affect, Politics, Religion.

Major Anniversaries: Three members of the department’s faculty celebrated significant long-term service anniversaries in 2023: Sanem Soyarslan, associate professor of philosophy, 10 years; Stephen Puryear, associate professor of philosophy and associate head of the department, 15 years; and Mary Kathleen Cunningham, associate professor of religious studies, 40 years.

Staff Changes: Jaclyn Grossano was appointed as the department’s student services associate in August 2022. The position had been vacant since April 2022. Stephanie Jacobs resigned as the department’s business services coordinator in March 2023 to take up a more senior appointment in NC State’s Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity. Kathryn Zellmer, formerly of the NC State College of Engineering’s Office of Academic Affairs, was appointed as the department’s new business services coordinator in May 2023.

2022/23 Graduates: Twenty-two students graduated in either philosophy or religious studies during the 2022/23 academic year. Fifteen of these students graduated with “Latin honors”: seven Summa Cum Laude, four Magna Cum Laude and four Cum Laude. Nine completed second majors, including majors in Biochemistry, Biomedical & Health Sciences Engineering, English, History, Physics and Political Science. Seven completed one or more minors, including minors in Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Classical Studies, Cognitive Science, Computer Programming, English, History and Psychology.