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Congratulations to Miranda Elston on being named a Maynard Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities 2016-2017.

This fellowship considers the value of the humanities in public education and in public cultures through several workshops and an annual Maynard Adams Symposium. The key issues that will be examined are the nature of philosophical truths, the importance of public education, the discussion of humanistic knowledge in the media and public debates, the development of human identities, and the value of the humanities for well-informed participation in contemporary political cultures.

The “Adams Fellows” will join an interdisciplinary graduate workshop that will meet twice on Tuesday evenings in the fall semester (October and November) and twice in the spring semester (February and April) during the 2016-17 academic year.  The April meeting will be part of a weekend symposium on April 21-22 with philosopher Martha Nussbaum.  Ten Fellows will be selected from disciplines such as Philosophy, History, English, Religious Studies, Art History and Political Science, and their main task will consist of mealtime conversations about short readings and about the public role of the humanities.

The concise readings will focus on issues that were important to Maynard Adams and remain important in all modern, democratic societies: the nature of philosophical truths, the importance of public education, the discussion of humanistic knowledge in the media and public debates, the development of human identities, and the value of the humanities for well-informed participation in contemporary political cultures.

The Adams Fellows will also attend the annual Maynard Adams Symposium in the spring semester and meet with the visiting keynote speaker for that event (the speaker for the Symposium on April 21-22, 2017 will be Martha Nussbaum from the University of Chicago). This Symposium will serve as the second workshop of the spring semester.

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 in 1979.  The new Adams Fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from the Taylor Charitable Trust.

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