Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tenure, ACLS, Herodotus in the Anthropocene

As I step into my sabbatical, I want to pause to share good news from the previous year.

I received tenure! In December 2018, the President called me to relay the exciting news; the Board of Trustees approved the President's recommendation in February 2019. I became an Associate Professor in September 2019. I'm delighted to deepen my commitment to Bryn Mawr, liberal arts education, and political theory.

Not long after receiving tenure, I won an ACLS Fellowship! This fellowship (from the American Council of Learned Societies) supports my new inquiry into refusal. Refusal has become a keyword in contemporary movements including Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and Idle No More. I'm exploring how the philosophical asceticism developed by Cynics, Stoics, and Epicureans in antiquity can inform a broader politics of refusal today. Focusing on reshaping the bodies and souls of participants toward more abundant life, philosophical asceticism links ethical concerns with the self to political concerns with the collective. Intentional practices like friendship, writing, and free speaking shape "culture as creative refusal": cultivating alternative social and political spaces, languages, and subjects rather than simply withdrawing from the world. Ancient asceticism provokes questions about how today’s politics of refusal might better take up bodily and ethical practices and thus free subjects and collectives from domination.

My new book, Herodotus in the Anthropocene, was accepted by the University of Chicago Press! This project began in Northfield, Minnesota when I taught a seminar on Herodotus and Thucydides in Spring 2010 at Carleton. It grew in Deep Springs Valley in conversation with my incredible (really!) students at Deep Springs College. And it flowered during my fellowship at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies during my junior research leave from Bryn Mawr. I'm thrilled to publish with Chicago and to share more announcements about the book as it nears publication.

More details on all three to follow!