In fall 2017, two new scholars have joined the Center for Humanities as Weil Early Career Fellows, after an international search that drew 63 applications from as far away as Australia, India, Jordan and Germany. The Weil post-doctoral fellowship fosters the professional development of gifted scholars and bolsters Washington University’s strengths in urban and public humanities.
“What stood out most to me about this postdoctoral fellowship is its emphasis on the public humanities,” says Terrance Wooten, PhD, one of the new Weil Fellows. “I interpreted that as both the humanities center’s and the university’s commitment to really rethinking how we conceptualize the relationship between academic and nonacademic institutions in a way that trains scholars to do public intellectual work through an interdisciplinary lens. As someone who does engaged scholarship, it was critical for me to seek opportunities that would not only find value in the work I do but also actively support it.”
Weil Fellow Samuel Shearer, PhD, echoes that sentiment. “The Divided City Initiative [an urban humanities project also housed in the Center for the Humanities] has already proved to be a great platform to engage with scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as the Sam Fox School,” Shearer says. “I am looking forward to learning from other scholars who work on cities across the various departments, schools and centers at Washington University. As a city person, I am also excited about residing in and learning more about St. Louis.”
This fall, Wooten is teaching Sex in the City: Gender, Sexuality, and the Urban Landscape in Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In the spring, he plans to teach a course in the Department of African and African-American Studies. He also looks forward to working with scholars in the Department of Anthropology, the Brown School of Social Work, Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, the Institute for Public Health, and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute. Shearer is teaching African Urban Futures in the Department of African and African-American Studies. During the spring semester, he plans to teach a course in design in the Department of Anthropology.