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New Scholars at the Kluge Center – July / August 2015

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The Kluge Center welcomed six new resident scholars in July and August, including three senior scholars and the first of our 2015 Kluge Fellows.

David Hollenbach was named by the Librarian of Congress to the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History this past April, and he arrived in early August. The University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, Hollenbach is working on his forthcoming book, “Humanity in Crisis: Religious and Ethical Responses to War and Disaster.” With many unfortunate tragedies occurring around the world, his is a timely topic. The project seeks some understanding of the causes that place so many human beings in crisis situations. It also seeks to identify how others can and ought to assist them, and it addresses the ethical and religious dimensions of the duty to respond. Hollenbach is exploring the roles of both government and of non-governmental agencies in making such responses, particularly the U.S. government and U.S. based faith-based agencies. Some of the urgent ethical issues that arise in the midst of such responses will also be examined. Hollenbach will utilize the Library’s Manuscript Division and Area Studies reading rooms for his research.

Rachel Shelden is a newly arrived Kluge Fellow who is currently an Assistant Professor of American History at the University of Oklahoma. During her residency at the Kluge Center, Shelden will work on a project titled “Judicial Ethics and the U.S. Supreme Court in the Civil War Era.” Shelden’s work investigates the underlying culture of the U.S. Supreme Court from the 1830s through the 1880s. While today’s justices look to written professional standards to guide their behavior and decision-making, no such written standards existed in the nineteenth century; there were no rules, for example, determining when a justice should recuse himself from a case, or preventing Court members from socializing with the attorneys appearing before them. As a result, Civil War-era justices often behaved in ways that look inappropriate to modern eyes. Yet, these members of the Supreme Court understood themselves as operating within appropriate and ethical boundaries. She hopes her project will explain how the political culture of the Supreme Court shaped American governance and its relationship to the critical issues of the Civil War era, from banking and regulation to slavery and race. The Manuscript Division here at the Library is essential to this project and holds many relevant collections for her research. Of most significance will be the papers of the Supreme Court Justices and several lawyers who argued cases before the Supreme Court.

Additional scholars arriving in July and August were:

  • Mary Dudziak
    Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, Emory University, “Going to War: An American History.”
  • Sreten Ugričić
    Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Independent Scholar, “Suspended Art.”
  • Michael Chasar
    Kluge Fellow, Willamette University, “Beyond the Book: Edna St. Vincent Millay’s The Murder of Lidice and Poetry in the Age of New Media.”
  • Theodore Christov
    Kluge Fellow, The George Washington University, “The Early American Republic and Origins of International Law.”

The Kluge Center will welcome an additional nineteen scholars over the next two months. Check back next month for the new scholars arriving in September. Click here for the full list of scholars currently in residence.

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