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CAS professor receives prestigious fellowship

TAMPA, Fla. -- A professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida received the American Philosophical Association’s Edinburgh Fellowship, which sponsors one visiting research fellowship per year at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

Thomas Williams, professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, will spend the fall semester in Edinburgh. There is no funding associated with this award, but the APA fellow has a private office in the Institute, is a member of the Institute's lively research community, and has full borrowing rights at Edinburgh University Library.

Williams said he will use this time to work on a volume he has under contract with Oxford University Press entitled “John Duns Scotus: Readings in Ethics.”

“This is a volume of translations of Scotus’ work on ethics and moral psychology,” Williams said. “Much of his writing on that topic either has not been previously translated into English at all or was translated from unreliable editions. Scotus was a major figure in the development of ethics, yet up to now there has been no way for philosophers and theologians to gain a first-hand acquaintance with his work in any reliable form, apart from a handful of specialists who can make sense of Scotus’ often barbarous Latin.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities recognized the importance of this work and awarded Williams with a two-year, $138,000 grant.

“It will be a privilege to spend four months in Scotland working on one of the greatest Scottish philosophers, making connections with philosophers and theologians there -- the School of Divinity is particularly strong in the history of Christian thought -- and joining the interdisciplinary community of researchers at the IASH,” Williams said.

The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh was founded in 1970 to promote inquiry of the highest standards in the humanities, broadly conceived, and is both nationally and internationally renowned. It was the first interdisciplinary research institute in the United Kingdom, and since its foundation, more than 900 scholars from 62 countries have held fellowships.

The Institute is housed in a secluded 18th Century courtyard close to the University Library, where Fellows have full borrowing rights and access to the library's unusually rich collection of manuscripts and rare books. It is also within easy reach of the National Library of Scotland, the Central City Library, the National Galleries and Museums, the Library of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, the Library of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the National Archives of Scotland. About 20 scholars can be accommodated in the Institute at any one time and each has a private office with a computer, telephone and Internet access. All Fellows give at least one seminar on their research and are expected to play a full part in the Institute's activities, which include a weekly Fellows’ lunch, and a full program of seminars and scholarly events linked to the Institute's current research themes.

Williams also holds an appointment in the Department of Philosophy at USF. He came to USF in 2005 from the University of Iowa. He received his Ph.D. and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards Religious Studies   
Author: Michele Dye