Professor Looks Forward to Being a Student in Summer 2012
Political science Assistant Professor Nancy Wadsworth has studied the intersections of religion, culture and race, and recently has become familiar with the work of Hent de Vries, an expert on the topic of political theologies. In summer 2012, Wadsworth will have the opportunity to study directly from de Vries as a participant in the Cornell University School of Criticism and Theory Program, held June 17-July 27, 2012.
AHSS faculty members are among the best trained artists and scholars in the nation, often looked to as experts in their fields of study. The summer months offer many the opportunities to step away from the front of the classroom and continue their lifelong passion for learning as students. Wadsworth is being sponsored by the AHSS dean’s office to attend the School of Criticism and Theory program based on her application, which cited her interest in attending a de Vries seminar. She will receive an AHSS grant to cover full tuition as well as partial housing and transportation costs.
"Nancy wrote a very complete and compelling application to attend this program, and her timing vis a vis her research was perfect. I am thrilled that AHSS can support Nancy with her research goals through this experience and wish her the very best," said Eleanor McNees, AHSS associate dean.
Wadsworth, whose primary areas of concentration are race, religion, political thought, American political culture, and reconciliation politics, is looking forward to "studying with a scholar whose work intersects with a number of my own interests," she said.
"Hent de Vries is a master scholar on the way religious frameworks think about politics, and vice versa," she added. “He also does work on the topic of forgiveness in political and social life, which has been a recent area of interest for me. His seminar should bring these interests together and should be very stimulating!"
According to its website, the School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) is devoted to intensive intellectual inquiry and the vigorous exchange of ideas. Every summer, SCT assembles a faculty consisting of some of the most influential and original thinkers in the humanities and social sciences, resulting in multi-layered dialogue among both faculty and participants.
"I hope to come away feeling intellectually re-stimulated and armed with some ideas for new directions in my scholarship, particularly in the area of religion and social change, or perhaps forgiveness in political contexts," said Wadsworth. "I think I’m most looking forward to the chance to being a student for six weeks, just reading, learning and participating in discussion without having to be 'in charge'."
Wadsworth has a PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York, N.Y., and has taught at DU since 2004. Her undergraduate courses include American Political Thought, which this year was set in the context of the questions recently raised by the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements, and Forgiveness, Politics, and Film, "a personally transformative course in which students really get to think about conflict, in and beyond their own lives, in new ways," she said.
Outside of the classroom, Wadsworth is finishing a solo-authored book, Ambivalent Miracles: Evangelicals and the Politics of Racial Healing (University of Virginia Press, Forthcoming), and is co-editor of Faith and Race in American Political Life (University of Virginia Press 2012) with political scientist Robin Jacobson of Bucknell University.
Wadsworth has been interviewed by the Associated Press and CNN for stories related to the 2012 presidential election.