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Postdoctoral scholars join interdisciplinary community

Princeton NJ -- Five new postdoctoral scholars have joined the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts this year.

The society, created in 2000 by a gift from Charter Trustee Lloyd Cotsen, is an interdisciplinary community that seeks to bring innovative approaches to scholarship and teaching at Princeton. It offers outstanding young scholars who have recently received their Ph.D. the opportunity to enhance their teaching and research over a period of three years.

5 scholars

The postdoctoral scholars who have joined the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts this year are, from left, Dominic Johnson, Andrea Schatz, Benjamin Kafka, Bianca Calabresi and Martin Scherzinger.

This past June, the society celebrated the success of its second group of Cotsen Fellows -- Paul Heck, Jonathan Gilmore, Heather O'Donnell and Jonathan Tan -- who each completed their three-year fellowship term and moved on to a new position. Heck and Gilmore took up assistant professorships at Georgetown University and Yale, respectively. O'Donnell is a visiting research fellow in the English department at Princeton. Tan received a Zwicky Fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and then will take up an assistant professorship at the University of Florida.

The Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts is directed by Leonard Barkan, the Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature, and includes Princeton faculty members as faculty fellows. The Cotsen and faculty fellows meet regularly in the Joseph Henry House for informal and formal discussion, seminars and lectures. The full complement of 12 postdoctoral fellows is drawn from a range of disciplines in the humanities, related social sciences and natural sciences.

The Cotsen Fellows for 2004-07 were selected from a pool of about 800 applicants in 20 disciplines. They teach half-time in their academic department or the Humanities Council and pursue their own research. They are:

Bianca Calabresi (comparative literature and humanistic studies), who received her Ph.D. from Columbia and has been teaching at Kenyon College. Her dissertation is titled ''Gross Characters: The Unseemly Typographies of Early Modern Drama,'' and her research will be devoted to ''Renaissance Women's Writing Technologies'' and ''Refugees and Textual Migrations in Early Modern Europe.'' She will be teaching in the comparative literature department in the spring.

Dominic Johnson (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs), who holds a D.Phil. from Oxford University in evolutionary biology and a Ph.D. in political science from the Université de Genève. Most recently, he was a science fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation. His doctoral research explored ''Models of Coexistence, Conflict and Cooperation.'' He will continue to pursue his research on the implications of evolutionary theory for political science, with a focus on cognitive bias and conflict in international relations.

Benjamin Kafka (history), who recently finished his Ph.D. dissertation for Stanford University on ''The Imaginary State: Paperwork and Political Thought in France, 1789-1860.'' His research project will be to revise and expand on his dissertation for publication and begin a new study of Pierre Larousse's Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIX siècle.

Andrea Schatz (religion), who has a Ph.D. from the Institute of Jewish Studies, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, where she wrote her dissertation on ''Language in the Diaspora: The Secularization of Hebrew in the 18th Century.'' Her research project is titled ''Translating the Orient: Cultural Difference and Diaspora in the 18th Century.'' She most recently was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Martin Scherzinger (music), who received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a dissertation on ''Musical Formalism as Radical Political Critique: From European Modernism to African Spirit Possession.'' He has been teaching at the Eastman School of Music. His research plans include projects on ''Globalization and the Making of Music History in the 20th Century'' and ''Writing Music Theory in a Transnational Context.''