Assistant Professor of Political Science Joel Alden Schlosser is one of 81 scholars named a 2019 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellow.
ACLS fellowships and grants are awarded to individual scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences. This year’s 81 fellows were selected by their peers from more than 1,100 applicants, in a review process with multiple stages. Awards range from $40,000 to $70,000, depending on the scholar’s career stage, and support six to 12 months of full-time research and writing.
Schlosser will use the fellowship to write Refusing Mere Existence: Philosophical Asceticism and the Politics of Refusal:
“Refusing Mere Existence” explores how the philosophical asceticism developed by Cynics, Stoics, and Epicureans in antiquity might inform a broader politics of refusal today. Refusal has become a keyword in contemporary movements including Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and Idle No More. Focusing on reshaping the bodies and souls of participants toward more abundant life, philosophical asceticism links ethical concerns with the self to political concerns with the collective. Intentional practices like friendship, writing, and free speaking shape "culture as creative refusal": cultivating alternative social and political spaces, languages, and subjects rather than simply withdrawing. Ancient asceticism raises questions about how today’s politics of refusal might better take up bodily and ethical practices to free subjects and collectives from domination.
“The 2019 ACLS Fellows exemplify ACLS’s inclusive vision of excellence in the humanities and humanistic social sciences,” said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS. “The awardees, who hail from more than 60 colleges and universities, were selected for their potential to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge. They are working at diverse types of institutions, on research projects that span antiquity to the present, in contexts around the world; the array of disciplines and methodologies represented demonstrates the vitality and the incredible breadth of humanistic scholarship today.”