Joining a select group of scholars from across the globe, Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean has been awarded a 2013-2014 Fellowship with the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.
As a Society Fellow, Dean will conduct research coinciding with the Society’s focal theme for the 2013-2014 calendar year: “Occupation: From Space and Time to Practice and Politics.” In light of her latest book, “The Communist Horizon,” and her interests regarding the Occupy Movement, Dean will extend her current work that theorizes about crowds and the implications of a collective desire for collectivity-the urge to rally together.
“Being a Society Fellow at Cornell will afford me the opportunity to pursue my own research with esteemed scholars who are visiting from other institutions,” says Dean, whose interests span several academic areas, including political theory and psychoanalysis.
Annually, the Society presents a research theme that is explored across disciplines by visiting Fellows, Cornell faculty, and Graduate Student Fellows. For the upcoming term, scholars and students at the Society will investigate the notion and understanding of “occupation” as it pertains to the humanities. Fellows will approach the theme from a range of perspectives, including societal, cultural, political, and philosophical, among others.
Established in 1966, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell provides grants and other funding opportunities for visiting Fellows, faculty and graduate students. The Society also hosts lectures, workshops, and other events that pertain to the humanities and which feature distinguished guests.
Dean, who joined the faculty of the Colleges in 1993, currently is the director of the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men. Dean said she is looking forward to bridging not only her academic work with the Society’s “occupation” theme, but also drawing on the connection of the Fisher Center’s focus this year.
“We’re focusing on ‘Gender, Collectivity, and the Common,'” Dean says. “It certainly was a happy coincidence that the theme for the Society for the Humanities during 2013-2014 overlaps with the Fisher Center theme for 2012-2013.”
During her fellowship, which begins July 1, Dean will teach an advanced seminar for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. It will be a thematic extension of the political science course, “Crowds and Power,” which she is teaching at the Colleges this semester. “No matter what people say, they want to be next to each other,” Dean says. “My work in this context seeks to understand the collective desire.”
In addition to engaging in research, writing, and teaching during her fellowship, Dean also will participate in the renowned weekly Fellows Seminar. In working with other distinguished Fellows at the Society, Dean will enter the dialogue on “occupation” alongside some of the best minds in the humanities.
Dean says the significant and rigorous intellectual pursuits maintained here at the Colleges established a basis for her to pursue the Fellowship at the Society for the Humanities.
“It’s the research that keeps us alive as scholars. Not only does it ensure that we have the knowledge and skills we need to provide the best education for HWS students, but it also connects the Colleges to the larger world of intellectual inquiry,” Dean says. “I’m fortunate to have a year of sabbatical to focus on my work while also receiving feedback from other scholars.”
Dean earned a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is a past recipient of the faculty award for scholarship. Dean also is the author of seven books, including “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” (Duke 2009) and “Blog Theory” (Polity 2010).