2013 Institute: Topic and Directors’ Letter Archive

ARCHIVE: Past (2013) Institute information below. For current institute, see http://nehphl.web2.cal.msu.edu/

2013 Institute Material

neh_at_logo

Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges and Responsibilities

JULY 22-AUGUST 16, 2013, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Under the guidance of distinguished scholars, NEH Summer Institutes provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities.  NEH Summer Institutes aim to prepare NEH Summer Scholars to return to their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields of the humanities. “Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges and Responsibilities,” concerns new directions in development ethics, a young sub-field of ethics and social and political philosophy that has grown to maturity over the past thirty years, as philosophers have noted evident weaknesses in global aid and development efforts of the mid and late 20th century.

Co-directors Fred Gifford (Michigan State University) and Eric Palmer (Allegheny College) will gather twenty-five U.S. faculty members at Michigan State University to review the first generation of scholarship and frame the discussion for the next generation. They will work with the guidance of eight visiting speakers, and four more experts resident at Michigan State University.

Institute Poster (.pdf)

 

For more information please contact:

Fred Gifford, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824

gifford@msu.edu
tel. 517-355-4490

 

Eric Palmer, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Allegheny College

Meadville, PA 16335

epalmer@allegheny.edu

tel. 814-350-2652

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

*Photo credits: Wikipedia creative commons and MSU

________________________________________

Directors’ Letter

The application process is closed; this page remains for information purposes. Note that some program changes arose following the drafting of this letter, so it does not correspond precisely with the speaker list and program (see companion page for those).

Dear Colleagues,

“Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges and Responsibilities” is a four-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, to be held Monday, July 22 to Friday, August 16, 2013 on the campus of Michigan State University. Its goal is to provide the opportunity to review a rapidly emerging and exciting area of ethics and social and political philosophy that has grown to maturity over the past thirty years, and contribute to an extended conversation on its future. Up to twenty-five NEH Summer Scholars will participate in the Institute for its full four week duration and will pursue individual work connected to the Institute’s subject matter. Scholars receive a $3300 stipend to defray expenses. Applications are encouraged from university and college faculty, part-time faculty, independent scholars, and others (see “Eligibility” section). Applications are also encouraged from graduate students, three of whom are expected to be among the group. Our reading and conversation will contextualize the contributions of twelve presenters who will be resident at the Institute for as much as a week each: eight leading scholars from across the country and globe and four expert faculty from MSU.

The topic

Our world is characterized by great inequality on global and local scales, and this with regard to material resources, health, education and life opportunities. Many find themselves in poverty and deprivation, with women, children and indigenous peoples especially vulnerable and afforded the narrowest opportunities. Some countries are labeled as “developing” by political regimes and international organizations, and the many are promised “development”, but the promises are often not realized, with some left much the worse by their interactions with development.

There has been much controversy over the years concerning the effective and appropriate means for moving toward or achieving development. At the same time, there are serious doubts as to whether the “developed” countries constitute appropriate models for others to emulate, or whether they are instead to be viewed asoverdeveloped or misdeveloped countries: those out of balance with respect to environmental sustainability. Further, the idea of development is tarnished when the “developed countries” call the shots in global trade and economic decisions while providing others half a loaf, thus reinforcing their political advantages, agendas, and foundations of power.

Many of the injustices are obvious, but effecting change requires both hard work and careful thought. Moving forward intelligently and fairly requires a philosophical theory of development and careful ethical analysis complemented by political, economic and sociological analysis, all three of which also have their philosophical aspect. Philosophical theory now informs development in ways that it did not a half-century ago. Traditionally, development has been conceived, its measurement has been made, and its goals have been set according to economic indicators. But conceptual unclarity and contested values are now seen to lie at the core of that tradition, and critics have urged that we instead focus on and try to measure something more people-centered, tied to quality of life and democratization, and articulated in terms of human needs, human rights, and human capabilities.

As philosophers ourselves, we see this field of ethics and development through philosophical lenses, as ethical and social philosophy. At the same time, the field is both very practically focused and intensely interdisciplinary, connecting philosophy with development economics, with anthropology and the study of culture, and with the social sciences more generally. The range of topics dealt with is great, especially as we try to think about the connections between such factors as gender, food security, violence, democratic participation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Feminist perspectives and environmental justice – sustainability, resource depletion, and climate change – inform discussion of related concepts in post-colonial theory and global justice theory, as well as development ethics. Economic philosophy and economic matters remain central, in the topics of aid, debt, trade and trade agreements, on the frontiers of intellectual property rights, and in the newly vitalized area of microfinance. Development work itself is scrutinized with an eye to the values it embodies, in its unaccounted waste, in the evident North-South power imbalances within many non-profit organizations, and even in their occasional corrupting influence. Political concerns – immigration, displacement and indigeneity – and social concerns – violence, violence against women, and the matter of “missing women” made visible by Amartya Sen two decades ago – are topics of manifold interdisciplinarity.

This interdisciplinarity and engagement in urgent real problems of global social justice has led to the field’s further evolution, and provides both important challenges and opportunities for scholarship and for teaching. They also play out in our Institute’s reading list, our presenters, and in the character of the conversation that we will pursue during the Summer Institute.

The Institute in brief

This Institute brings eight very prominent scholars of development ethics with diverse concerns and perspectives to present their recent work, share their vision of the field, and engage in extended discussion with the participants who are selected as NEH Summer Scholars. The first week sets the stage in two different ways. Development economist Frances Stewart brings us the perspective of a social scientist of development theory and practice, one who has consulted for the UN and other prominent organizations, and who has led large research projects inquiring into poverty, inequality and development. David Crocker, a philosopher with long and comprehensive experience development ethics, sets out his broad view of the field, including especially the current state of development of the leading theory, the capabilities approach of Sen and Nussbaum. In the second week, Thomas Pogge, one of the most prominent philosophical writers on injustices concerning global institutions, provides us with the tools to evaluate the agendas of those institutions, as well as the governments and peoples of the developed world. Feminist philosopher Sandra Harding provides critique from a different perspective, exploring development through feminist and post-colonial lenses, particularly revealing oppression as it is mobilized in valenced technological, scientific, and broader epistemological practices. The third week brings us to more specific applied contexts, exploring special challenges that arise in post-conflict contexts, and in development activity that permanently displaces populations. Political scientist Bronwyn Leebaw and philosopher Jay Drydyk will lead us through these discussions. Drydyk will also open our return to the broad view presenting a theory of development, and in the final week, social scientist Des Gasper and philosopher Nigel Dower will both present reflections on development ethics as theory and its utility in practical ethics, peace studies, human rights and sustainability. The contributions of these visiting scholars will be complemented by weekly topical sessions given by Michigan State University faculty from the Department of Philosophy: Paul Thompson, Richard Peterson, Stephen Esquith, and Kyle Whyte, who will add expertise on agricultural and food ethics, democratic theory, violence and human rights, moral and political responsibility, democratic political education, environmental justice and indigenous populations. (More information on the speakers and on the schedule of readings and sessions is available in the Details section below.)

Development ethics arises out of ethical reflection on the discourses and practices that have informed the social, political, economic and cultural situations of all peoples and countries. There is a tendency to see it as concerning what does and should occur in “developing countries” — the Global South — but its scope includes the North as well, not only because of the causal impact of the North on the South, but because pressing concerns of development and redevelopment are faced by the North as well. On the second Saturday of the Institute, participants will travel as a group to explore some significant redevelopment projects in Detriot. That city, challenged by a population decline of over 60% over the past half-century, is now home to one of the largest urban agriculture movements in the country.

The objective of the Institute is a coherent and informative survey of development ethics that will enable participants to enhance their research and teaching in this area, and will foster the development of a research community that can continue to work together into the future after the Institute is over. Institute directors Eric Palmer and Fred Gifford will shepherd the discussion, working with participants to connect shared readings with the expertise offered by the many presenters who will visit the Institute. The participant group should also provide a healthy representation of expertise and currency that will help to set the path of discussion, and the Institute will be structured so as to encourage the participants to learn from each other. Work will begin several weeks prior to the Institute’s start date with an electronic forum to orient participants to expectations and local arrangements and to coordinate reading. Participants and directors will introduce their research projects on that forum, which will allow planning for smaller working groups that will meet, offer collective criticism of work, and develop initiatives over the course of the Institute.

Location

Events for the Institute will take place in Snyder-Phillips Hall, a traditional, ivy-covered, collegiate Gothic-style building with beautiful wood ornamentation and decorative plaster details, which also houses MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. It is located near to the heart of campus (and very close to the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, http://broadmuseum.msu.edu), and near to the off-campus shops and restaurants of Grand River Avenue. It is the location of our classrooms and also of The Gallery, a large (award-winning) dining area that includes a variety of food stations: The Brimstone Grille (burgers, chicken sandwiches and more); New Traditions (comfort and home-style food); Ciao (pizza, subs and sandwiches); Latitudes (International entrees); The Berg (made-to-order salads and salad bar); and Bliss (delicious desserts).

We have reserved a block of rooms in the Snyder/Phillips/Mason/Abbot dormitory complex, the complex that includes both our classrooms and dining facilities. Room rates are $25/night for double occupancy and $35/night for single occupancy ($945 for a single for the 27 nights), and meals are $23.75/day for three meals ($641.25 for the 27 days). Rooms include linens (sheets, pillow and pillowcase, blanket). Laundry facilities are available in the basement. Shared bathrooms with showers are located on the halls. Bathtubs are available in a separate, unisex bathroom. Wireless internet is available in public areas of the buildings. Classrooms and eating areas are air conditioned; dormitory rooms are not. The meal plan is required for those staying in the dormitory. For others, individual meals can be purchased at the Gallery ($5.75 for breakfast, $9 for lunch or dinner). A wide variety of dietary preferences, including kosher and halal, can be accommodated with prior notice. As well as this dining area, Snyder-Phillips houses a Sparty’s Cafe, where drinks and snacks can be purchased.

Institutional context:

Michigan State University is the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and thus has a strong history of engaging scholarly work with work of practical importance. MSU’s Philosophy Department has long fit that characterization, notably in areas of healthcare ethics and social and political thought. In line with this, the Department of Philosophy has had for several years a substantial emphasis in ethics and development. In April 2005, an International Conference and Workshop on Ethics and Development took place, an event which saw the participation both of renowned development ethicists, and development practitioners from around the world. In that same year a graduate specialization in ethics and development was launched which offers an interdisciplinary approach for master and doctoral students in the analysis of the difficult ethical issues that arise in the course of social, economic, political and cultural development. The Specialization is housed in the Philosophy Department, but it attracts M.A. and Ph.D. students from a whole range of disciplines. The department is currently pooling its expertise to prepare preparing a new online certificate program that addresses the needs of development practitioners working around the world.

The work of the Philosophy Department in this area is complemented by a wide range of programs elsewhere in the University that concern themselves with issues of international development, notably CASID (Center for Advanced Study in International Development), Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen), CLACS (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies), and groups such as the West African Food Security Group, etc. Further, there are a wide range of MSU programs and centers tied to the related issues of environment and sustainability, from the Environmental Science and Policy Program (ESPP) to The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. Michigan State University encourages and enables cross-disciplinary collaboration, and so the presence of these other entities focused on development, environment, etc. are invaluable for those pursuing study and research in ethics and development.

Before devoting your time to submitting an application, please be certain you satisfy NEH eligibility criteria as set out by the NEH, and listed at the start of the text under the “Application Details” tab above. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the institute directors.

We, the directors, are also very happy to discuss the planned program or other details of the institute with you: please just drop either of us an email at the addresses below. The submission deadline for applications is March 4 (postmark/ electronic postmark date), and applications should be directed to Fred Gifford, at the address below. We thank you for your interest in this program, and hope that you will consider joining us at Michigan State.

 

Sincerely,

 

Fred Gifford, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824

gifford@msu.edu
tel. 517-355-4490

 

Eric Palmer, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Allegheny College

Meadville, PA 16335

epalmer@allegheny.edu

tel. 814-350-2652

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Application Details

neh_at_logo

Applications are closed. This page remains for information purposes.

Eligibility: National Endowment for the Humanities Guidelines

This NEH Summer Institute is designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the institute. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Please note that up to three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the directors for clarification in advance of your application.

 

Application Information

Preamble from the institute directors: All participants should plan to be present for sessions from 9:30-4:30 Monday to Thursday, and in the mornings on Fridays, for each of the four weeks of the Institute, and they should consider themselves engaged with the Institute on a flexible full-time basis over the full four weeks of its duration. Further meeting opportunities, including scheduled individual office hour discussions with directors (and, where possible, with visiting scholars), as well as lunches and informal gatherings, will be fit within and around these scheduled time blocks. Participants will be free to engage in further discussion, or to pursue their own research, at other times during the four weeks of the Institute. Research resources – library and journal access – will be provided to participants by Michigan State University during the period of the Institute.

Applicants will propose a project to be completed in conjunction with their participation in the Institute. These will be shared and developed in the context of small group meetings throughout the Institute (about 4 hours per week). This will allow participants the opportunity to present their research as papers or work in progress within a workshop setting during these sessions, and will provide opportunities to develop group research plans or collective publications.

For full details, see further below, but in brief, applications should include:
a. the NEH Institute application cover sheet. This should be submitted to NEH electronically (available via the NEH website, https://securegrants.neh.gov/education/participants/), and then a copy of this should also be included in the application packet;
b. a detailed resume (not to exceed five pages);
c. an application essay (as outlined below);
d. two letters of recommendation (sent separately).

The essay is the most important component of an application. It should be no more than sixteen hundred words. It should explain your reasons for applying; your interest, both professional and personal, in the subject matter of the Institute; aspects of your background that suit you for participation in the Institute; the contribution you believe you can make to the vitality of the Institute; the project you intend to pursue while resident at the Institute as well as its planned result; and the use you intend to make of the Institute in your career. Your reference letters are also important. Referees should be familiar with your professional background, your rationale for attending the Institute, and (ideally) with the project you plan to pursue while at the Institute. At least one of the letters should come from an individual not affiliated with your home institution.

Parts (a), (b) and (c) of applications should be sent as MS Word, .rtf, and/or PDF documents (all bundled as one, if convenient) to gifford@msu.edu, with “NEH Summer Institute application” included in the subject line. Letters of reference should be provided directly by the referees to the same email address with your name in the subject line. Both should be electronically dispatched no later than March 4, 2013: If submission by paper mail is preferable to the applicant, similar postmark deadlines apply: Part (a) of the application must be submitted electronically to NEH as indicated above, and an email from the applicant indicating arrival of materials by post is requested. Paper mail should be addressed to Fred Gifford, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Application information details (text provided by NEH):
Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide college and university faculty members and independent scholars with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and topics. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On completion of a seminar or institute, participants will receive a certificate indicating their participation. Prior to completing an application to as specific seminar or institute, please review the letter/prospectus from the project director (available on the project’s website, or as an e-mail attachment) and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the work of the project.

Each seminar includes 16 NEH Summer Scholars working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants will have access to a significant research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual research and study projects.

Institutes are for 25 Summer Scholars, and provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities under the guidance of faculties distinguished in their fields of scholarship. Institutes aim to prepare participants to return to their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields of the humanities.

Please note: The use of the words “seminar” or “institute” in this document is precise and is intended to convey differences between the two project types. [Ours is an NEH Institute, so “seminar” details in these instructions do not apply. — e.p.]

Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered eligible. An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have studied. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has guided that individual’s research or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she has participated.

Please note: An individual may apply to up to two projects in any one year (NEH Summer Seminars, or NEH Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one.

Selection criteria: A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. (Seminar selection committees typically consist of the project director and two colleagues. Institute selection committees typically consist of three to five members, usually drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.) While recent participants are eligible to apply, selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2010, 2011, 2012).

The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally. This is determined by committee members from the conjunction of several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:

1. quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;
2. intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the seminar or institute;
3. special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;
4. commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the seminar or
institute;
5. the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant’s teaching and scholarship; and
6. for seminars, the conception and organization of the applicant’s independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar.

When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered. Preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.

Stipend, tenure and conditions of award: Individuals selected to participate in five-week projects will receive stipend of $3,900; those in four-week projects will receive $3,300; those in three-week projects will receive $2,700; and those in two-week projects will receive $2,100. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other research expenses, and living expenses for the duration of the period spent in residence. Stipends are taxable. Applicants to all projects, especially those held abroad, should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.

Seminar and institute participants are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project’s tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.

At the end of the project’s residential period, participants will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the summer and assess its value to their personal and professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project’s grant file and may become part of an application to repeat the seminar or institute.

Application instructions: All application materials must be sent to the project director at the address listed in the “Dear Colleague Letter.” Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be reviewed.

Checklist of application materials: A complete application consists of three copies of the following collated items:

  • the completed application cover sheet,
  • a detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography, and
  • an application essay as outlined below.

In addition, it must include two letters of recommendation as described below.

The Application Cover Sheet

The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:

https://securegrants.neh.gov/education/participants/

Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts. When you are finished, be sure to click on the “submit” button. Print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. At this point you will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project. If you do, follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the cover sheet for that project. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out cover sheets for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to a project director.

Résumé

Please include a detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography (not to exceed five pages).

The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages. This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant’s interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant’s professional responsibilities.

  • Applicants to seminars should be sure to discuss any independent study project that is proposed beyond the common work of the seminar.
  • Applicants to institutes may need to elaborate on the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities for teaching and curricular development.

The two referees may be from inside or outside the applicant’s home institution. They should be familiar with the applicant’s professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the seminar or institute. Referees should be provided with the director’s description of the seminar or institute and the applicant’s essayApplicants who are current graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor. Please ask each of your referees to sign across the seal on the back of the envelope containing the letter. Enclose the letters with your application.

Submission of Application and Notification Procedure: Completed applications should be submitted to the project director (gifford@msu.edu) and should be postmarked or electronically transmitted no later than March 4, 2013.

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Monday, April 1, 2013, and not before that date; they will have until Friday, April 5 to accept or decline the offer.

Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.

Equal Opportunity Statement: Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/606‑8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).

Dr. Fred Gifford & Dr. Eric Palmer

Please direct applications to gifford@msu.edu

 

For more information please contact:

Fred Gifford, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824

gifford@msu.edu
tel. 517-355-4490

 

Eric Palmer, Professor

Department of Philosophy

Allegheny College

Meadville, PA 16335

epalmer@allegheny.edu

tel. 814-350-2652