The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Ananda Mitra (Communication) for funding to support the data collection, analysis and reporting on specific narratives that can be extracted from narbs related to selected mid-term political races in the US in November 2018. The objective of the study is to determine the key narratives that influence the outcome of specific race(s) in the mid-term elections to demonstrate the efficacy of the theoretical and methodological process that can later be applied for the Presidential race of 2020. At least two conference papers would be prepared from the data and analysis for presentation at international forums in 2019. The conference papers would be expanded for publication consideration to relevant peer-reviewed outlets. The combination of the conference presentations and the publications in reputed journals and/or books would offer wide exposure of the method and its significance to a large audience. A study such as this explores how the digital World must be understood to seek out the way in which “genuine human flourishing” happens within “the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions” of the digital space.
The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Michael Sloan (Classical Languages) to research and write a book entitled “How Alexander Became Great.” This book presupposes that one might gain a profound understanding of how individual human flourishing can occur when we examine the contexts, conditions, and behaviors of this world leader, without projecting any certain moral code – modern or otherwise – to his specific agenda. Each chapter bears a thematic lesson drawn from Alexander’s life, which is presented in a chronological fashion. Therefore, another way of detailing the plan of the work is through identifying seven themes of human flourishing as found in the life of Alexander the Great.
The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Professor Will Walldorf (Politics and International Affairs) to work on his book, tentatively entitled To Shape Our World for Good: Master Narratives and Forceful Regime Change in United States Foreign Policy, 1900-2011. Professor Walldorf’s book explores how the politics around two especially powerful and recurring master narratives – the liberal narrative and the restraint narrative – in democratic foreign policy have shaped broad, collective definitions of “the good” that often lead to policies that damage or hinder the progress of eudaimonia in world politics, especially for weaker actors in the international system. He will explore this kind of impact of master narratives in the specific policy domain of forceful regime change. Because of its leading role in international politics as an exemplar of democratic foreign policy, the book focuses primarily on the United States, notably its decisions for and against robust forceful change at different points in history. While the main purpose of To Shape Our World for Good is to deepen our understanding of the often negative impact of master narratives on foreign policy and human flourishing more broadly, the book concludes with a lengthy discussion about lessons moving forward on how to manage master narrative politics in order to curb what is an especially common and destructive form of violence – forceful regime change – in international politics.
The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Senior Lecturer John Friedenberg (Theatre & Dance) and Associate Professor Maria-Teresa Sanhueza (Spanish & Italian) for a First Year Seminar course that deals with race, gender, identity, etc. to be taught in Spring 2018. The class features an intentionally challenging and collaborative approach to teaching theatre and literature in a student-centered way. It broadens the literature focus to a more interdisciplinary, cultural, and artistic one. It is a new approach to the content; a more holistic view of theatre and the learning process that give students tools, methods, and context for deepening their awareness and understanding of their own and other cultures. Classes such as this can educate in diversity, make a difference, start conversations, help our students to “navigate” through the conflictive years of college, educate the whole persona, and change minds and behaviors to make Wake Forest a more inclusive, better place.
The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Visiting Assistant Professor Tyron Goldschmidt (Philosophy) and Visiting Research Fellow Elizabeth Jackson for research on an applied ethics textbook. The book will cover four ethical debates: abortion, animal ethics, capital punishment, and global poverty. Each chapter will follow a precise order of first presenting the argument in standard form, then considering objections, and finally considering replies. The book will include many pedagogical resources: key concepts and arguments will be highlighted throughout; frequent boxes will be interspersed within the text, containing problems for the reader’s further thought; and each chapter will include recommendations for further reading. The main advantage is that it will be impartial, including chapters pro and con on each of the topics. Each chapter will be kept open-ended, to help students come to their own verdicts. Ethics is about how we, as humans, should live and flourish, and the textbook will develop ethical arguments, and bring to the attention of many students and others.
The Eudaimonia Institute approved a grant to Professor Jennifer Burg (Computer Science) for the proposed “SciMuse@Wake Center,” an interdisciplinary Computer Science/Music initiative. The mission of the project is to provide an educational environment where students can learn about music from an interdisciplinary, multicultural perspective. The activities generated and fostered by the proposed project will contribute to the students’ well-being by integrating intellectual challenges, personal and collaborative creative expression, and intercultural understanding. In this educational environment, Professor Burg will assess the ways in which a scientific, interdisciplinary, multicultural study of music can foster intercultural understanding and thereby promote human Eudaimonia, using the results to improve educational practices.
Through the Center’s activities – including a series of First-Year Seminars, culturally-related music courses, and entry-level “Computer Science Through Music” courses – she will be able to assess how the study of music can foster human flourishing and develop better educational practices to serve this end. Additionally, in their own research projects, students may examine the role that music can play in a balanced, tolerant, and spiritually open life.