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Fear (2019–20)

Organizing Fellows

What is fear? Why is fear so widespread? How does it shape personal behavior and public policy? The stakes in these inquiries are high, because waht we call "fear" is so easily triggered and manipulated. Fear is a necessary biological defense mechanism, protecting against real threats. But because fear often overwhelms reason, diminishes compassion, and cultivates division, it has obvious social effects too. This yearlong Kahn project aims to address the power of fear—to destroy and subvert, but also to create. Who benefits from fear? Who promotes it, and why and how? What are the hidden costs? What are the alternatives? How does fear figure into current events on campus, in the U.S., and worldwide? This is a topic that cries out for collaboration: among neuroscientists and biologists, psychologists, political scientists, economists, media studies scholars, historians, anthropologists and sociologists, scientists, philosophers and cultural critics. Read the complete project description.

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TranslationS (2019-20)

Organizing Fellows

Translation has always been part of what makes us human. All human communication in one way or another involves translation, whether we are aware of it or not. It is the space in which language, culture, history, politics and difference all collide and sometimes cohere to make meaning. Translation at its best both bridges and recognizes difference. Translation means "to carry across." Translation thus lends itself to both a literal meaning and practice, and a metaphorical resonance. What is it that we carry across from one discipline to another? From one language to another? Fron one historical epoch to another? From one culture to another? What is left behind in so doing? What are the distinctions among translation, adaptation and interpretation? This yearlong Kahn project draws attention not only to the traditional practice of translation in the literary field, but also to its role in a wide range of disciplines, as well as to its capacity to animate conversation across disciplines. Read the complete project description.