By Rosemary Bennett ’21, Marketing & Communications
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently awarded Pacific Lutheran University Professor of French Rebecca Wilkin, a $133,333 grant under the Scholarly Editions and Translations interest area.
Wilkin and her collaborator Angela Hunter, an English professor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, received the grant for their ongoing project titled “An Edition and Translation of Selections from Louise Dupin’s Philosophical Treatise, The Work on Women. ”
The project aims to present the work of Enlightenment French Feminist, author, and philosopher Louise Dupin to a wide audience for the first time by translating and editing a selection of her most important political and philosophical ideas in an approachable anthology.
“We are confident that our edition—Louise Dupin, Work on Women: Selections —will appeal to students and scholars of history, philosophy, literature, and feminist and gender studies,” said Wilkin.
Wilkin became interested in Dupin in 2012 while working on a student-faculty collaborative research project with Sonja Ruud ‘12 who is assisting the ongoing project as a r esearch associate and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.
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In the Humanities, we educate students to engage—creatively, critically, and empathetically—with what it means to be human across the sweep of history, in diverse cultures and environments.
Pacific Lutheran University’s Departments of English, Languages & Literatures, Philosophy, and Religion comprise the Division of Humanities.
Wilkin and Ruud began assembling the Work on Women by obtaining copies of manuscript from the Municipal Library of Geneva; the Houghton Library (Harvard); the Beinecke Library (Yale); the University of Illinois Rare Books library; and from the Clark Library (UCLA). The two were joined on the project by Hunter in 2017 after Hunter and Wilkin met through their shared research subject, as the two professors were among very few scholars researching the long-neglected work of Dupin.
“Making Dupin’s work more accessible to a new generation of students and scholars is a fantastic feeling!” said Wilkin. “In the humanities, we deal with subjects of universal human import, so we need to be able to explain to people what our scholarship is about and why it matters. Yet that can be hard, especially when we work on historical material or contexts people have little familiarity with.”
The project, when completed, is to be published in an upcoming volume with the “New Histories of Philosophy” series at Oxford University Press.
The Edition and Translation of Selections from Louise Dupin’s Philosophical Treatise, The Work on Women has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
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