Charlotte Newcombe
Chartotte W. Newcombe

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is the largest and most prestigious such award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences who are addressing questions of ethical and religious values.  Out of a field of 550 applicants, 21 winners of the 2012 Newcombe Fellowship were just announced, and Berkeley graduate students won four, nearly a fifth of the total.

Brief information about Berkeley’s winners:

Mont Allen, who also received his bachelor’s degree in geography from UC-Berkeley in 1993, is a doctoral candidate in art history and examines the extinction of mythological imagery in ancient Roman funerary art in his dissertation The Death of Myth on Roman Sarcophagi.

Robert Harkins is a doctoral candidate in modern world history. His dissertation, The Politics of Persecution: Religious Conformity and Republican Obedience in England, 1553-1603, examines the political and social legacies of religious violence in early modern England.

Bruno Reinhardt and Bharat Venkat are both doctoral candidates in anthropology. Reinhardt looks at the overlap of charisma and pedagogy in Ghanaian Pentecostal-Charismatic Bible schools in Tapping into the Anointing: Power, Pedagogy and Ecclesiology in Ghanaian Bible Schools.  Venkat’s dissertation, Moral Failures: Co-Infected Histories and the Diagnostics of Disease in South India, examines the shifting morality of medical diagnoses in southern India.

Each 2012 Newcombe Fellow will receive a 12-month award of $25,000.  The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation continues the late Mrs. Newcombe’s lifelong interest in supporting students pursuing degrees in higher education. It has awarded scholarship and fellowship grants totaling over $50 million since 1981.  Mrs. Newcombe died in 1979.  As of 2010, when the Newcombe Foundation itself was honored for distinguished service, 98 colleges and universities had received major grants, and each year, between 800 and 1,000 students received scholarships for more than $1,000.The Fellowships are administered through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.