Hank Fellowships in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
Hank Fellowships for Research in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition for Graduate Students
The Hank Center administers yearly fellowships for graduate students working on topics in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Funded by a generous grant from Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit Community, these awards support graduate students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement and offer promise as scholars, teachers, and authors who will contribute to the dynamic life of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Hank Center selects the fellowship recipients and administers the awards.
The fellowships encourage and support graduate students in their exploration of the Catholic intellectual tradition in its many disciplinary and creative forms—in theology and philosophy, literature and the arts, natural and social sciences, social movements and culture, pedagogy and pastoral life. Several awards of $4,000 are available annually and may be used for expenses such as research-related travel, data work/collection, and supplies. These awards by and large are meant to support the writing of doctoral dissertations, but a percentage of MFA work will be funded as well. Awards may not be used to pay tuition or academic fees.
- Students must be enrolled in a U.S. graduate school doctoral or MFA program for the fellowship year.
- All pre-dissertation requirements (or equivalent, for MFA) and general examinations must be completed before the start of the fellowship year.
- Applicants must be writing on issues that focus prominently on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
The applicant must complete an online application including the following components:
- Current curriculum vitae
- A letter of interest that outlines the ways the applicant's work approaches and relates to the Catholic intellectual tradition (no more than 1500 words)
- Dissertation or MFA prospectus (no more than 3500 words)
The following forms should be emailed (not from the applicant) to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- A progress toward degree report signed by the director of graduate studies or an academic dean from the student’s graduate institution
- Official graduate transcripts
- Two confidential letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s dissertation advisor
Applications and supplemental materials are due April 15, 2022. Applications are reviewed by committee, and applicants are notified of decisions in May.
Application can be found here.
Upon completion of the funding year, Fellows are required to write a short report disclosing how the award was utilized. In addition, Fellows will share completed dissertations or MFA projects upon their completion in order to build-out the Hank Fellowship/ Catholic Intellectual Tradition Archive.
Summer 2022 Fellows
|Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sydney Curtis (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). Her scholarship explores the relationship between spirituality, Black feminism, and critical pedagogy with publications in the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs and Dialogues in Social Justice. Sydney’s dissertation, titled “Pandemic Pedagogies: Fatalistic or Black Feminist,” seeks to explore the pedagogical and spiritual strategies of Black feminist educators as we continue to navigate teaching and learning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Hank Fellowship for Research in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition will support this work by providing compensation for participants' intellectual labor, conference funding for potential submissions to pedagogical assemblies in the U.K., and resources for Sydney and her co-researchers/participants to fund a potential action initiative which may arise from their convenings to support healing and wellbeing from a Black feminist lens.|
|James Dechant is a doctoral candidate in Systematic Theology at Fordham University. He holds a B.A. in English and Theology from the University of Notre Dame, an M.S. in Education from Hunter College, and an M.T.S. from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His dissertation, entitled “An Ecological Education: Theological Paths to Liberative Praxis,” explores the role of theological pedagogy in responding to the social-ecological crisis. The project draws on critical pedagogy, hermeneutics, Trinitarian theology, and asceticism in order to imagine how theological education can link individual ecological conversion to broader societal transformation. James’s aim in this work is to chart paths toward a future in which the Catholic tradition does justice to creation and in which theological educators are capable, in the words of Pope Francis, of “helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.”|
|Hansol Goo is a PhD candidate in Theology in the area of Liturgical Studies at University of Notre Dame. Hansol holds a Licentiate degree in History and Cultural Heritage of the Church from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. Her Licentiate thesis, “Benedetto XVI e l’Arte Sacra: Sofferenza e Conversione per Vedere la Verità” is published in Italian, in Pope Art: tra Religione, Estetica, e Spiritualità (G&B Press, 2022). Taking the contemporary issue of migration as a context and a source for theology, Hansol’s doctoral research asks, “How can the experience of migration and displacement deepen our understanding of sacramental participation in the Eucharist and, in turn, help us understand immigrants from a sacramental point of view?” In particular, her research examines the role of memory in preserving, forming, and renewing the sense of self for Korean Catholics in the US diaspora in correlation to the Trinitarian dynamics of anamnesis-epiclesis in the celebration of the Eucharist. Hansol argues that, through the act of remembrance, the believing immigrant is rendered as a liturgical being who is no longer cast away in exile but who stands in the presence of the Lord.|
|Joshua Alan Hoxmeier is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). He received a B.A. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His dissertation, "Before Revolution and Counter-Revolution: How the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska's Interpretation of Vatican II Explains It's Growth Amid the General Decline of American Catholicism Since the Mid-Twentieth Century," explores how the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska bucked national trends of decline in the American Catholic Church. Although labeled as a "conservative and anti-Vatican II" diocese, Lincoln's Catholics in fact saw themselves as its true defenders. The vocational and educational success of this interpretation of Vatican II is one example of a larger trend in Great Plains Catholicism and demonstrates the need for a more nuanced understanding of Vatican II that goes beyond a simple "conservative/progressive paradigm.”|
|R. Zachary Karanovich is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Systematic Theology at Boston College. He received a B.A. in Theology and Philosophy from Marian College (2007), a J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (2014), and an M.T.S. from B.C.’s School of Theology and Ministry (2018). Prior to graduate theological studies, Zac practiced law and worked in religious education and parish ministry. His dissertation, “Conversion in a World of Violence: Toward a Theology of Conversion with Johann Baptist Metz, James Alison, and Thomas Merton,” engages the three title interlocutors’ complimentary contributions toward the development of a holistic understanding of conversion that includes justice, forgiveness, and divinization—constitutive elements of political, communal, and individual conversion. In light of their own lives and theological thought, and conscious of the fundamental and indispensable role of grace in conversion, he draws from them spiritual and ecclesial praxes that can open a person and a community to conversion. Of particular interest in the dissertation is the role of narrative and narrative change in conversion. The project concludes with a case study, applying the principles established in earlier chapters to the issue of racial resentment in our particularly polarized society.|
|Rich Lizardo is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania who focuses on the history of early-modern Spain. He received his B.A. at Yale University (2015) and his M.A. at Penn (2018), both in History. His research interests include the study of poverty, charity, and poor laws; theories and practices of punishment; Spanish empire and colonialism; national, cultural, religious, and ethnic identities; and intellectual, religious, and cultural history. In his dissertation, “Worlds of Spanish Poverty: Theory and Practice from the Reformation to the Enlightenment,” Rich traces the developments in the ideas and institutions that arose to address the problem of widespread poverty in early-modern Spain. Among those developments are the Scholastic treatises on poverty, the Tridentine reforms of charitable institutions, and the Baroque art and picaresque literature depicting paupers. His dissertation thus engages with fundamental questions of Catholic theology, with major elements of Baroque Catholicism, and ultimately with institutional practices that previewed later developments in Catholic social teaching.|
|Joseph McCrave is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theology at Boston College. He is from the United Kingdom and received a BA in Philosophy and Theology and MPhil in Theology from the University of Oxford. He works in the area of theological ethics, focusing on questions of political theology, virtue, and cross-cultural dialogue. His dissertation explores the personal and political dimensions of forgiveness in contemporary social contexts. This work offers a Thomistic account of forgiveness as a specific virtue, linked to mercy, and ultimately motivated by charity. The project contextualizes forgiveness, as a mode of love, as complementary to repentance and reparations, as modes of justice. It considers ways in which this relationship may be exemplified by communal practices of restorative justice such as ecclesial rituals, circle processes, and truth commissions.|
|Colin McGuigan (M.T.S., Duke University) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton. McGuigan’s dissertation, tentatively titled “The Paschal Event of Wonder,” treats wonder’s ambiguities: its importance for responding to the environmental crisis and also its tendencies towards dominance, possessiveness, antirational thinking, self-deception, and susceptibility to manipulation by charismatic leaders. The Catholic intellectual tradition is not innocent of the moral, social, and ecological abuses of wonder, but it also provides resources to navigate the impasse of wonder’s promise and peril. To that end, McGuigan draws on Pope Francis/Jorge Bergoglio’s concept of wonder, and the sources of wonder in his intellectual biography, to synthesize a paschal notion of wonder, one that mobilizes the passion’s life-reverencing potential while guarding against exploitative, violent, and demagogic possibilities.|
|Sónia Monteiro is a doctoral candidate in systematic theology and a Senior Teaching Fellow for the 2022-23 academic year at Fordham University. She completed her Master of Arts in Theology at Fordham University (2018). While in Portugal, Sónia completed her law degree (2007) and worked as lawyer for several years.Sónia's dissertation project, written under the direction of Dr. Bradford Hinze, is entitled “Forgiveness: The Human-Divine Ladder in the Abyss of Sin. A Philosophical, Theological, and Political Investigation.” Her dissertation explores, both from a hermeneutical and phenomenological perspectives, the human-divine dynamism in the event of interpersonal forgiveness before radical evil, while considering, at the same time, its implications in the public sphere. Sónia’s investigation of the phenomenon of forgiveness presupposes a critical dialogue between French Continental Philosophy the Catholic theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx.|
|Laurel Marshall Potter is a doctoral candidate in systematic and comparative theology at Boston College and an instructor at the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA) in San Salvador. She holds a B.A. in Theology and Spanish from Saint Louis University and a Master’s in Latin American Theology from the UCA. Broadly, she studies the intersections among different Latin American theologies, liberation theologies, Catholic theologies, and decolonial studies. Under the direction of Carlos Mendoza Álvarez, Laurel’s dissertation is titled “Que esta misa nos haga soñar: Liturgical Inter-culturation and the Mesoamerican Reception of Sacrosanctum Concilium.” Together with ecclesial base communities and other marginal ecclesial communities in resistance in El Salvador, Laurel’s qualitative research explores their non-normative liturgical practices, asking whether and how these celebrations function as “source and summit” of the communities’ Christian life and discipleship.|
|Héctor E. Ramos is a PhD student and instructor at Chicago’s DePaul University. He has a BA in philosophy from Macalester College, an MSc degree from the LSE (Political Theory), and an MA degree in Continental Philosophy (University of Warwick). While a student at DePaul, he also undertook a yearlong exchange program at the École normale supérieure in Paris.He is interested in the history of philosophy and contemporary European philosophy, philosophy of religion, and comparative philosophy and theology, particularly as pertains dialogue between Christian and Buddhist thought.His PhD dissertation attempts to bridge the gap between phenomenology and the French Spiritualist tradition, as well as science, theology, metaphysics, and mysticism.|
|Daniel J. Rietze is a PhD Candidate in Italian Studies at Brown University, where he is also completing an MA in Religious Studies. His dissertation, "Catholic Ecology: Reinhabiting Italian Landscapes, 1918-1965," presents an environmental dimension to Catholics' emergence as citizens of modern Europe in the decades preceding Vatican II. For a cluster of Italian Catholic intellectuals including the Christian Democrat Luigi Sturzo (1871-1959) and the liberation theologians Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959) and Zeno Saltini (1900-81), increased participation in Italy's sociopolitical life went hand-in-hand with the renewal of cosmologies that valorized the material earth and emphasized humans' connectedness with their environment: it was a bold vision in an era otherwise marked by the ecological harm done by two world wars, rapid industrialization, and fascism. More broadly, Daniel's research interests include theology and literature; dissent, renewal, and reform in the collective life of the Church; popular religion; and mysticism, especially the World War II-era Tuscan mystic Maria Valtorta (1897-1961) and her Gospel as Revealed to Me. In addition to receiving an MA in Italian Studies from Brown (2019), Daniel holds a BA in English and Italian from Yale University (2016) and is a parishioner at St. Sebastian's Catholic Church in Providence, RI, where he has taught fifth-grade CCD.|
|Marie Schrampfer is a PhD candidate in systematic theology at Southern Methodist University. She holds an MA in constructive theology from Saint Louis University and a BA in Christian history and theology from Hope College. In her dissertation, she brings two medieval Catholic mystics, Gertrude of Helfta and Johannes Tauler, into the theological conversation surrounding Christian salvation construed as deification. Marie draws from their writings to provide a constructive account of the centrality of the Eucharist in the deification process. She explores how sin fragments and scatters the human person, separating her from God, from others, and even from her own self. Only deifying union with God is sufficient to heal these deep divisions and reunite the fractured self, for sharing in the divine life draws the human person into a unity which is both an image of and a participation in the unity of the Triune God. Marie argues that the sacrament of the Eucharist lies at the heart of this healing, unifying, and deifying process, and her dissertation articulates precisely how and why this is the case.|
|Emily L. Sharrett is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Loyola University Chicago, the Editorial and Program Assistant at the Midwest Modern Language Association, and a 2022-2023 P.E.O. Scholar. She received her Master of Arts in English from Loyola University Chicago after her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science from Miami University of Ohio. Titled Eternal City, Earthly City: The Reach of Rome in Early Modern English Literature, Sharrett’s dissertation takes aim at Shakespeare’s so-called “Roman texts,” both drama and narrative poetry, to demonstrate that St. Augustine’s and Aristotle’s figure of the “political animal” exceeds the human. She argues that early modern texts depict human agency in ancient Mediterranean sea- and land-scapes alongside, and often less favorably than, the forces exerted by other creatures, inert matter, or technologies. In doing so, Eternal City, Earthly City adds to literary and theological studies an account of the nonhuman agents that, like humans, hold political and ethical import in Shakespeare’s texts and in the world. Sharrett’s dissertation joins the research culture at Loyola University Chicago that prioritizes the ecologically-attuned objectives of Pope Francis’s 7-Year Journey Towards Integral Ecology by evaluating how the social ecology of past and present answers the cries of the earth and the poor.|