Nichole Phillips

Meet the new Mellons: Nichole Phillips

Nichole Phillips lives at the intersection of race and ritual. As a Mellon Humanistic Inquiry Fellow in Religion and Human Difference, she is an ordained minister and social scientist who brings interests in pastoral care and practical theology to explore how rituals function as the "social glue" for communities.

"Rituals hold promise for razing barriers erected around otherness or difference," she says. Students in her classes explore big questions such as how do we address interpersonal conflict and how do we celebrate particularities to overcome human difference? What are the resources for redemption once social atrocities have transpired?

The Mellon Foundation Fellowship Program in Humanistic Inquiry (Mellon HIP) supports Emory's vision to be a leader in re-envisioning the humanities and extending their scope. It is enabling Emory to bring junior and midcareer faculty to foster an interdisciplinary approach to humanistic inquiries.

"The Mellon HIP, alongside initiatives such as the Commission on the Liberal Arts, is helping us define the future role of a liberal education at a research university," says Provost Claire Sterk. "We hope to share our lessons learned to spread the potential of humanistic inquiry and to continue emphasizing the value of the humanities within and beyond the academy."

All the Mellon HIP fellows bring expertise that bridges the humanities and other areas.

  • Daniel LaChance -- who arrives at Emory this fall as a fellow in Law, Ethics, and Society -- navigates the fields of history and legal studies. His forthcoming book examines the ideas, myths, and forces that underlay the revival of the death penalty in the United States.
  • Health and Humanities Fellow Alvan Ikoku works at the intersection of literature and medicine and will join Emory in fall 2015. With teaching awards from Columbia and Harvard and two monographs in preparation, he will teach courses in English and health and humanities.