Humanities prof receives prestigious fellowship in Finland

When travel restrictions ease, one Brock University professor will be taking her research to Finland as part of a prestigious research fellowship.

Christine Daigle, Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute and Professor of Philosophy, was chosen from nearly 400 applicants for one of just 10 fellowship positions at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

“I’m stunned,” says Daigle of the fellowship. “I knew it was competitive, but I had no idea it was that competitive.”

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies’ core fellowship program brings together researchers from the humanities, social sciences, behavioural sciences, theology and law, as well as those in fields whose topics relate to the human sciences. The program provides fellows with assistance in relocating to Helsinki, as well as travel and research funds so they can focus on their work and participate in the Collegium’s events.

Daigle will be using her year-long fellowship beginning Aug. 17 to finalize the research for and write her new book.

“It is exciting because this is a very vibrant and interdisciplinary research centre with fellows from different disciplines and countries, weekly research seminars, and regular talks and events,” she says. “I will also be able to collaborate with folks from the University of Helsinki as well as Turku University [also in Finland].”

Daigle’s research explores the human connection to the natural world and human vulnerability. Her work draws on philosophy, feminist theory and cultural theory, as well as biology, ecology and physics.

As heirs to the Enlightenment and Humanism, she says, we are used to thinking of humans as exceptional and separate from non-human nature and the world we live in, seeing ourselves as rational and in control of our world as a resource.

Daigle’s work will examine how we conceptualize the idea of humanity, our vulnerability and how we are interconnected with non-human life, as well as contribute to the ongoing discussions of human interconnectivity and environmental thinking.

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