Comparative Literature Professor Receives Fellowship

By Briana Van Havermaat, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
October 13, 2005

Lisa A. Raphals, Professor of Comparative Literature, is one of the recipients of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) 2004-2005 Fellowships. This year ACLS awarded fellowships, totaling almost 4.8 million dollars, to 139 American scholars from 102 institutions. The National Endowment for the Humanities provides the funding for the program.

Professor Raphals received her fellowship for American Research in the Humanities in China. The project titled Comparative Perspectives on Early Chinese Divination allowed Raphals to explore ideas such as ritual and technical aspects of divination in medicine and warfare. The research is part of a broader project that compares the social history and practice of divination in Chinese and Greek antiquity. Professor Raphals stated, “Part of the interest of the topic of divination is that it pops up everywhere in surprising ways.”

This program allows scholars in the humanities to take on research in the People’s Republic of China for specified periods of time. Professor Raphals will be based in Shanghai, China, at Fudan University, one of the best universities in China. She has previously been a research fellow at the City University of Hong Kong in 2003-2004.

Her interest in divination arose within the context of a separate study of Chinese and Greek views of fate and fatalism. What started out as a chapter turned into a separate project in its own right.

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