Farah Godrej Receives UC President’s Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities

By Elizabeth Brown, CHASS Dean's Office Student Intern
November 18, 2013

Farah GodrejUCR Political Science professor Farah Godrej has been selected as one of the fellows for the 2013-14 yearlong research fellowship awarded by the UC Presidents office. This UC-wide, competitive fellowship is administered through the UC Humanities Research Institute via the UC President’s office. The fellowship awards a grant to the fellows department, in this case CHASS, to cover the professors salary for a year in order for them to take a sabbatical that enables them to work on a novel or project that will push contribute to the advancement of the humanities.

Professor Godrej is one of 11 fellows this year, and was accepted for her proposal on the book she is writing called The “Materialist” Mahatma: Principle, Practice and Everyday Activity in Gandhi’s Political Thought. With this book Godrej hopes to “shed light on Gandhi in a new and innovative way,” and to “return to thinking about the human body” when considering political science and theory. She feels that in order to fully understand Gandhi the less prominent aspects of his thinking must be studied as well, such as what constitutes politics, even on the everyday, personal level.

Her book will explore these ideas with chapters discussing how material needs such as food, waste, clothing and sex can all carry heavy political and social implications. Godrej’s specialty and background in research on Gandhi will be expressed in this book by analyzing in a more theoretical and philosophical light how the actions one chooses affect more than just one’s immediate surroundings, and even something as simple as what kind of clothing one wears can impact the world in a grander scale, and delves into the question: At what cost?

Professor Godrej and the other 10 fellows may be the last recipients of this fellowship, because as of Fall 2013, funding from the UC President’s office has been cut. One of the staples of the UC system as a whole has been the incredible research that it creates. With the ending of this fellowship, one of the programs that help the UC system to produce great research and push the frontiers of knowledge has also ended. Hopefully, the temporary suspension of funds will be lifted soon, so that works such as The “Materialist” Mahatma and other innovative takes on the humanities may have the opportunity to be produced. For more information on the fellowship program or the UCHRI visit http://uchumanitiesnetwork.org/.

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