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2008-09 Undergraduate Fellows

In 2008-09 the Center inaugurated its Undergraduate Fellowship program, offering advanced honors undergraduates the opportunity to participate in the life of the center and benefit from the critique of their work by other Cogut Fellows. From a large pool of applicants, the following undergraduates were chosen for this first cohort of Undergraduate Fellows: Zohar Atkins, Colin Lentz, Reem Yusuf and Mary Zeng.

Zohar Atkins ('10) is pursuing a double concentration in Classics and Judaic Studies, concurrent with a 4-year Master's degree in History. Zohar is fascinated by the influence of Hellenism on Rabbinic Judaism; the intersection of Plato, Spinoza, and Kabbalah in 19th century German philosophy and theology; the idea of self in Kafka and Walter Benjamin; and the relationship between Heidegger and post-modern theology.

Zohar's essay "The Duty of Cock-Eyed Angels" won first prize in the ethics essay competition sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation. In the fall of 2010 Zohar became a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.

Colin Lentz ('09) is concentrating in Religious Studies and the Ethics and Political Philosophy track of the Philosophy concentration. He hopes to write a Religious Studies thesis and while he has not yet narrowed the topic, his interests include the interaction between religion as a social institution and religion as it is experienced individually, and the intersection of religion and evolutionary psychology. He is also interested in the intersection between moral philosophy and religiously informed systems of morality.

Reem Yusuf ('09) is concentrating in the dual fields of Archaeology and Visual Arts. Indigenous archaeological documentaries in Palestine and Israel are surprisingly rare given the attention placed on material heritage. Part of this dearth is undoubtedly a reflection of the troubled political situation in the region. Reem's honors thesis project proposes to study the way documentaries about Israeli and Palestinian heritage are made, or in some cases not made, and the political and economic processes which shape a filmmaker’s ultimate product.

Mary Zeng ('09) is working towards an AB in the Classics and an AB in Biology. Mary likes to think of herself as a scientist in two senses—a scientist of the human body through her biology concentration, and a scientist of the human anima through her classics concentration. As such, her studies have led her to ask a number of questions that integrate the two fields in one way or another. Mary hasn't finalized her thesis topic as yet but it will probably have something to do with Roman funerary rituals. Her other interests include ancient medicine, especially the epidemiology of diseases in the ancient world, and ancient views of madness.