Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture

Professional Description

Funded by and named for Douglas and Marion Attaway, with matching funds from the State of Louisiana, the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture are awarded to intellectuals who have made notable contributions to the public discussion of ideas. They present themselves not as academics who occasionally have public roles, but as public thinkers and gifted communicators whose foremost interest is civic culture.

The College expects that Attaway Professors will make distinctive, catalytic, and enduring contributions to the intellectual life of the community. Professors provide a mentoring role that encourages students to engage in similar intellectual endeavors. Attaway Professors bring to campus perspectives that are often underrepresented in the academy.

While Professors must be in residence long enough to be involved in the life of the College and the larger community, they must also leave before they become fixtures in the campus culture so that they retain their status as public intellectuals.

The two types of Attaway Professors are described below.

Attaway Fellows

The College reserves the title “Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture” for those Attaway recipients who (1) are public intellectuals, whose work is known beyond the bounds of the academy; (2) have a national reputation in their fields(s); (3) spend a substantial time in residence at the College (normally a week); (4) have daily interactions with students in and out of classes; (5) give multiple public presentations; and (6) commit to maintaining a relationship with Centenary and its students. (The duties of Attaway Fellows are negotiated individually.)

Attaway Fellowships normally carry a fixed honorarium of $5000 plus up to $3000 in travel and entertainment expenses, but these figures are negotiated individually.

Attaway Fellows in Civic Culture are presented a framed certificate at one of their public presentations.

Past recipients of Attaway Fellowships include Dava Sobel, Simon Singh, Mark Fischetti, Laura Dunn, S. Giora Shoham, Charles Gallagher, Jonathan Stack, Edna and Michael Longley, William Logan and Debora Greger, and Rose and Louis van Thyn.

Attaway Scholars

Persons whose accomplishments as public intellectuals are perhaps more modest than those named as Attaway Fellows or who cannot spend substantial time in residence at the College may be designated an Attaway Scholar. An Attaway Scholar (1) has made notable contributions to the public discussions of ideas; (2) is ideally in residence for a minimum of two days; (3) interacts with students in and out of classes; (4) gives at least one public presentation; and (5) commits to maintaining relationships with Centenary and its students.

Funding for these awards is normally at a lower level than for the Attaway Fellowships, typically up to a $2500 honorarium and up to $1500 for expenses and entertainment, but these figures are negotiated individually.

Planning & Requesting Attaway Funding

Any member of the student body, faculty, or staff may propose Attaway Fellows or Scholars via the Convocations Committee Schedule and Funding Request Form. This form goes to the Convocations Committee who, in turn, make recommendations to the Provost.

Hosting the recipient is primarily the responsibility of the person or department who proposed her/him.

NOTE: All announcements and/or publicity should reference Attaway funding for the project.

See the current list of Convocations Subcommittee Members to determine whom you should contact regarding Attaway Fellows if you need more information about the program.

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