Jinyu Liu, assistant professor of classical studies at DePauw University, has been awarded a 2006 David Stevenson Fellowship from the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC). The Stevenson Fellowships -- which total two this year -- are designed to advance the work of faculty members of color who teach and conduct research in philanthropic and nonprofit sector studies. Dr. Liu's award will support her research work on philanthropy in classical cultures, entitled "Pagan Philanthropy versus Christian Charity: 'Secular' versus 'religious' philanthropy from a historical perspective."
"The 2006 Fellows come from diverse fields -- law, public policy, humanities, classical studies -- an indication that new scholars of color are coming into the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies from a variety of disciplines," says David Renz, chair of the NACC Fellowship Committee, as he announced the two Stevenson Fellows, along with two others selected for William Diaz Faculty Fellowships. "Bill Diaz and David Stevenson would be excited by their work, which we are pleased to honor by these awards," he added.
Of her research, Dr. Liu states, "The project will investigate the decline of pagan philanthropy in the Later Roman Empire and the connections, if any, between pagan philanthropy and East College Spring Walk 2004.JPGChristian charity. Only sparsely studied in the past scholarship, these topics represent a missing chapter in the history of philanthropy. This proposed project is intended to fill the gap through an investigation of philanthropic activities during the transitional period from the Roman Empire to the early Medieval Period, during which Christianity triumphed over 'paganism,' and Christian aristocrats triumphed over pagan aristocrats. The significance of this study lies in its outstanding potential to contribute to a deeper understanding of secular philanthropy versus religious philanthropy, and of the roots of Western philanthropy. Ultimately, this research will inform the ongoing discourse on the ways in which philanthropy as a social phenomenon was conditioned by the historical, social, and cultural context.'
She continues, "In this connection, I believe that such a historical inquiry bears significant ramifications on the study and operation of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy in contemporary society. This is not going to be a lone project but will involve workshops, conference presentations, course development, and student research projects. This project, therefore, will have long-term impact on not only my research priorities but also the curricular development at DePauw. Since there is a solid and lively tradition of charitable activities among the DePauw students, it is my hope that a course like Philanthropy in History could help the students bring intellectual discourse into their activities, and ultimately carry the meaning of their activities to a higher level."
The Faculty Fellowship Program was established in 2004 by the NACC with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to honor the contributions of David Stevenson and William Diaz, two snacc logo.gifcholars in the fields of philanthropy and nonprofit management who died in 2002, and to encourage the development of new research in the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies.