Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L Philosophy Professor Receives Fellowship to the National Humanities Center Angela Sun is one of 31 fellows selected for research work at the NHC in 2024-25.

Angela-Sun-scaled-600x400 W&L Philosophy Professor Receives Fellowship to the National Humanities CenterAngela Sun, assistant professor of philosophy

The National Humanities Center (NHC) announced that Angela Sun, assistant professor of philosophy at Washington and Lee University, is one of 31 scholars appointed to a fellowship with the center for the 2024-25 academic year.

A fellowship year at the NHC is an opportunity to make significant progress on scholarly projects, socialize and share ideas with other scholars and be reinvigorated by time spent in deep thoughts and reflection while on hiatus from the regular demands of academic life.

The NHC awarded approximately $1.5 million in fellowship grants so that faculty may take a leave of absence from their normal academic duties to pursue research. These newly appointed fellows, selected from 492 total applicants, constitute the 47th class of resident scholars since the center opened in 1978.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to support the exciting work of these exceptional scholars,” said Robert D. Newman, president and director of the NHC. “They were selected from a highly competitive group of applicants representing institutions from across the globe. We look forward to their arrival in the fall as they each contribute their brilliance to creating a lively, intellectual community.”

Sun will relocate to the NHC facility located just outside of Durham, North Carolina, where she will perform research from September 2024 through May 2025. Her scholarly exploration is expected to lead to three separate articles focusing on the ethics of reporting wrongdoing. Two of these articles will address specific forms of wrong reporting: snitching and mandatory reporting. A third article will address the morality of seeking justice in a system that is itself unjust. Each article grapples with urgent questions bearing on our justice system and existential questions about what to do when the demands of justice conflict with the demands of loyalty.

“I am grateful to the National Humanities Center for the opportunity to dedicate myself to this project for the full academic year,” said Sun. “I would not have received the fellowship without the support of my philosophy colleagues — especially Nathaniel Goldberg and Paul Gregory, who encouraged me throughout the application process — and my supremely awesome Ph.D. advisers Sarah Buss and Ishani Maitra, who continue to support my research pursuits wholeheartedly years after I received my degree. I’d also like to thank Matthew Loar, director of fellowships and student research at W&L, and the W&L Summer Research Scholars program, which will allow two outstanding philosophy majors, Dylan Santella ’25 and Shannon Tozier ’25, to assist me with this project for 10 weeks over the summer.”

Sun is in her second year as a member of the W&L faculty, and her research specializes in ethics, social philosophy, philosophy of action and aesthetics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan.

The NHC is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities. Through its residential fellowship program, the center provides scholars with the resources necessary to generate new knowledge and to further understand all forms of cultural expression, social interaction and human thought. Through its education programs, the NHC strengthens teaching on the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels. Through public engagement intimately linked to its scholarly and educational programs, the center promotes an understanding of the humanities and advocates for its foundational role in a democratic society.

If you know a W&L faculty member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.