Edward Baring to conduct scholarly research in the history of phenomenology.

Edward Baring will work on scholarly research project thanks to his Ryskamp Fellowship.
Edward Baring will work on scholarly research project thanks to his Ryskamp Fellowship.

Edward G. Baring, Drew University assistant professor of history, has been named a 2015 Charles A. Ryskamp Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.

The Ryskamp Award includes a $64,000 stipend and travel expenses, designed to allow the professor to spend a school year focused on a scholarly research project in the humanities or social sciences.

Baring says he is thrilled with the chance to explore how in the first half of the 20th century the philosophical movement known as phenomenology transformed from a parochial German school into a truly “continental philosophy,” with centers throughout Europe.

“Philosophy is hard enough to read in your own language,” said Baring, who has been with Drew since 2010. “Why is it that people across Europe thought it worthwhile to struggle through Heidegger in German in order to introduce him to scholars working in places like Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Britain?”

Baring expects to be on leave for the fellowship in the spring and fall of 2016.

There is a growing number of Drew faculty members who have been awarded prestigious fellowships, including the Ryskamp, says Chris S. Taylor, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

“There is a very close relationship between a serious and active scholarship agenda and strong teaching,” Taylor says, “because active scholarship indicates that a faculty member isn’t just coasting. They are not merely transmitting knowledge, they are actively adding to it.”

Baring says the fellowship will allow him to explore intellectual history, which is, at its core, the ability to understand different and foreign viewpoints.

“In my intellectual history classes, like next semester’s course on the history of existentialism, ‘After the Death of God,’ I help students appreciate why other people might think differently, and how that affects how they act,” he says. “This skill is central to almost any career path our students might choose.”