Professors Huwy-min Lucia Liu and Jesse Kirkpatrick Named 2022-2023 Fenwick Fellows

by Kristen Koehler

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John G. Zenelis has announced the award recipients for the 2022-23 Fenwick Fellowships: Huwy-min Lucia Liu, assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology, and Jesse Kirkpatrick, research associate professor, department of philosophy and acting director, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.

The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to one or two Mason tenured, tenure-track, or multi-year appointment term faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their fields. The recipients are provided with a fully equipped and furnished research office in Fenwick Library and an award of $5,000 to support the recipient’s research project. The term for the fellowship is one academic year; Professors Liu and Kirkpatrick will present on the outcomes of their projects in spring 2024 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries.

Liu's, social science research project, Governing Nature in China: The Emergence of the Chinese National Park System, explores a new way of governing “nature” in China by examining what the newly established Chinese national park system is, how the Chinese national park system has come about and differs from the previously existing protected areas, and why was this done at this time. The goal of understanding the place of nature within the Chinese bureaucratic system is to tackle the cultural, social, and institutional underpinning in contemporary China that shapes the relationships between humans, animals, and environments. This new project of governing nature continues Liu’s research focuses on social change in authoritarian and socialist regimes by exploring how ordinary Chinese people navigate through and respond to structural changes through topics on citizenship, identity, governance, and activism.

“I am very honored to be selected as a Fenwick Fellow. This recognition means a lot, especially because I am in the early stages of developing this new research project. The fellowship feels like a vote of confidence for this new stage of my research career," said Liu.

Kirkpatrick's digital humanities research project, The Cultural, Economic, and Institutional Determinants of AI Infrastructures and their Consequences in Global Contexts, focuses on how cultural values and institutional priorities shape artificial intelligence infrastructures in comparative national and global contexts. This project extends Kirkpatrick’s existing work on the ethics of peace and security, with an emphasis on the ethical, social, and policy implications of emerging technologies. The project, like much of Kirkpatrick’s research, is interdisciplinary, cutting across such fields as Philosophy, Political Science, Public Policy, and the Life and Computer Sciences.

Kirkpatrick replied to the news saying, “I’m honored to be selected as a Fenwick Fellow. The award indicates the university’s ongoing commitment to research and scholarship on ethics and technology. While the fellowship has been awarded in my name, I share this honor with my graduate research assistant, William Burgess.”

Dean Zenelis commented, “Each year the Fenwick Fellows program receives a number of creative and innovative proposals from Mason faculty members, and I am grateful for the work of the review committee in selecting this year’s recipients. It is rewarding to read in the proposals of this year’s fellows of their intent to work with two important centers within the Libraries – the Social Sciences and the Digital Scholarship Center. The breath of the research offered in these proposals … is reflective of the Libraries’ range of collections and expertise. We look forward to hearing about the project results next year when Professors Liu and Kirkpatrick share their findings.”