Chris Suprenant awarded one of eight Galsworthy Fellowships

Aditi Kuchi, Managing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Philosophy professor Chris Surprenant is one of only eight winners of the Galsworthy fellowship from the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at King’s College in New York City, for the years 2017-18 and 2018-19.

  “It is nice to be recognized for the work you have done and to be part of a group of similarly-minded and accomplished scholars looking at [important issues] that affect the lives of many people throughout the United States,” said Surprenant. He also founded and directs the Alexis de Tocqueville Project on Law, Liberty and Morality which examines questions about Western moral and political thought.

  Winning this fellowship involved a formal application process describing past work and future projects, along with the requirement of coming up with ideas for programming at UNO on topics related to criminal justice and criminal justice reform – the subject of Surprenant’s current project. Despite the hurdle of protecting the financial interests of all parties involved in criminal justice reform cases, he looks forward to the opportunity to learn more about the challenges to meaningful criminal justice reforms from other fellows.

  The fellowship funds will be used to support some of the professor’s research projects, including a book on some first steps in criminal justice reform, and programming at the University. The students of UNO will soon gain access to at least one academic course on the topic.

  Currently, Surprenant’s project is a manuscript tentatively titled Criminal Justice Reform in the United States: Three First Steps, and deals with three key areas in criminal justice reform – reducing overcriminalization, reforming existing profit incentives and reducing the use of incarceration as a punishment for bad behaviour.

  The United States leads the world in per capita incarceration, and Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration than any other state in the U.S. These issues affect the lives of people at large, and one of the ways these public problems can be tackled, is by active engagement of academic philosophers – “Addressing a broken criminal justice system strikes me as the most important, practical and ethical issue in the U.S. today,” said Surprenant.

  His attraction to philosophy as a discipline stemmed from questions about what he believed in, and why – he wanted good answers, especially concerning ethics and public policy. The best part of being an academic philosopher, he says, is “having interesting discussions about these important questions with thoughtful colleagues and students.”

  Gaetano Venezia, former undergraduate student at UNO feels that Surprenant’s teaching was what influenced his switch from Jazz studies to philosophy, saying “[He] always took seriously our thoughts and considerations … [and] gave us many opportunities to engage with visiting event speakers,”

  He continued, “[He] is not only sincere and enthusiastic, he is capable … has vital, practical knowledge about universities and the current state of professional philosophy, as well as a wide-ranging academic and professional network.”

  The professor’s latest work includes editing “Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” published by Routledge in July 2017. He is currently working on his manuscript project, Criminal Justice Reform in the United States: Three First Steps.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The student news site of the University of New Orleans
Chris Suprenant awarded one of eight Galsworthy Fellowships