Two Kroc Institute faculty members granted prestigious research opportunities

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Two faculty members at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies have received prestigious awards allowing them to conduct off-campus research during the 2022-23 academic year. 

Maira Hayat, assistant professor of environment and peace studies, was selected as a member of the School of Social Science to participate in the 2022-23 Seminar at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The theme for this year is “Climate Crisis Politics.”

Each year, the School invites roughly 25 visiting scholars to campus to provide “a space for intellectual debate and mutual enrichment.” During their year on campus, scholars pursue their own research, and participate in regular activities including a weekly seminar where ongoing work is presented and discussed. 

During her time at Princeton, Hayat will focus on finalizing her book manuscript, and developing her research program around “climate change and its third world problem.” Hayat’s research examines the role of the Global South in scholarship on climate change other than as an index of unpreparedness, vulnerability and devastation. 

Situated at the intersection of anthropology, public administration, environmental studies and law, her research works towards crafting a more expansive scholarly lexicon for transnational accountability in a climate-changing world. A particular focus of her work will be the juxtaposition of U.S. and Pakistani case law relating to water. She will examine how intersecting claims of resource sovereignty, subterranean property, municipal jurisdiction and the human right to water co-produce multinational, corporate capital and its objects.

Emmanuel Katongole, professor of theology and peace studies, is a recipient of a 2022 Sabbatical Grant for Researchers through the Louisville Institute. The grant supports his work on a project titled “Sowing Hope: Integral Ecology and Theological Peacebuilding.”

The Sabbatical Grant for Researchers (SGR) enables grantees to conduct a major study that addresses Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and adaptive challenges confronting religious institutions. 

Katongole’s project will involve spending time working at Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in Uganda, a nonprofit organization he co-founded that provides Uganda's rural poor with an integrated education program in creation care, sustainable land use, economic entrepreneurship and eco spirituality. 

While at BLI, Katongole will investigate three broad research questions about the concept of “integral ecology” as proposed by Pope Francis in Laudato Si.  

  1. What is integral ecology?
  2. As a mindset, a lifestyle and a spirituality, can integral ecology be cultivated, learned or taught?
  3. What is the impact and effectiveness of BLI's program in integral ecology?

“Clarifying these theoretical and practical questions relating to integral ecology is important to the church in America in its search for solutions and models to respond to the urgent social and ecological crises of our time,” said Katongole. 

The Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. and based at Louisville (Kentucky) Presbyterian Theological Seminary.