David B. Lefkowitz, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of the Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) Program, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Development Fellowship. This award is designed to support faculty who are pursuing research aimed specifically at deepening their knowledge in the humanities to improve undergraduate teaching.
Dr. Lefkowitz’ award of $12,200 will support three full months of work to enhance a regularly-taught course, “The Philosophy of Crime and Punishment,” through the introduction of fresh topics and readings, development of new student assignments, and implementation of revised instruction methods that include innovative uses of technology. This course provides students with an opportunity for sustained moral and philosophical reflection on both contemporary practices of punishment and various theoretical assumptions regarding responsibility and causation implicit in modern criminal law. It also introduces students to abstract philosophical questions concerning the nature of morally right action, responsibility, and causation through concrete examples that are both accessible and of obvious practical importance. After it has undergone revision, the course syllabus and assignments will be publicly available on the University’s website.
Dr. Lefkowitz has taught at the University of Richmond since September 2009, having previously taught at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. He obtained his BA from the University of Washington in St. Louis, and his MA and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Maryland in College Park. He has received a number of academic awards and has published numerous articles and book chapters.
The NEH Teaching Development program is extremely competitive, and awards are made after a three-tiered review process involving review by a panel of peers, by NEH staff and by the National Council on the Humanities. This award is one of only seven awarded in Virginia this round, and one of two Teaching Development awards in Virginia.