USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced the names of its 2012 Knight Luce fellows. Seven U.S. journalists will be given stipends up to $20,000 to report on global religion. Our favorite project of the group: Peter Manseau’s plan to cover burgeoning religious freedom in China.
This Fishie once tried to study Buddhist meditation in Beijing, China as an undergrad about a decade ago. I was told by my school advisers that such things didn’t exist anymore–despite the inevitable sighting of at least a handful of monks roaming the streets everyday–and that even if they did, NO ONE would want to actually talk to me about it. Presumably out of fear.
Better luck to Manseau.
Full list of fellows after the jump:
- Ned Sublette will travel to Angola and Haiti to report on the traditional religions of Kongo/Ngola as reflected in music. Sublette has made over a hundred radio documentaries about African-diaspora music for PRI’s Afropop Worldwide and Afropop Worldwide Hip Deep. He is the author of three books, including The World That Made New Orleans and Cuba and Its Music, and his reporting has appeared in DownBeat, American Legacy, Bomb, The Nation, and Smithsonian
- Damaso Reyes will investigate the growth of European Pentecostalism led by immigrants from former European colonies. Reporting from Spain, England and Ukraine, Reyes will examine how Charismatic faiths are growing while traditional European Christian religious observance continues to decline. Reyes is a photographer and writer whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, and The Christian Science Monitor.
- Outlawed by Mao Tse-tung during the Cultural Revolution, religious expression is now legally tolerated in China. Peter Manseau will report on the variety of spiritual traditions flourishing there, including their opportunities and challenges. A visiting fellow at Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and writer, Manseau’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
- Hillary Brenhouse will report on the return of the Hindu Pandits to their ancestral homeland in the Kashmir Valley. Scattered to urban centers and refugee camps in the wake of a Muslim insurgency and anti-Hindu violence in 1990, many Pandits are now returning to rebuild their shrines and resurrect their faith. Brenhouse will investigate the revival’s social and political implications in India. Her work has appeared in TIME, Slate and The International Herald Tribune.
- Sarah Stillman will profile Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, a Catholic priest based in Ixtepec, Mexico, and the shelter he has established to safeguard Central American migrants who are routinely assaulted, kidnapped, and robbed by drug cartels while en route to the United States. Stillman’s award-winning international and domestic reporting has appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The Nation.
- Daniel Lovering will report on American missionaries who lead teams of relief workers into the war zones of Myanmar, also known as Burma, to provide medical supplies to civilians trapped by local fighting. Among the volunteers who support this new breed of missionaries are dentists, Iraq war veterans, and students from US Christian colleges. Lovering is a contributor to Reuters and The New York Times.
- Caitlan Carroll will explore Georgians’ attempts to revive sacred music that was muted during Soviet rule. Since gaining their independence, Georgian scholars, musicians, and patriotic young people have sought to revive the sacred songs of Orthodox Christianity. Carroll, along with photographer Andreas Reeg, will visit Georgia to explore the role of religious music in the area’s spiritual life. Based in Germany, Carroll’s work has been heard on American Public Media’s Marketplace, Public Radio International and Deutsche Welle.