By Stasia Pasela and Vera Albrecht
Professor and Senator Vera Albrecht from LaGuardia Community College is two-time recipient of the William P. Kelly Research Fellowship. In addition to congratulating her, I am pleased to also learn about Professor Albrecht’s work in philosophy, which focuses on object theory. More specifically, she is working on a book on nonexistent objects, investigating different aspects, including metaphysics, language, and logic. Since Professor Albrecht also holds a master’s degree in Classical Greek language and literature, she introduces the problem by means of a close interpretation of the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides. Her project then focuses on very different philosophical approaches, each from a distinct motivation. Thus, one chapter of the book is devoted to Plato, another one to the early 20th century logician Gottlob Frege, and another one to the Austrian psychologist and philosopher Alexius Meinong.
Professor Albrecht’s groundwork for this book is her dissertation, Between Being and Not-Being: Non-Existent Objects and the Intermediary in Plato, Frege, and Meinong, but the current project is updated in content, focus, and language so it can be of interest for a wider audience.
With the support of the 2017-18 fellowship she accomplished research on recent literature on the topic, reorganized the structure, and wrote the section on Parmenides and parts of Plato. Although the three-credit teaching reduction per semester enabled her to get started, she was not able to complete the entire project by the end of the academic year. As Community College faculty Professor Albrecht is required to teach 27 credits per year, so even with the course reduction she had substantial teaching and committee assignments. Fortunately she received the fellowship again for 2018-19, which enabled her to continue the project. She expects to accomplish large portions by the end of the Spring 2019 semester and use the summer to finalize the book.
In Professor Albrecht’s view, especially time consuming research and writing is not possible while teaching a full schedule of four and five courses. She has completed other work and contributed to scholarly publications. However, without the research fellowship she would not have undertaken a project like this, and she is thankful for the support.
Applications are now being accepted for 2019-20 William P. Kelly Research Fellowships to advance the research, scholarship and creative work of CUNY’s outstanding community college faculty. Each fellowship comes with two three-credit courses of released time. Up to 20 fellowships will be awarded. Tenured (at the time of application), full-time community college faculty who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to research, scholarship and/or creative work are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted online by February 4, 2019.
The Kelly Research Fellows are listed on the CUNY website and among them are several of your colleagues who were elected to serve on the University Faculty Senate and as governance leaders. The UFS blog looks forward to learn more about their work and sharing it with you.
Vera Albrecht is an associate professor of Philosophy, Humanities Department at LaGuardia Community College.
Image: Marcus Beasley, CUNY