This post is part of a series of interviews with our participants for the“Virtue, Happiness, & Self-Transcendence” 2017 Summer Seminar.Sanaz Talaifaris earning her PhD in Social-Personality Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. Valerie Wallace is Associate Director, Communications, for Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.
Valerie Wallace: Where are you from?
Sanaz Talaifar: I grew up in North Texas, and I live in Austin now.
VW: Tell me about your research.
ST: I study the self and identity. I am interested in how our personal and social identities inform our moral values and well-being. More specifically, how does the strength of attachment to a group, rather than the content of the group’s values, influence our personal moral values? And how does making a group identity a core part of one’s personal identity influence well-being?
VW: What are you most looking forward to about this summer’s seminar?
ST: I’m really excited to meet researchers in disciplines other than my own. I am in the Social-Personality Psychology area at UT Austin, and I often think about how the research questions that psychologists pose (e.g. What does it mean to lead a happy or meaningful life?) are similar to the questions that religious scholars and philosophers have also posed for centuries. I’m looking forward to learning how other branches of knowledge have tried to answer these very human questions.
VW: What are your non-academic interests?
ST: I love reading (mostly fiction), listening to podcasts, taking walks, and traveling.
“I feel very fortunate to have listened to and engaged with such gifted people from so many places…”
“I’m having a great fascinating time and I’ve heard attendees from all perspectives/traditions express how appreciative they are of getting this opportunity to have a respectful interdisciplinary discussion on these topics.”
We feel the same, and grateful for the comments already coming our way from our fabulous participants.
Today’s sessions are Jennifer Frey on Happiness and Candace Vogler on Happiness and Social Life; follow along with our live-tweeting from @UChiVirtue.
Below is a sampling from yesterday’s sessions with Fr Stephen Brock on Aquinas and the Law and Dan McAdams on Generativity.
We’re delighted to share the list of participants for our 2017 Summer Seminar, “Virtue, Happiness, and Self-Transcendence“, who hail from all corners of the globe and will convene at the University of Chicago for a week this June. These young researchers will participate in intensive workshop sessions with our faculty to deepen their own research through conversations with a network of fellow collaborators in the areas of Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology/Religious Studies.
The accepted participants for the 2017 Summer Seminar, “Virtue, Happiness, & Self-Transcendence” are:
Alberto Arruda, University of Lisbon
Samuel Baker, University of South Alabama
Maureen Bielinski, University of St. Thomas, TX
Sarah Bixler, Princeton Theological Seminary
Andrew Christy, Texas A&M University
Ellen Dulaney, DePaul University
Marta Faria, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
Andrew Flynn, University of California – Los Angeles
Madison Gilbertson, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
Craig Iffland, University of Notre Dame
Anne Jeffrey, University of South Alabama
Jane Klinger, University of Waterloo
David McPherson, Creighton University
Samantha Mendez, University of the Philippines- Diliman
Elise Murray, Tufts University
Omowumi Ogunyemi, Institute of humanities of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos
Cabrini Pak, The Catholic University of America
Carissa Phillips-Garrett, Rice University
Timothy Reilly, University of Notre Dame
James Dominic Rooney, Saint Louis University
Jennifer Rothschild, University of Florida
Theresa Smart, University of Notre Dame
Joseph Stenberg, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Sanaz Talaifar, University of Texas at Austin
Andrea Yetzer, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs