Sept. 17, 2020


The Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations (PORDIR), now entering its 14th year, is a weekly seminar co-founded by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Reverend Paul Brandeis Raushenbush with the objective of fostering an interdisciplinary and interreligious exchange among students, scholars, and policy practitioners on important global issues. The theme for PORDIR XIV is The 2020 Crisis: Populism, Pandemic, and Inequality.

Princeton University graduate and undergraduate students will study, reflect, and research the role of religion and religious values on crises of confidence afflicting the social fabric of all nations, including: the spread of populism and populist movements; the devastation and suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; and the global discontent with pervasive inequality. Participating students, PORDIR Fellows, will hear from leading academics, religious leaders, and senior diplomats in private and non-ideological discussions.  


PORDIR Fellows are expected to conduct independent, intellectually rigorous research on a subject of their choice resulting in a 4,000 word paper, which they will workshop with their peers and invited guests. Students who meet the fellowship standard are then invited to present their research at a colloquium traditionally held abroad, in the city and country at the heart of the PORDIR theme. Fellows present their final papers in the company of distinguished scholars, diplomatic practitioners, and religious leaders. Past PORDIR colloquiums were held in Vienna, Lisbon, Prague, Rome, and Jerusalem. We hope to hold this year’s colloquium abroad in the summer of 2021, epidemiological conditions permitting.


For all inquiries about the program and to submit your application, please contact Ms. Kristen Cuzzo at To apply, please email Ms. Cuzzo your (a) name, (b) class year, (c) intended concentration, (d) a few lines about previous work, as it pertains to the seminar theme, (e) independent research interests, and (f) reason for wanting to participate. Applications are due on Monday, September 28 at 12:00 noon.