Having drafted the first half of my dissertation, which focuses on the theological ethics of H. Richard Niebuhr, I plan to write the first two chapters of the second half of my dissertation focusing on the pedagogical theory of Paulo Freire. One chapter will examine the progressive pedagogical theories of Rousseau and Dewey, and the other will examine the early humanist thought of Marx. This will lay the groundwork for my argument that Freire's thought is best read as a continuation of the progressive trend of pedagogical theory inflected by Marxist humanism.
I especially look forward to the interdisciplinary environment of the Martin Marty Center. Personally, I have found that great insights have struck me regarding my own project when I'm considering work that's not at all directly related to it. I have also found that writing a dissertation can be extremely isolating work, so I look forward to the company of other "dissertators."