Seven U. professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science| Apr 21, 2016
Seven University professors have been named as Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the most prestigious honor societies in the nation.Those professors are Brandice Canes-Wrone, professor in public and international affairs, politics and public affairs and vice dean of the Wilson School; Jill Dolan, dean of the college and professor of English and theater; Denis Feeney, professor of Latin and classics and chair of the Council of the Humanities; Joanne Gowa, professor of politics; John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs; János Kollár, professor of science and mathematics; and Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs.
The professors were chosen from a variety of disciplines “in recognition of their contributions to their respective fields.” According to the Academy’s website, 213 members were elected this year. 176 of these members were elected Fellows and 37 as Foreign Honorary Members.
“[The] Academy has elected leading ‘thinkers and doers’ from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the twentieth,” the website noted.
The Academy did not respond to requests for comment.
As of now, it is still unclear what the new nominees will be required to do as part of their new positions.
“At the moment, I don’t have a very clear idea of what my actual responsibilities will be, but I’m hoping to find out,” Feeny said.
Feeney is a scholar of Latin literature and Roman culture and has written extensively on these subjects, he said. He added that he has published two books dealing with Roman literature and religion, one book about the origins of Latin literature and another about Roman constructions of time.
Dolan said that it is likely that she and the other Fellows will find out more about their tasks after the induction ceremony this fall.
She said she was nominated for her work in the humanities, particularly in the field of feminist performance criticism.
“My sense of why people are nominated to and then elected to the Academy is on the basis of their body of work,” she said.
According to Dolan, the Academy website mentions academic contributions over the course of a career as one of the main criteria for selection. She added that she felt flattered to have been elected to the academy for that reason.
“I feel personally gratified that the work has been noticed and also really gratified for the field, because performance studies and theater studies and feminist studies still deserve that kind of attention,” she said.
Scheppele said she was nominated under the law section. Scheppele noted that she received her Ph.D. in sociology but has also worked in political science and law. The majority of her work has been in comparative law and international law, but she has also been involved in other disciplines, she explained.
“I was completely delighted and completely surprised, because a lot of my work has been outside the U.S. and since this the American Academy, they don’t always recognize scholars whose work is primarily outside the U.S.,” Scheppele said.
Kollár said he was elected for the mathematics section. He added that his main area of interest is algebraic geometry.
“It’s a nice acknowledgement of my past work,” he said.
Canes-Wrone, Ikenberry and Gowa were unavailable for comment.