Twenty-One UChicago Faculty Receive Named, Distinguished Service Professorships

University of Chicago campus

Twenty-one University of Chicago faculty members have received distinguished service professorships or named professorships.

President Robert J. Zimmer and incoming President Paul Alivisatos have received distinguished service professorships, along with Profs. Bariş Ata, Jing Chen, Frederick de Armas, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Martha Feldman, Michael Kremer, Thomas Lamarre, David Levin, Susan Levine, Adekunle Odunsi and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg.

Profs. Sanjay Dhar, Roberto Lang, Stacy Tessler Lindau, Josephine McDonagh, Kenneth Moss, Sianne Ngai, Willemien Otten and Lawrence Zbikowski have received named professorships.

Lauren Berlant, Preeminent Literary Scholar and Cultural Theorist, 1957–2021

Lauren Berlant photo by Robert Kozloff

Prof. Lauren Berlant, a world-renowned scholar who examined what sentimentality means in American culture for gender, sexuality and politics, died June 28 of a rare form of cancer. A beloved mentor and esteemed colleague who spent nearly four decades at the University of Chicago, Berlant was 63 years old.

Remembered by colleagues for their immense pedagogical curiosity, their perceptive interpretations of American literature, politics and culture and their collaborative prowess, Berlant gave readers the tools for understanding the complicated interactions between self and society.

The George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Berlant was a leading theorist whose impact stretched across disciplinary lines. They sought to define the desires and emotions that compel people to create forms of life that support a sense of belonging, and the complex ways in which gender, race, citizenship, class, and sexuality affect and mold those attachments.

Longtime Journal Editor W. J. T. Mitchell Reflects on Career, the Loss of His Son

W. J. T. Mitchell

The year 2020 marked two milestones for Prof. W. J. T. Mitchell: He ended his 42-year tenure as editor of the interdisciplinary arts and humanities journal Critical Inquiry and published his first non-academic book. That work, Mental Traveler: A Father, a Son, and a Journey through Schizophrenia, is a memoir of his son Gabrielʼs 20-year battle with schizophrenia and subsequent death by suicide in 2012.

Mitchell was the second person to lead Critical Inquiry, taking over in 1978 upon the death of founding editor Sheldon Sacks, PhDʼ60, professor of English and linguistics. The journalʼs influence grew steadily under his watch; 25 years later, the New York Times called it “academeʼs most prestigious theory journal.”

100 Years Ago, Georgiana Simpson Made History as the First Black Woman to Graduate with a Ph.D.

Third-year students Marla Anderson (right) and Dayo Adeoye pose with the bust of Georgiana Simpson in the Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago. Anderson and Adeoye created the Georgiana Simpson Organization last year to honor Simpson's pioneering legacy and foster the advancement of Black women at UChicago.

In the summer of 1907, Georgiana Rose Simpson left Washington, D.C., to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago. A 41-year-old high school teacher, she enrolled with the goal of furthering her interests in German language and literature.

As a pathbreaking figure, Simpson faced racism and discrimination throughout her academic career. Shortly after she arrived at the University, she was forced to live off-campus when white students objected to sharing a dorm with a Black woman.

Despite such challenges, Simpson would earn three degrees from the University of Chicago—an AB in 1911, AM in 1920, and a Ph.D. in 1921, when she was 55 years old. Simpson became the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. in the United States on June 14, 1921, followed within weeks by two scholars at other universities who also received their degrees that month.

Pages

Recent Tweets

Events

  1. More