IGSB fellow Joy M. Bergelson has been named the Louis Block Professor in Ecology & Evolution

Faculty members receive named chairs, distinguished service appointments

July 22, 2010

Eleven University faculty members - László Babai, Joy Bergelson, Thomas Christensen, Maud Ellman, Nicholas Epley, Martha Feldman, Heinrich Jaeger, Damon Phillips, Gary Steinberg, Eve Van Cauter and Amanda Woodward - have received named professorships, while 12 others - Raymond Ball, Bill Brown, Lars Hansen, Robert Kottwitz, Saul Levmore, Françoise Meltzer, Dennis Pardee, Steven Sibener, Abbie Smith, Robert Topel, Robert Vishny and Candace Vogler - had Distinguished Service Professor added to their titles.

  * Division of the Humanities
  * Division of Biological Sciences
  * Division of the Physical Sciences
  * Department of Social Sciences
  * Chicago Booth
  * Law School


Division of the Humanities

Bill BrownBill Brown has been named the Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture.

Brown is currently the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literature, Visual Arts, the Committee on the History of Culture, and the College. He studies literary, visual and material culture in the 19th and 20th centuries, from popular fiction, amusement parks and amateur photography, to the poetry of Walt Whitman and the fiction of Henry James and Gertrude Stein.

Brown’s book, A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature (2003), explored the role of objects in American literature at the turn of the last century and received the 2005 Laing Prize from the University of Chicago Press.

His other books include The Material Unconscious: American Amusement, Stephen Crane and the Economies of Play (1996) and Reading the West: An Anthology of Dime Novels (1997). In 2001 he edited a special issue of Critical Inquiry titled Things.

Brown received his Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. He has been teaching at UChicago since 1989.

Tom ChristensenThomas Christensen has been appointed the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities.

Currently, Christensen serves as Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division; he was chair of the Music Department from 2001–04.

Christensen’s research focuses on the history of music theory from the Middle Ages to the present. He has been particularly interested in situating music theory within broader currents of intellectual and social history. Among his publications is Rameau and Musical Thought in the Enlightenment (1993), which examined the late Baroque composer’s music theory in the context of Enlightenment science and empiricism.

He also co–authored Aesthetics and the Art of Musical Composition in the German Enlightenment: Selected Writings of Johann Georg Sulzer and Heinrich Koch. An active pianist, Christensen is the general editor of the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory (2002), and he served as president of the Society for Music Theory from 1999 until 2001.

He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1985. He joined the UChicago faculty in 1999.

Maud EllmannMaud Ellmann has been named the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Professor in the Development of the Novel in English.

Her research areas include modern British and Irish literature, gender studies and literary theory.

Ellmann is the author of The Poetics of Impersonality: T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound (1987), The Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing and Imprisonment (1993), Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism (1994). Her 2003 book, Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadow Across the Page (2003), received the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for literary scholarship from the British Academy.

Ellmann received an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty fellowship at Harvard University in 1989, and was named a Guggenheim fellow in 1998. She also has held fellowships from the ACLS and the National Humanities Center.

Ellmann received her B.A. from King’s College, Cambridge, in 1975, and her D.Phil from St. Anne’s College, Oxford, in 1982. Formerly Reader in Modern Literature at the University of Cambridge until 2004, she held the Donald and Marilyn Keough Chair in Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame before joining the UChicago faculty in 2010.

Martha FeldmanMartha Feldman has been appointed the Mabel Greene Myers Professor of Music and the Humanities and chair of the Department of Music.

Currently Professor in Music and the College, Feldman studies European vernacular music of the 16th to early 20th centuries, with a focus on Italian opera. Her most recent book, Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myths in Eighteenth–Century Italy, received the 2009 Laing Prize from the University of Chicago Press. Her next project, The Castrato in Nature, is forthcoming from the University of California Press.

Among Feldman’s many honors are the Dent Medal from the Royal Musical Association in 2001, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 and the Ruth A. Solie Prize of the American Musicological Society in 2007. She is also a 2009 recipient of the University’s Graduate Teaching Award.

Feldman received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and has taught at UChicago since 1991.

Francoise MeltzerFrançoise Meltzer has been named the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities.

Currently the Mabel Greene Myers Professor in Romance Languages & Literatures, Comparative Literature and the College, Meltzer is also Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature and Professor of Religions in the Divinity School. Her work focuses on contemporary critical theory and 19th–century French and German literature. Meltzer’s publications include Hot Property: The Stakes and Claims of Literary Originality (1994) and For Fear of the Fire Joan of Arc and the Limits of Subjectivity (2001). Since 1982 she has co–edited Critical Inquiry.

Meltzer has recently completed a book entitled Seeing Double: Baudelaire’s Modernity, which the University of Chicago Press will publish next spring. The Press also will publish a series of essays on saints that Meltzer edited with UChicago colleague Jas Elsner.

In 2006, Meltzer received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms) from the French government, the highest honor for academics in France.

She began teaching at UChicago in 1975, after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dennis PardeeDennis Pardee has been appointed the Henry Crown Professor of Hebrew Studies.

Currently Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Pardee studies northwest Semitic languages and is a leading scholar of Ugarit, the language spoken by the residents of the ancient Syrian city. He is the author of two–volume scholarly translation of Ugaritic rituals, many of which had been difficult for scholars to access before the publication of Pardee’s translation.

In 2008, Pardee translated the inscription on an ancient stone slab uncovered by an Oriental Institute team in southeast Turkey. The slab provided the first written evidence in the belief that the soul was separate from the body.

Pardee teaches intermediate and advanced Biblical Hebrew, and is a 2010 recipient of the University’s Graduate Teaching Award. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. In 2007 he delivered the British Academy’s prestigious Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology.

He received his Ph.D. from UChicago in 1974 and has been teaching at UChicago since 1972.

Candace VoglerCandace Vogler has been named the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor in Philosophy and the College.

Vogler works in ethics, action theory, social and political philosophy, psychoanalysis, sexuality and gender studies, and philosophy and literature. She has special interests in Marx, Aquinas, Rousseau, and Elizabeth Anscombe.

She is the author of two books, John Stuart Mill’s Deliberative Landscape: An essay in moral psychology (2001) and Reasonably Vicious (2002), and she co–edited The Critical Limits of Embodiment: Reflections on Disability Criticism (2001). She is currently working on two projects, a book about unconscious mental activity and a book about Anscombe’s Intention.

Vogler received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and joined the Chicago faculty that year.


Division of Biological Sciences

Joy BergelsonAn accomplished researcher of the fine evolutionary balance between plants and bacteria, Joy M. Bergelson has been named the Louis Block Professor in Ecology & Evolution.

Bergelson’s research career has focused on the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and its resistance to bacterial pathogens, and how that interaction influences and is influenced by ecological systems.

Combining genetic manipulations, field trials and greenhouse experiments with gene mapping, Bergelson’s research has characterized the mechanisms that underlie the “trench warfare” of this biological relationship.

Bergelson also has focused on the other side of that prolonged “trench warfare,” studying the evolution of bacteria such as Pseudomonas syringae and Pseudomonas viridiflava. The project inspired the creation of the University of Chicago Microbial Observatory, funded by the National Science Foundation, which studies the various bacterial species that colonize Arabidopsis and the ecological repercussions of these plant–bacteria interactions.

Bergelson, who chaired the Department of Ecology & Evolution in 2006, is the recipient of a Presidential Faculty fellowship, a Packard fellowship, a Young Investigator Award from the Society of Naturalists, and she is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She earned a Ph.D. in zoology/ecology in 1990 from the University of Washington.

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