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American Academy Appoints 2007 Class of Visiting Scholars


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seven scholars, representing institutions in six states, have received fellowships for the 2007-2008 academic year at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy’s Visiting Scholars Program supports promising scholars and practitioners in the early stages of their careers – both postdoctoral fellows and untenured junior faculty – who demonstrate the potential to become leaders in the social sciences, policy studies, and the humanities.

The scholars’ study topics including philosophy, anthropology, history, literature, law, history of science, human rights, political science, religion, international studies, and foreign policy. The scholars are: David Ekbladh, a postdoctoral scholar in American history and U.S. foreign relations from Columbia University; Lisa Fluet, assistant professor of 20th Century British and Anglophone
Literature at Boston College; John Kaag, a postdoctoral scholar in American philosophy from the University of Oregon; Paul MacDonald, a postdoctoral scholar in political science from Columbia University; Joy Rohde, a postdoctoral scholar in the history of science from the University of Pennsylvania; Galit Sarfaty, a Yale Law School graduate and a doctoral candidate in anthropology and international law from the University of Chicago; and David Sehat, a postdoctoral scholar in American history and religion from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“Fellowships in the humanities and social sciences are limited,” said Academy Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. “When we established the program six years ago, our goal was to enable early-career scholars to engage in interdisciplinary studies of complex social and intellectual issues. The ability to interact with Academy Fellows, with an unparalleled wealth of knowledge from diverse scholarly and professional backgrounds, also provides a unique intergenerational opportunity for Visiting Scholars.”

The scholars will spend the year in residence at the Academy in Cambridge, Mass., working on a range of studies that relate to the Academy’s core program areas: Humanities and Culture; Social Policy and American Institutions; Education; and Science, Technology, and Global Security. In addition to focusing on their individual projects, they will participate in ongoing activities at the Academy, including seminars and lectures. Previous Visiting Scholars are now on the faculty of Brooklyn College, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Yale, among other institutions.

Patricia Meyer Spacks, Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English Emerita at the University of Virginia and former president of the Academy, currently chairs the Visiting Scholars Program. An
authority on 18th Century literature and culture, she has written about such issues as identity and selfhood, privacy, gossip, and feminism.

The Academy’s University Affiliates, a group of 50 colleges and universities from throughout the country, provide support and guidance for the Visiting Scholars Program. Funding is also provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, the Virginia Wellington Cabot Trust, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, the Charles and Suzanne Haar Fund, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or any other funder.

More information about the program, including guidelines and application forms for 2008-2009, is available on the Academy’s website:

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. With headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.


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