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Five Named Fellows of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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April 24, 2006

Three current Northwestern University faculty members and two who are joining the faculty in the fall have been elected new Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

They are:

Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and History

Richard Kiekhefer, John Evans Professor in Religion

Richard Kraut, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in the Humanities

Lee Epstein, visiting law professor, who will become the Beatrice Kuhn Professor in the fall

Abraham Nitzan, professor of chemistry at Tel Aviv University, Israel, who will be a visiting professor in chemistry for five years, starting in the fall

They join 195 scholars, scientists, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders from 24 states and 13 countries, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th.

Hine is a leading historian of the African American experience who helped found the field of black women's history and has been one of its most prolific scholars. A past-president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association, she is the winner of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Her numerous publications include The African-American Odyssey, Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas, Black Women in White: Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890-1950, The Harvard Guide to American History, Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History, More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas, A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U.S. Black Men's History and Masculinity, A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America, Speak Truth to Power: Black Professional Class in United States History, and “We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible”: A Reader in Black Women's History.

Kieckhefer, who holds a joint appointment in history, is a historian of Christianity who works mainly on the late Middle Ages in Western Europe. He has conducted research on various aspects of late medieval religious culture, including mystical theology, sainthood, and heresy and its repression. He is widely known for his work on late medieval witchcraft and magic, and currently is developing his interest in church architecture as an area for research.

His most recent book, "Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley," is an interweaving of history, theology and aesthetics.  "Magic in the Middle Ages" has been published in nine languages. He is author of five other books including the classic, "European Witch Trials: Their Foundations in Popular and Learned Culture, 1300-1500." Kieckhefer, a former president of the American Society of Church History and the Societas Magica, has been awarded a residency at the Bellagio Study in Italy and is a Guggenheim fellow and fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. He has served three terms as chair of the department of religion.

Kraut, who holds appointments in philosophy and classics, specializes in moral and political philosophy, particularly that of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Regarded as a leading scholar in ancient Greek ethics, he has also written on ethical and moral issues more generally. In his current research, he takes up dimensions of Aristotle's political and social philosophy that are of relevance in contemporary politics and political philosophy.

He is author of "Aristotle on the Human Good" and "Socrates and the State" and translated with commentary "Aristotle Politics, Books VII and VIII." He edited "Critical Essays on Plato's Republic" and "The Cambridge Companion to Plato" and was co-editor of "Nature, Knowledge and Virtue: Essays in Memory of Joan Kung." He has written more than 60 journal articles and reviews.

Kraut has served as chair of the department of philosophy and was a faculty affiliate of the Alice Berline Kaplan Center for the Humanities. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Hellenic Studies and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Lee Epstein is currently the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and professor of law at Washington University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She served as the Jack N. Pritzker Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern's School of Law during fall 2005.

The recipient of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on judicial politics, she currently is working on the project “Strategic Defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court,” examining the circumstances leading lower courts to comply with/defy higher courts.

Nitzan's research is in the field of chemical dynamics and transport phenomena in condensed phases. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received the Kolthof Prize, the Humboldt Award and the Israel Chemical Society Prize.