Wachtel Appointed Graduate School Dean
I am pleased to write with word that President Bienen and I have invited Andrew Wachtel to serve as dean of The Graduate School, and he has accepted. He will assume his position on September 1, 2004.
A faculty member at Northwestern since 1991, Wachtel is Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities, Director of the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CICS), and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. As chair of his department since 1997, he has been a vigorous administrator, participating centrally in the development of the Slavic department into one of the very strongest in the nation. He has shown similar energy and imagination as director of CICS, as director of the Program in Comparative Literary Studies (1999-2002), and as a member of numerous University committees. His University service includes membership on the Program Review Council (1998-2002) and on the General Faculty Committee (1998-2001), including one year as chair of that important governance body.
Closely associated with graduate education throughout his Northwestern career, Wachtel served as Director of Graduate Studies in Slavic (1991-97) and was among the persons who participated in the formation of The Graduate School's Presidential Fellows Program. He has served as a Senior Fellow in that body since its inception in 2001-02.
Wachtel is the author or editor of 10 books and more than 50 articles on Russian and South Slavic literature, culture, history and society. His most recent published book is Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia (Stanford University Press, 1998). Earlier books include The Battle for Childhood: Creation of a Russian Myth (Stanford, 1990), An Obsession with History: Russian Writers Confront the Past (Stanford, 1994), and Petrushka: Sources and Contexts (Northwestern University Press, 1998). Forthcoming books include Remaining Relevant after Communism? Writers and Society in Eastern Europe since 1989 and A History of the Balkans. In recognition of his academic work in the area of literary criticism he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.
Wachtel is also active as a translator of contemporary Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Slovenian and Bulgarian. His book-length translation of the work of the Russian poet Anzhelina Polonskaia will appear later this year from Northwestern University Press. As editor of that Press's acclaimed series "Writings from an Unbound Europe," Wachtel endeavors to identify and publish the most interesting contemporary poetry and prose from Central and Eastern Europe.
Wachtel is also a frequent commentator on WBEZ's "WorldView" and Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight." He has published numerous op-ed pieces on issues relating to the former Yugoslavia in the Chicago Tribune and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. For his work in areas relating to US foreign policy he was elected to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations in 2001.
President Bienen and I are pleased to be able to add a distinguished academic humanist to the University's administrative team, and we very much look forward to working with Wachtel in fulfilling our shared commitment to strengthening further graduate study at Northwestern.
We are grateful to the faculty-staff-student search committee, chaired by Professor Kenneth Poeppelmeier, for bringing to us an extraordinarily strong group of prospects for the position. We are also grateful to Richard Morimoto, who has served so ably as Dean of The Graduate School for the past six years and who will be returning to full-time teaching and research as John Evans Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research.
Sincerely,Lawrence B. Dumas