Faculty members recognized for outstanding scholarship with new professorships

Six UChicago faculty members—Elisabeth Clemens, Douglas R. Dirschl, Maryellen L. Giger, Susan C. Levine, Wenbin Lin and John Levi Martin—have received named professorships, while four faculty members— Lauren Berlant, Karin Knorr Cetina, Gregory Lawler and D.N. Rodowick—have been named Distinguished Service Professors.

Biological Sciences Division


An international leader in orthopaedic surgery, Douglas R. Dirschl, the founding chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, has been named a Lowell T. Coggeshall Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.

An orthopaedic surgeon, administrator, teacher and researcher, Dirschl specializes in the care of patients with musculoskeletal trauma and fractures, as well as other injuries and diseases of the bones, joints and muscles. His research identifies methods to improve precision and consistency in fracture diagnosis and classification.

He also has written extensively on traumatic shoulder, hip and ankle injuries and on emergency orthopaedic assessment and care. In 2011, as president of the American Orthopaedic Association, he spearheaded the association’s “Own the Bone” campaign, designed to increase awareness among the public and physicians of the serious consequences of bone loss and the growing prevalence of osteoporosis.

Dirschl has received multiple teaching awards for his work with medical students and residents. He has co-authored three books, 40 book chapters, and more than 75 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, and he has lectured all over the world. He serves on editorial and review boards for several notable scientific journals, including the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Dirschl joined the University of North Carolina faculty in 1993. In 2001, he served as a professor and chairman of orthopaedics at Oregon Health and Science University. In 2003, he returned to UNC as department chair and remained there until joining the UChicago faculty in January.


Professor and vice chair of Radiology Maryellen L. Giger has been named the A.N. Pritzker Professor in Radiology. Giger, who serves as director of the Imaging Research Institute, and is the immediate past director of the Graduate Program in Medical Physics and founding chair of the Committee on Medical Physics, was honored for her discoveries of new ways to use computers to help radiologists obtain quantitative information from medical images.

Giger and colleagues have refined the art of computer-aided diagnosis by designing computerized-image analysis systems to help radiologists better find and diagnose various cancers, which can translate to better patient prognosis and longer lives.

The author or co-author of more than 300 scientific manuscripts, Giger is the inventor or co-inventor on 25 patents. She is a fellow and former president of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a prior vice-president of the Radiological Society of North America, and an elected board member of the SPIE.

In 2010, Giger was elected to the National Academy of Engineering—one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. In 2013, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the Internal Congress on Medical Physics selected her as one of the 50 medical physicists who have had a major impact on the field over the last 50 years.

She joined the UChicago faculty in 1986.

Humanities Division


Literature professor and cultural theorist Lauren Berlant has been named the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in English Language and Literature. Berlant’s work has focused on institutions of intimacy and belonging in the United States since the 19th century, as well as on the public circulation of political emotions like trauma, love, optimism and depression.

She is the author of Cruel Optimism, which examines the affective and aesthetic implications of the recent disintegration of the promise of the “good life” in the United States and Europe. Cruel Optimism received the 2012 Rene Wellek Award from the American Comparative Literature Association.

Her previous publications include a trilogy on national sentimentality—The Anatomy of National Sentiment, The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture, and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship, as well as the edited volumes Intimacy, Our Monica, Ourselves: Clinton and the Affairs of State, and Compassion: the Culture and Politics of an Emotion. Her most recent book is Desire/Love.

Berlant is the director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality’s LGBTQ Studies Project, a fellow of 3CT, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, and a co-editor of Critical Inquiry.

Berlant joined the UChicago faculty in 1984.


Film scholar and filmmaker D.N. Rodowick has joined the University of Chicago faculty as the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in Cinema and Media Studies and the College. He comes to UChicago from Harvard University, where he was the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies.

Rodowick’s research interests include aesthetics and the philosophy of art, the history of film theory, philosophical approaches to contemporary art and culture, and the impact of new technologies on contemporary society.

Rodowick is the author of numerous essays as well as five books: The Virtual Life of Film; Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy after the New Media; Gilles Deleuze's Time Machine; The Difficulty of Difference: Psychoanalysis, Sexual Difference, and Film Theory; and The Crisis of Political Modernism: Criticism and Ideology in Contemporary Film Theory.

He also edited the 2009 collection Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze's Film Philosophy. Rodowick has two books forthcoming, Elegy for Theory and Philosophy’s Artful Conversation.

Alongside his scholarly work, Rodowick is an experimental filmmaker and video artist whose short films have received numerous awards. 

Before joining the Harvard faculty, Rodowick taught at Yale University, where he founded the Film Studies program. In 2002 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named him an Academy Film Scholar.

Rodowick joined the UChicago faculty July 1.

Social Sciences Division


Economic anthropologist and sociologist Karin Knorr Cetina has been named the Otto Borchert Distinguished Service Professor in Sociology, Anthropology and the College.

Knorr Cetina’s research interests include financial markets, knowledge and information, globalization, and social theory. Her work explores the information architecture of financial markets and their “global microstructures,” the global social and cultural form these markets take.

She also studies globalization from a microsociological perspective, using an ethnographic approach. In addition, she continues to be interested in laboratory studies, the study of science, technology and information at the site of knowledge production, particularly in the life sciences and in particle physics.

She is the author of The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science and Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Her current book project focuses on global foreign exchange markets and on post-social knowledge societies.

Knorr Cetina joined the UChicago faculty in 2010. She previously taught at the University of Bielefeld and the University of Konstanz in Germany. 


Sociologist Elisabeth S. Clemens, who studies the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change, has been named the William Rainey Harper Professor in Sociology and the College. She also is chair of sociology.

Clemens' first book, The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925, received best book awards in both organizational sociology and political sociology. She co-edited Private Action and the Public Good, Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology, Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America's Past and Present, and the journal Studies in American Political Development.

Clemens, PhD’90, is now completing Civic Nation, which traces the entanglements of benevolence and liberalism in the development of the American nation-state.

Clemens also has served as chair of both the political sociology and the comparative historical sociology sections of the American Sociological Association, as a member of the Social Science Research Council Program on Philanthropy and the Third Sector, and as president of the Social Science History Association.

Clemens joined the UChicago faculty in 2002 as an associate professor in sociology.


Psychologist Susan C. Levine, who investigates the effects of variations in a child’s surroundings and nurturing on the growth of language and mathematical and spatial skills, has been named the first Rebecca Anne Boylan Professor in Education and Society. Her interests also include research into the plasticity of language and cognitive skills following early brain injury.

Her many publications include co-authorship of two books, Quantitative Development in Infancy and Early Childhood and Neural Plasticity and Cognitive Development: Insights from Children with Perinatal Brain Injury.

She is co-director of the University’s Center for Early Childhood Research, co-principal investigator of the National Science Foundation’s Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center, and she has served as chair of psychology and as a member of the National Academies of Sciences Early Childhood Mathematics Committee.

Levine also serves on the board of Chapin Hall, which conducts policy research that benefits children, families and their communities, and on the board of the UChicago Laboratory Schools. She formerly consulted on early math for the PBS program “Sesame Street.”

Levine is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Levine has been a faculty member at UChicago since 1976.


Sociologist John Levi Martin, who has published work on social network analysis, the use of algebraic models for the analysis of dichotomous data and political psychology, has been named the first Florence Borchert Bartling Professor in Sociology and the College. 

Martin’s publications include two books, both of which received the Theory Prize for Outstanding Book from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Theory. In The Explanation of Social Action, he critiques the conventional understanding of what it means to “explain” something in the social sciences.

His Social Structures brought together recent findings in sociology, anthropology, political science and history to trace how sets of interpersonal relationships become ordered into various structural forms. The book describes a range of social structures, from families and street gangs to communes and nation-states.

He is currently doing research on the role of aesthetics and judgment in neo-Kantian sociological theory.

Martin has held previous faculty positions at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Rutgers University.  He joined the UChicago faculty in 2009.

Physical Sciences Division


Physicist and mathematician Gregory Lawler, a specialist in probability and stochastic processes and in statistical physics, has been named the George Wells Beadle Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics, Statistics and the College.

He is the author or co-author of six books: Intersections of Random Walks; Introduction to Stochastic Processes; Lectures on Contemporary Probability; Conformally Invariant Processes in the Plane; Random Walk: A Modern Introduction; and Random Walk and the Heat Equation.

Lawler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Mathematical Society, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Lawler also is a co-recipient of the George Pólya Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

He served as editor-in-chief of the Annals of Probability from 2006 to 2008 and was an editor of the Journal of the American Mathematical Society from 2009 to 2013. He co-founded the Electronic Journal of Probability in 1995 and served as its co-editor until 1999.

Lawler joined the UChicago faculty in 2006, after teaching at Cornell University. He also has been a faculty member at Duke University.


Chemical scientist Wenbin Lin, who designs new materials for applications in catalysis, molecular sensing and nanomedicine, has been appointed the James Franck Professor in Chemistry and the College.

Some of Lin’s recent work has involved the construction of hybrid solids from molecular building blocks for wide-ranging applications in sustainability and human health. He has used this approach to prepare materials for solar-energy applications.

Lin also is attempting to apply these molecular materials at nanoscale levels for applications in biomedical imaging and anticancer therapy. This work includes the development of a new type of nanoparticle that shows potential for more effective delivery of chemotherapy.

Lin is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He appeared on various “top scientists” lists, which are based on citations per article, from 1999 to 2010.

Other honors include the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award, the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Lin previously was the Kenan distinguished professor of chemistry and pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he had served on the faculty since 2001.

He joined the UChicago faculty on June 1.