Fifteen UChicago faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fifteen faculty members at the University of Chicago have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.

UChicago has the most newly elected faculty members among universities and colleges. The scholars join a class of 213 individuals, announced April 18, which features world leaders, innovators and artists. This year’s class also includes President Barack Obama, a former scholar at the University of Chicago Law School; and seven UChicago alumni, including Carla Hayden, AM’77, PhD’87, the Librarian of Congress.

The newly elected UChicago faculty members include:

Fernando Alvarez, the William C. Norby Professor in Economics and the College, is a macroeconomist whose research focuses on dynamic general equilibrium models applied to asset pricing, holdings of liquid assets, nominal rigidities, international trade, and labor market search and insurance. During his tenure at UChicago, he was a visiting research scholar at the Enaudi Institute of Economics and Finance in Rome, the research departments at the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia; the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Argentina. Alvarez has received numerous recognitions for his research, including fellowships and or grants from the European Central Bank, European Research Council, N.S.F., the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Tinker Foundation, Bank of France Foundation and the Organization of American States.

Katherine Baicker is dean of the Harris School of Public Policy and the Emmett Dedmon Professor. A leading scholar in the economic analysis of health policy, Baicker is one of the leaders of a research program investigating the effects of insurance coverage on health care and health. Her research has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. From 2005-2007, she served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Lauren Berlant is the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English Language and Literature. Her work focuses on the aesthetics and affects of intimate relations in the United States from the 19th century to the present, stretching across formal and informal modes of attachment, social belonging and citizenship. Berlant is the author of Cruel Optimism (2011), which received the 2012 Rene Wellek Award from the American Comparative Literature Association; The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (2008); The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (1997); and The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia and Everyday Life (1991).

Bill Brown, senior adviser to the Provost for arts and the Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, teaches in the Department of English, the Department of Visual Arts and the College. His research—at the intersection of literary, visual and material cultures—has tracked how objects form and transform human subjects, and, most recently, how the arts can contribute to social theory.

Laurie Butler is a professor of chemistry with the James Frank Institute. She investigates fundamental inter- and intramolecular forces that drive the courses of chemical reactions, integrating our understanding of quantum mechanics into chemistry. Among other applications, her current work has implications for our models of atmospheric and combustion chemistry. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a former Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.

Cathy J. Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science, is a leading scholar on race and politics. She is the principal researcher on the Black Youth Project and the GenForward Survey. She has served as the deputy provost for graduate education, chair of the Political Science department and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Culture and Politics. Her general field of specialization is American politics, although her research interests include African-American politics, women and politics, lesbian and gay politics, and social movements. Cohen is the author of two books: Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (Oxford University Press 2010) and The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press 1999) and co-editor with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU, 1997).

Heinrich Jaeger is the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physics and the James Franck Institute. His laboratory studies the investigation of materials under conditions far from equilibrium, especially to design new classes of smart materials. A focus of Jaeger’s work are granular materials, which are large aggregates of particles in far-from-equilibrium configurations, that exhibit properties intermediate between those of ordinary solids and liquids – which could lead to everything from soft robotic systems that can change shape to new forms of architectural structures that are fully recyclable. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and is currently a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Matthew T. Kapstein is the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Divinity School. He specializes in the history of Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet, as well as the cultural history of Tibetan Buddhism more generally. He has published more than a dozen books and numerous articles, including a translation of an 11th-century philosophical allegory in the acclaimed Clay Sanskrit Series, The Rise of Wisdom Moon (New York 2009). Kapstein is also director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.

Robert L. Kendrick is professor in the Department of Music. He works largely in early-modern music and culture, with additional interests in Latin American music, historical anthropology, traditional Mediterranean polyphony, music and commemoration, and the visual arts. His most recent book is Singing Jeremiah: Music and Meaning in Holy Week (2014).

Susan Levine is the Rebecca Anne Boylan Professor in Education and Society, director of the UChicago Science of Learning Center, co-director of the Center for Early Childhood Research and chair of the Department of Psychology. She is also a member of the Department of Comparative Development and the Committee on Education. Her research focuses on language and cognitive development in children, especially mathematics and spatial learning, as well as how early childhood experiences and injuries to the brain relate to developmental trajectories. She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Jacqueline Stewart is professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College, and director of UChicago’s Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. Her research and teaching consider the intersections of race and American cinema, particularly the history and preservation of African American film. She is the director of the South Side Home Movie Project, an archival and community engagement initiative that collects, digitizes, researches and exhibits home movies shot by South Side residents. She is the author of Migrating to the Movies (2005) and co-editor of L.A. Rebellion (2015), and curator of Cinema 53, a film series at the historic Harper Theater in Hyde Park.

Jessica Stockholder is the Raymond W. & Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of Visual Arts. She works at the intersection of painting and sculpture. Her work has exhibited widely in North America and Europe, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, SITE Santa Fe, and the Venice Biennale, and her work is represented in various collections including the Art Institute of Chicago. She has received numerous grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Melody Swartz is the William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. Her research focuses on how the lymphatic system affects and participates in the immune system—particularly its role in cancer – using engineering tools and approaches. She is a MacArthur Fellow, and her other honors include the Wendy Chaite Leadership Award in Lymphatic Research and the Wenner Prize from the Swiss Cancer League.

Andrei Tokmakoff is the Henry J. Gale Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry with the James Franck Institute. He studies the chemistry of water, and molecular dynamics of biophysical processes such as protein folding and DNA hybridization. His lab uses advanced spectroscopy to visualize how molecular structure changes with time to study these problems. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and has received the American Physical Society’s Ernest Plyler Prize, among others.

Linda Waite is the Lucy Flower Professor in Urban Sociology and senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include social demography, aging, the family, health, sexuality and social well-being. Her current research focuses on the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, which she directs. This study examines the links between social connectivity and health at older ages, and has at its heart a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of older adults. She is the recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.

The UChicago alumni elected to the Academy this year include: John R. Bowen, AM’77, PhD’84; Richard V. Kadison, AM’47, PhD’50; Laurie Patton, AM’86, PhD’91; David Reichman, AB’92; Christopher A. Walsh, PhD’83, MD’85; and Birgitta K. Whaley, SM’82, PhD’84.