Sixteen UChicago faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

Sixteen University of Chicago faculty members have received distinguished service professorships or named professorships. 

Profs. Michael Franklin, Chang-Tai Hsieh, Dan Nicolae, Lubos Pastor, Robert Shimer and Lisa Wedeen have been named distinguished service professors. Profs. Scott Ashworth, Orit Bashkin, William Baude, Sarah Hammerschlag, Julia R. Henly, William Hubbard, Jonathan Lyon, Jennifer Nou, C. Riley Snorton and Tara Zahra have received named professorships. 

All appointments were effective July 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted. 

Division of the Humanities 

Orit Bashkin

Orit Bashkin has been named the Mabel Greene Myers Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the College. 

As a historian specializing on the intellectual, social and cultural history of the modern Middle East, Bashkin delves into Iraqi history, the history of Iraqi Jews, the Arab cultural revival movement in the late 19th-century, and the connections between modern Arab history and Arabic literature. Her most recent books include the edited volume “Jews and Journeys: Travel and Performance of Jewish Identity” (2021), which was co-authored with Joshua Levinson; and “Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel” (2017), which received the 2018 Nikki Keddie Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association. 

Recently, Bashkin received a Guggenheim Fellowship to support a book project on the history of Middle Eastern Jews from the early-modern to modern period. Drawing from Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew sources, she will show how Jews remembered and understood Ottoman and Arab politics through contemporary and biblical narratives. Through her scholarship, Bashkin has excelled at discovering lesser-known communities in the Middle East and describing their remarkable histories. 

C. Riley Snorton

C. Riley Snorton has been named the Mary R. Morton Professor in the Departments of English Language and Literature, of Race, Diaspora and Indigeneity, and the College. 

 A Black and transgender cultural theorist, his research draws from Black studies, queer theory and trans theory, seeking to complicate and expand those histories through the creation of a new vocabulary. His award-winning book “Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity” (2017) was the first publication to weave together the study of race and transgender identity, exploring those intersections from the 19th century to the present. Among the book’s awards are the William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association, the John Boswell Prize from the American Historical Association, the Lamba Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction and the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. 

Snorton’s first book “Nobody Is Supposed to Know” (2014) examines how negative perceptions of Black sexuality are reinforced by media and pop culture portrayals of the “down low”—Black men who have sex with men without identifying as gay, queer or bisexual. His next monograph, tentatively titled “Mud: Ecologies of Racial Meaning,” looks at the pervasive presence of swamps to racial practices and formations in the Americas. He is the co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies. 

Physical Sciences Division

Michael Franklin

Michael Franklin has been named the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the College. 

An authority on databases, data analytics, data management and distributed systems, Franklin serves as the Liew Family Chair of the Computer Science Department and also as Senior Advisor to the Provost on Computation and Data Science, and is the faculty co-director of the Data Science Institute.    

Under his leadership, the Department of Computer Science has undergone a rapid expansion in scope and stature, building world-leading research efforts in many areas including human-computer interaction, data science, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and quantum computing and growing computer science into one of the most popular majors in the College.    

Franklin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dan Nicolae

Dan Nicolae has been named the Elaine M. and Samuel D. Kersten, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Medicine and the College.

Nicolae’s research seeks to understand the role of genetic, genomic and environmental factors, and their interactions, in the development of common diseases. A statistical geneticist and a mathematical statistician, he specializes in developing methodological advances for large data problems in biology and medicine. Particular interests include functional genomics, microbiome, integration of omics data, networks, and systems biology. The innovative statistical and computational methods developed by his group are based on foundations in high-dimensional statistical inference, machine learning and data science. 

Nicolae has authored more than 150 papers, with the impact of his work recognized extensively including a best paper award from the International Genetic Epidemiology Society. Nicolae joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1999. He has served as chair of the Department of Statistics from 2016-2022, section chief for the Section of Genetic Medicine from 2015-2016, and currently as faculty co-director of the Data Science Institute. 

Division of the Social Sciences

Jonathan Lyon

Jonathan Lyon has been named the inaugural Sorin and Imran Siddiqui Professor in the Department of History and the College. 

Lyon’s research and teaching focus on the political and social history of Germany, Austria and the Holy Roman Empire in the medieval period, particularly the 11th through 13th centuries. He has served as director of the Social Science Teaching Fellowship Program and multiple terms as chair of the European Civilization Sequence. In 2021, Lyon received the highest teaching honor that the University bestows in the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.  

Robert Shimer

Robert Shimer has been named the George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the College.

A leading macroeconomist best known for his work in labor markets, Shimer’s contributions to the field of economics have been recognized by a number of significant honors, including the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of Labor Economics, awarded by the Society of Labor Economists. A UChicago faculty member since 2003, he is a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his many contributions as a scholar, Shimer has served as chair of the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics since 2018.

Lisa Wedeen

Lisa Wedeen has been named the Mary R. Morton Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College. 

Working at the intersection of comparative politics, political theory and anthropology, Wedeen writes theoretically motivated and ethnographically informed work about authoritarian regimes, Middle East politics, and interpretative methods, with an enduring focus on the workings of ideology in authoritarian regimes and beyond.  

The author of three critically acclaimed books, Wedeen has been instrumental in bringing the rigorous practice of interpretive methods into conversation with mainstream political science. Her recent book, “Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria” (2019), received four prestigious awards, including the Gordon J. Laing Award. She is also director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), a vibrant site for conferences, workshops, and seminars that draws students and faculty from across the social sciences and the humanities. 

Tara Zahra

Tara Zahra has been named the Hanna Holborn Gray Professor in the Department of History and the College.

Zahra’s research focuses on the transnational history of modern Europe, migration, the family, nationalism, and humanitarianism. She is the author of several books—“Kidnapped Souls” (2008), “The Lost Children” (2011), “The Great Departure” (2016), “Objects of War” (2018) with Leora Auslander, and “Against the World: Anti-Globalism and Mass Politics Between the World Wars” (2023).  

She is the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and fellowships from the NEH, ACLS and other bodies. Zahra currently serves as the Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. 

Booth School of Business

Chang-Tai Hsieh

Chang-Tai Hsieh has been named the Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Distinguished Service Professor. 

Hsieh conducts research on growth and development. His published papers include “The Life-Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico,” in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; “Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; “Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity,” in the American Economic Review; “Can Free Entry be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry,” in the Journal of Political Economy; “What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence from the Factor Markets,” in the American Economic Review; “The Allocation of Talent and US Economic Growth,” in Econometrica; “How Destructive is Innovation?” in Econometrica; and “Special Deals with Chinese Characteristics,” in the NBER Macroeconomics Annual. 

Hsieh is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a two-time recipient of the Sun Ye-Fang Award from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Academia Sinica. 

Lubos Pastor

Lubos Pastor has been named the Charles P. McQuaid Distinguished Service Professor of Finance.  

Pastor’s research focuses mostly on financial markets and asset management. His articles have appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Financial Studies, and other outlets. His research has been awarded numerous prizes, such as four Fama/DFA Prizes, two Smith Breeden Prizes, AQR Insight Award, Barclays Global Investors Prize, BlackRock Research Award, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Prize, Moskowitz Prize, NASDAQ Award, QMA Award, and Q Group Award. 

At the University, he also serves as a director of the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP), member of the CRSP Indexes Advisory Council, and member of the board of the Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance. Outside the University, he serves as a member of the Bank Board of the National Bank of Slovakia, director of the European Finance Association, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy and Research. He has served as president of the Western Finance Association, director of the American Finance Association, co-director of the Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Financial Studies. 

Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Julia R. Henly

Julia R. Henly has been named the Samuel Deutsch Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and the College.

Henly is the Deputy Dean for Research and Faculty Development and the co-director of the Employment Instability, Family Well-being, and Social Policy Network (EINet). She is a 2018 Society for Social Work and Research Fellow, a 2016 Interdisciplinary Research Leadership Program Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a 2016 Distinguished Fellow of the William T. Grant Foundation. She is also a longstanding member of the steering committee of the US/DHHS Administration for Children and Families' Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium. 

Divinity School

Sarah Hammerschlag

Sarah Hammerschlag has been named the John Nuveen Professor in the Divinity School and the College.

Hammerschlag is a scholar in the area of religion and literature. Her research has focused on the position of Judaism in the post-World War II French intellectual scene—a field that puts her at the crossroads of numerous disciplines and scholarly approaches including philosophy, literary studies and intellectual history.  

She is the author of “The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought” (2010) and “Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida and the Literary Afterlife of Religion” (2016) and the editor of “Modern French Jewish Thought: Writings on Religion and Politics” (2018). Hammerschlag’s essays on Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Blanchot have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Jewish Quarterly Review and Shofar, among other places. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled “Sowers and Sages: The Renaissance of Judaism in Postwar Paris.” Her most recent book is “Devotion: Three Inquiries in Religion, Literature and Political Imagination” (2021), co-written with Constance Furey and Amy Hollywood.  

Harris School of Public Policy

Scott Ashworth

Scott Ashworth has been named the Homer J. Livingston Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy and the College.

Ashworth’s research uses game-theoretic models to study a variety of issues in political science, with a special emphasis on campaigns and elections. Recently, he has examined the welfare economics of campaign finance, the sources of the incumbency advantage, the media's influence on policy choice, and some methodological pitfalls in the study of suicide terrorism. His current research continues to use ideas from contract theory to explore foundational and applied questions in the theory of political accountability. 

Law School

William Baude

William Baude has been named the Harry Kalven, Jr. Professor.

Baude is faculty director of the Constitutional Law Institute at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches federal courts, constitutional law, conflict of laws, and elements of the law. His current research interests include the doctrine of standing, and different aspects of the Fourteenth Amendment, relating to both unenumerated rights and disqualification of officials. 

Among his other activities, Baude is the co-editor of two textbooks: “The Constitution of the United States” and “Hart and Wechsler's Federal Courts in the Federal System.” He’s an affiliated scholar at the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism; a founding member of the Academic Freedom Alliance; a member of the American Law Institute; an occasional blogger at The Volokh Conspiracy; and a podcaster on “Divided Argument.” He also recently served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. 

William Hubbard

William Hubbard has been named the Harry N. Wyatt Professor.

Hubbard’s current research primarily involves economic analysis of litigation, courts and civil procedure. He has published widely in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals and is the author of the casebook “Civil Procedure: An Integrated Approach” (2021) and is co-author of the forthcoming “Court on Trial: A Data-Driven Account of the Supreme Court of India” (2023). He is a research professor at the American Bar Foundation and has been Editor of the Journal of Legal Studies since 2014. 

Hubbard received his J.D. with high honors from the Law School in 2000, where he was Executive Editor of the Law Review. He clerked for the Hon. Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. From 2001-2006, he practiced law as a litigation associate at Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago, where he specialized in commercial litigation, electronic discovery, and appellate practice. During 2006-2011, he completed the Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty in 2011, he was a Kauffman Legal Research Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the Law School. 

Jennifer Nou

Jennifer Nou has been named the Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Professor.

Nou’s main research interests are in administrative law, executive branch dynamics, regulatory policy and constitutional separation-of-powers. She is currently a senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a senior advisor at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. 

Nou is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, and received an MPhil in Politics from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. After graduation, she was a law clerk to Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.