September 13, 2001 Library of Congress Scholars' Council to Meet for First Time
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-3302
On October 11, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will convene the first meeting of the Scholars' Council in the John W. Kluge Center, a center that was formed at the Library of Congress with a $60 million endowment to foster scholarly research worldwide in the Human Sciences. Members of the Scholars' Council collectively include recipients of four Nobel Prizes, two Pulitzer Prizes, and numerous other distinguished awards; and represent the fields of applied science, economics, history, law, politics, literature, philosophy, and religion. As a group, the Scholars' Council has research experience in Africa, South and East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America as well as in Western Europe and the United States.
The members are: Bernard Bailyn, Baruch Blumberg, Judith Margaret Brown, Sara Castro-Klaren, Julia Ching, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Robert Fogel, Bronislaw Geremek, Hugh Heclo, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Bruce Mazlish, Walter McDougall, Jaroslav Pelikan, John Rogers Searle, Amartya Sen, Wole Soyinka, James Turner, Mario Vargas Llosa, and William Julius Wilson.
The Scholars' Council will advise Dr. Billington on future appointments for five senior-level chair positions at the Kluge Center: (1) American Law and Governance, (2) Societies and Cultures of the North, (3) Societies and Cultures of the South, (4) Technology and Society, and (5) Modern Culture. In addition, it will advise Dr. Billington on suitable recipients for the Kluge Prize of $2 million designed to recognize outstanding lifetime achievement in the Human Sciences. The council will also suggest ways both to enrich Library of Congress resources and to make the best use of the Kluge Center's upcoming Post-Doctoral Fellows Program enabling younger scholars to use the library's collections.
A brief description of individual appointees to the Scholars' Council follows.
Bernard Bailyn, at Harvard University, has received two Pulitzer prizes, one for The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution and the other for Voyagers to the West. In 1998, Professor Bailyn received the Jefferson Medal of the American Philosophical Society for achievement in the humanities.
Baruch Blumberg, formerly at the University of Pennsylvania as a medical anthropologist, received the Nobel Prize in 1976 for his work on the origin and spread of infectious diseases, and was instrumental in the discovery of the hepatitis-B vaccine. Currently, Dr. Blumberg's work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration involves integrating biological research and technology into the space program.
Judith Margaret Brown, Beit Professor of Commonwealth History at Oxford University in England, is renowned for her work in Indian history and is the author of Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: The Mahatma in Indian Politics; Modern India: Origins of an Asian Democracy; and Nehru.
Julia Ching, University Professor and Lee Chair Professor of Chinese Thought and Culture at the University of Toronto, is a scholar of East Asian philosophy and religion with a geographical focus that spans Asia, Europe, and North America. She has written The Religious Thought of Chu Hsi; The Butterfly Healing: A Life between East and West; and Mysticism and Kingship in China.
Sara Castro-Klaren founded the Latin American Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. In 2000, she was named to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and previously served for two years as Chief of the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress. Among her major written works are Understanding Mario Vargas Llosa and Women's Writing in Latin America.
Jean Bethke Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, is the author of Augustine and the Limits of Power; Democratic Authority at the Century's End; and Women and War. Her work examines broad-based topics such as the survival of democracy; marriage, families, and feminism; and state sovereignty in international relations.
Robert Fogel is Director of the Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago and has written Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery; The Escape from Hunger and Early Death, Europe and America, 1750-2050; and Business Ethics in Historical Perspective. He received a Nobel Prize in 1993 for applying economic theory and quantitative methods to explain economic and institutional change.
Bronislaw Geremek is the former Foreign Minister of Poland and a scholar of medieval European history specializing in Polish and French history and culture. He served as chair of the parliamentary caucus of Solidarity in Poland and, concurrently, became a faculty member at the College de France. Dr. Geremek has written Idea of Civil Society; Poverty: A History; and Common Roots of Europe.
Hugh Heclo, a professor of Public Affairs at George Mason University, is an expert on the governments and social policies of Western European nations and the United States and has received major book awards for Comparative Public Policy and Modern Politics in Britain and Sweden. As chair of a Ford Foundation committee that published The Common Good: Social Welfare and the American Future, Professor Heclo examined the changing expectations of democracy and government.
Gertrude Himmelfarb, who taught for 30 years at Brooklyn College and as Distinguished Professor of History at the City College of New York, has written extensively on society and culture with special expertise on British Victorian morality, conscience, and virtue. Her works include The Demoralization of Society: From Victorian Virtue to Modern Values; The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age; and, most recently, One Nation, Two Cultures.
Vyacheslav Ivanov, at UCLA, has held many distinguished positions as a linguist with a global range and as leader of the Russian School of Semiotics. He has been director of the All-Union Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow, chairman of the department of Theory and History of World Cultures at Moscow State University, is currently chairman of the Commission for the Complex Study of Creativity, and is writing a book on the development of language in Los Angeles.
Bruce Mazlish, at MIT since 1950, is an architect in the field of psychohistory. He has received the Toynbee prize, an international social science award, and has written the groundbreaking works In Search of Nixon: A Psychohistorical Study; Kissinger: The European Mind in American Policy; and Fourth Discontinuity: The Co-Evolution of Humans and Machines.
Walter McDougall, Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, has written extensively on the history of technology. He received a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for Heavens and Earth: A Political History of the Space Age. He has also written Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur and Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776.
Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has written an inclusive history of Christianity. He has written more than 30 books, among them, his 1997 book, What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?
John Rogers Searle, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, has been a regular panelist and moderator for the weekly television program World Press. He has been both a Guggenheim Fellow and Rhodes Scholar, lectures widely, and has written Minds, Brains, and Science; Construction of Social Reality; and Rationality in Action.
Amartya Sen, Master at Trinity College at Cambridge University in England, was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics in 1998 for his research on welfare and international development. The World Bank and United Nations have acknowledged Professor Sen's "human development index," as going beyond the standard per capita income in assessing a country's social and political, as well as economic, conditions.
Wole Soyinka, Woodruff Professor of the Arts at Emory University, is a Nigerian poet and playwright who staged his first plays at the Royal Court Theatre in London and received a Nobel Prize in 1986 in literature for his work on the mythology of his own Yoruba tribe. His plays include The Lion and the Jewel (a comedy) and The Swamp Dwellers (a serious philosophical work); and his books include The Interpreters, and Season of Anomy.
James Turner, founding director of the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame, coordinates deep scholarship on contemporary issues and the history of higher education in the United States and heads a program that supports studies in Catholic intellectual traditions and research from other Christian traditions as well as from Jewish and Islamic ones.
Mario Vargas Llosa, formerly a presidential candidate in Peru, is a gifted historical novelist who was the first 20th century Latin American writer to be elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. He is the first occupant of Georgetown University's endowed chair of Ibero- American literature and his books include La casa verde (The Green House), Conversacion en la catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral), and La guerra del fin del mundo (The War of the End of the World).
William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda G. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, is the former director of Center for Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago and the 1998 recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States. Among his publications are The Declining Significance of Race; The Truly Disadvantaged; and When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor.