Campus & Community

Six faculty recognized with Cabot Fellowship

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Achievements and scholarship are key in annual fellowship

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean William C. Kirby has announced that Joyce E. Chaplin, Caroline M. Elkins, Jill Lepore, David Roxburgh, Susan R. Suleiman, and Gordon L. Teskey are the Walter Channing Cabot Fellows for the current academic year. The fellowships are awarded annually to selected faculty members in recognition of their achievements and scholarship in the fields of “literature, history or art, as such terms may be liberally interpreted … .”

“These recipients are extraordinary scholars who have distinguished themselves through their hard work, tenacity, and thoughtful research,” Kirby, Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of History, said. “Honoring these faculty scholars enhances the distinction that has always been associated with the Cabot Fellowships.”

Chaplin, professor of history, is an expert on British North America before 1820. She is a historian of ideas in material context, arguing consistently and compellingly how intellectual currents of high culture broadly shaped the mental landscape of the settlers and planters of British North America. Her work touches most of the major currents of scholarship in early American history. She has just published “First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius.”

Elkins, Hugo K. Foster Associate Professor of African Studies, who was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction for her compelling, groundbreaking book “Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya” (Henry Holt), uncovers the “dirty secrets” of British rule of Kenya from 1952 to 1960 during which time the British “detained and brutalized hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu – the colony’s largest ethnic group – who had demanded their independence.” She has done extensive research on modern Africa.

Lepore, professor of history, is the author of “The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity,” which won both the Bancroft Prize and Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. She is co-founder and co-editor of the Web magazine Common-place ( She has just published “New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan.”

Roxburgh, professor of the history of art and architecture, is an associate faculty member of the Aga Khan Program. His publications include “The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection” and “Prefacing the Image: The Writing of Art History in Sixteenth-Century Iran.” He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, and has received numerous fellowships and conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His research focuses on the visual arts – principally, the arts of the book, painting, and calligraphy.

Suleiman is the C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and professor of comparative literature. Her books include “Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre,” “Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde,” “Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature,” and “Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook.” Other recent publications include articles on collective memory and documentary film, and problems of factuality in Holocaust memoirs. She has just published “Crises of Memory and the Second World War.” She is a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute.

Teskey, professor of English and American literature and language, just published “Delirious Milton: The Fate of the Poet in Modernity.” Teskey also wrote “Allegory and Violence.” He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto in 1977 and 1981, respectively. Before coming to Harvard, he was professor of English at Cornell University where he taught for 20 years.

– FAS Communications