Campus & Community

Faculty of Arts and Sciences names Walter Channing Cabot Fellows

3 min read

Five professors in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) have been named Walter Channing Cabot Fellows. The awards, given annually, honor distinguished faculty members who have contributed to the advancement of scholarship in the fields of literature, history, or art.

This year’s winners are David Armitage, Julie Buckler, Ingrid Monson, Diana Sorensen, and Ruth Wisse.

“We are pleased to honor the achievements of these outstanding faculty members,” said Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. “They are leaders and pioneering thinkers who bring innovation and fresh perspectives to scholarship in their respective fields.”

Cabot Fellowships are traditionally given to faculty in the arts and humanities, as well as certain social sciences departments. The 2008 honorees have a diverse array of academic interests, ranging from music to Slavic studies.

David Armitage, Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History, specializes in international, early modern, and intellectual history. He was recognized for his recent publication, “The Declaration of Independence: A Global History” (Harvard University Press, 2007). In his book, Armitage examines the global impact of America’s Declaration of Independence, and explores the many similar declarations issued around the world since 1776.

From Pushkin to Dostoevsky, the city of St. Petersburg has figured prominently in Russian literature. Julie Buckler, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, offers original views on the urban landscape in her book “Mapping St. Petersburg: Imperial Text and Cityshape” (Princeton University Press, 2005). Buckler was honored with a Cabot Fellowship for this unique study, which incorporates a broad range of texts, such as letters, folk songs, literary sources, and even urban legends, to bring to life new facets of the fabled city.

Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music (supported by the Time Warner Endowment), shows that music and politics are inextricably linked in her book “Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa” (Oxford University Press, 2007). Monson has received a Cabot Fellowship for this project, which explores the ways in which the Civil Rights, African Independence, and Black Power movements impacted jazz in the 1950s and 1960s. Weaving together aesthetics, politics, music, and activism, Monson demonstrates how the debates of the era encouraged jazz musicians to take action and fostered a long-standing tradition of social critique.

As dean for the arts and humanities, Diana Sorensen, James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, oversees a broad array of research and teaching in the humanities community. But she is also an active and dynamic participant. Sorensen was honored with a Cabot Fellowship for her recent publication “A Turbulent Decade Remembered: Scenes from the Latin American Sixties” (Stanford University Press, 2007). The book offers a detailed perspective on a decade of profound change in Latin America, and evaluates the ways in which events such as the student movements of 1968 and the Cuban Revolution shaped literary culture.

The history of the Jewish people encompasses thousands of years, many divergent traditions, and a broad geography. Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature, professor of comparative literature, and Harvard College Professor, explores Jewish history through a political lens in her book “Jews and Power” (Random House, 2007). Wisse received a Cabot Fellowship for this study, which explores the politics of Jewry across the centuries, from the Roman era to medieval Spain, through World War II and on to today.

The fellowships are supported by a fund established in memory of Walter Channing Cabot. The fund was created by Cabot’s wife Elizabeth Rogers Cabot and her children in 1905.