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5 Faculty Receive Endowed Professorships

Olivia DrakeJune 23, 20157min

In recognition of their career achievements, five faculty members are being appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1:

Stephen Angle, professor of philosophy and East Asian studies, is receiving the Mansfield Freeman Professorship in East Asian Studies, established in 1986.

Lisa Cohen, associate professor of English, is receiving the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Chair. The Bennet Chair, endowed in 2007, is awarded for a five-year term to a newly tenured associate professor exhibiting exceptional achievement and evidence of future promise.

Andrew Curran, professor of French and outgoing Dean of Arts and Humanities, is receiving the William Armstrong Professorship of the Humanities, established in 1921.

Lori Gruen, professor of philosophy, environmental studies, and feminist, gender and sexuality studies, is receiving the William Griffin Professorship of Philosophy, established in 1885.

Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry and outgoing Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and director of technology initiatives, is receiving the Fisk Professorship of Natural Science, established in 1839.

“Please join us in congratulating Stephen, Lisa, Andrew, Lori, and Ishita in recognition of their impressive intellectual achievements and institutional contributions,” wrote Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Ruth Striegel Weissman, vice president for academic affairs and provost in a campus-wide e-mail.

Brief biographies appear below:

Stephen Angle arrived at Wesleyan in 1994 after receiving his BA from Yale and his PhD from the University of Michigan. Angle’s research ranges over the last thousand years of Chinese thought, including both historical studies and engagement with contemporary Chinese philosophizing. Angle has authored or edited five books: The Chinese Human Rights Reader (ed.), Human Rights and Chinese Thought, Sagehood, Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy, and Virtue Ethics and Confucianism (ed.). His three monographs have appeared or are forthcoming in Chinese translations. Angle has received grants from the ACLS, Fulbright Foundation, NEH, and Mellon Foundation. He also is the recipient of a Millicent C. McIntosh Fellowship and Wesleyan’s Binswanger Prize. Angle is currently co-authoring an introduction to Neo-Confucian philosophy with Justin Tiwald.

Lisa Cohen joined the English Department’s creative writing faculty in fall 2007. She earned her BA from Brown University, and her M.Phil and PhD from Yale University. Cohen has published a wide range of essays and the critically acclaimed book, All We Know: Three Lives (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). In this work, she presents the biographies of three 20th-century women whose significance in transatlantic modernism is equaled only by their absence from previous historical investigations. Critics have widely recognized the stylistic achievement of her writing, as well as the innovations of her archival project, and her reframing of the genre of biography. Some of her recent essays on art, fashion, film, and literature have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Vogue, The Paris Review, and the anthology Women in Clothes.

Andrew Curran arrived at Wesleyan in 1998 after completing his BA at Hamilton College and his PhD at New York University. Curran’s research focuses on 18th century life sciences and medicine. His major publications include an edited volume titled Faces of Monstrosity and two books, Sublime Disorder and The Anatomy of Blackness, the latter forthcoming in a French translation at Classiques Garnier. Elected a Fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine in 2010, Curran has also received fellowship or research support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He was also the winner of the James L. Clifford prize for the best article in eighteenth-century studies in 2011. He is currently working on a new biography of the French writer and encyclopedist Denis Diderot for Other Press.

Lori Gruen received her BA and PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been at Wesleyan since 2000 and has served as chair of both the Philosophy Department and the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and served as the first chair of the Faculty Committee for the Center for Prison Education. Gruen’s research lies at the intersection of ethical theory and ethical practice, with a particular focus on ethical issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g., women, people of color, non-human animals. She is the author of Ethics and Animals: An Introduction and Entangled Empathy, editor of The Ethics of Captivity and co-editor of four other books, most recently Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with other Animals and the Earth. She was the co-editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy and is a Fellow of the Hastings Center.

Ishita Mukerji has been a member of Wesleyan’s faculty since 1994. She earned her AB from Bryn Mawr College and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her current research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of binding and recognition in protein-DNA interactions, the structure and dynamics of DNA, and the mechanisms of fiber and plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Donaghue Foundation and the American Heart Association. She has been honored with the National Science Foundation Career Development Award (CAREER) and received the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation Investigator Award. Elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2014, most recently, she was named a National Academies Education Fellow in the Sciences. She is currently studying proteins binding to DNA replication intermediates.