Divisional news
Faculty books and accolades.

Faculty Books

Gray reflects on the nature of the university

Hanna Holborn Gray, former University president and the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History, published Searching for Utopia: Universities and Their Histories (University of California Press, 2012). The book examines changing notions of the ideal education and university and how they affect debates over the structures and purposes of liberal learning.

Farquhar describes cultural practice in contemporary Beijing

Judith Farquhar, AM'75, AM'79, PhD'86, the Max Palevsky Professor of Anthropology, published Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing (Zone Books, 2012). Coauthored with Chinese philosopher Qicheng Zhang, the book examines what life is and is becoming in modern Beijing. The authors describe how the city's residents understand and nurture the good life, practicing activities that promote well-being.

Sparrow explores the expansion of American government

James Sparrow, associate professor of history, published Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government (Oxford University Press, 2011). Sparrow examines the rapid expansion and increased social influence of the federal government during World War II. His history of social politics explores the transformation of the American nation-state, asking how and why Americans adapted to the wartime expansion of the government and its authority.

Winter examines scientific and cultural conceptions of memory

Alison Winter, AB'87, associate professor of history, authored Memory: Fragments of a Modern History (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Winter traces the cultural and scientific history of the understanding of memory, from the early metaphor that likened memory to a filing cabinet to the current model of an extremely complicated, brain-wide web of cells and systems.

Maestripieri investigates the evolutionary roots of human behavior

Dario Maestripieri, professor of comparative human development, evolutionary biology, and neurobiology, published Games Primates Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships (Basic Books, 2012). Drawing on his extensive research of the social behavior of rhesus macaques and other nonhuman primates, Maestripieri examines the unspoken customs that govern human behavior and illuminates how our primate nature drives our everyday lives.

Cacioppo coauthors undergraduate textbook

John Cacioppo, the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology, published Discovering Psychology: The Science of Mind (Wadsworth Publishing, 2012), with coauthor Laura Freberg. Intended to complement undergraduate introduction to psychology courses, the textbook presents psychology as an integrative, multidisciplinary, and cohesive field.

Tenorio to debut I Speak of the City

History professor Mauricio Tenorio is working on a multidisciplinary exploration of Mexico City from 1880 to 1940. Titled I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, the book is slated for October publication by the University of Chicago Press.  


Conzen honored upon retirement

Kathleen Neils Conzen, the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor Emerita of History, received the 2012 Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Post-Secondary Teaching. The Eugene Asher Award was established in 1986 to recognize outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities. The accolade recognizes inspiring teachers whose techniques and mastery of subject matter have made a lasting impression and substantial difference to students of history. Conzen's award was conferred in Chicago at a January meeting of the American Historical Association. On February 29, Conzen retired from teaching and assumed emerita status. Conzen received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and taught at Wellesley College before joining the UChicago faculty in 1976. A January 5 conference at the Newberry Library called "Kathleen Neils Conzen: Historical Legacies" paid tribute to Conzen's "40 years of service to the historical profession, her contributions to the fields of immigration history, urban history, and Western history, and her mentoring of scores of doctoral students."

Holt Selected as 2012 Ryerson Lecturer

Thomas Holt, the James Westfall Thompson Distinguished Service Professor of History, served as the 2012 Ryerson Lecturer. The lecture was held on Tuesday, May 8, in Ida Noyes Hall. Holt reflected on "40 years of teaching about race." Ryerson lecturers are selected by a committee of their faculty peers. The Ryerson Lectures grew out of a 1972 bequest to the University by Nora and Edward L. Ryerson, a former chair of UChicago's Board of Trustees. The event has become a "hallmark of the University," said Hugo Sonnenschein, president emeritus and the Adam Smith Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, because of its "rich tradition in celebrating the work of our faculty."

Bidwell to receive the Maclean Award

Charles Bidwell, U-High'46, AB'50, AM'53, PhD'56, will receive a 2012 Norman Maclean Award during Alumni Weekend, May 31 to June 3. Bidwell is the William Claude Reavis Professor Emeritus of Sociology. The Maclean Award was given for the first time in June 1997 and honors emeritus or very senior faculty for extraordinary contributions to teaching and to the student experience of life within the University community. A former UChicago graduate student who served as one of Bidwell's nominators wrote, "As I look back on my own career I have growing appreciation for what Charles did for me. He demonstrated a disposition that was at once professional as well as indicative of an outright love and belief in what he was doing. His approach urges the student to constantly engage, and rethink, just for the sake of getting it absolutely right. This spirit means that work will be novel, but also endure."

Johns and Kulick honored

Adrian Johns, the Allan Grant Maclear Professor of History, and Don Kulick, professor of comparative human development, were named 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellows. In addition, Johns was awarded the 2012 Gordon J. Laing Prize from the University of Chicago Press for Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (2010).

Pomeranz appointed University Professor

Kenneth Pomeranz, one of the nation's leading scholars of modern China, will join the Social Sciences Division on July 1 as a University Professor of History. Pomeranz received his BA in history from Cornell and his PhD from Yale, where he studied under preeminent China historian Jonathan Spence. Currently distinguished professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, Pomeranz will help strengthen UChicago's highly regarded body of scholarship on China and broaden the impact of that work across disciplines, said Dean John Mark Hansen. "Although a historian by training, Kenneth Pomeranz conducts research that addresses key questions for all of the social sciences," Hansen continued. "He is a scholar of the first rank, and his recruitment makes an outstanding faculty even stronger. "His influence will be felt well beyond the Department of History. He will make an impact in the rest of the Social Sciences Division, in the Humanities Division, the Harris School, Chicago Booth, and the Law School," Hansen said. Pomeranz said he was attracted to the University of Chicago because of its historically strong commitment to China and East Asia, the flexibility of its intellectual organization, and the interdisciplinary nature of faculty scholarship. He noted that the scholarship of both undergraduate and graduate students at the University also played a role. "I'm impressed that students at the undergraduate level are attracted to the University to become seriously engaged in the material they study, and that there is a robust graduate program in all fields," said Pomeranz. "Additionally, as a China scholar, it is exciting that there are people doing serious work across disciplines, in political science and in East Asian studies, including Japan and Korea." University Professors are selected for internationally recognized eminence in their fields as well as potential for high impact across the University. Pomeranz is the 18th person ever to hold a University Professorship, and the sixth active faculty member with that title.