LAS names Conrad Humanities Scholars and Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professors

Six professors receive recognition and support for their work
English Building
Named positions will help professors with research and scholarship.

Six professors from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences have been named Conrad Humanities Scholars and Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professors.

Angela Calcaterra, Teri Chettiar, Irvin Hunt, and Ghassan Moussawi have each been honored as Conrad Humanities Scholars. The Conrad Humanities Scholars award recognizes promising mid-career scholars and provides financial support for continued achievement, research, and scholarship in humanities. The designation is for five years. The awards are funded by a gift from the late Arlys Conrad (AB, ’44, education).

English professors Janice Harrington and Curtis Perry have also been selected as Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professors. The Kirkpatrick professorship was established in 1993 by Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick. Clayton (BA, English, ’37) was an important figure in journalism who has been credited with transforming The Chicago Tribune into a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication.

Kirkpatrick, who started out as a reporter at the Tribune, would eventually become the editor of the publication and go on to serve as chairman of the Chicago Tribune Company’s board of directors. Both Clayton and Thelma became members of the University of Illinois Foundation’s Presidents Council, the University’s highest donor recognition organization.

Descriptions of the recipients’ work follow:

Angela Calcaterra, American Indian studies

Angela Calcaterra’s research analyzes the intersection of American literature and Indigenous studies. In her book, “Literary Indians: Aesthetics and Encounter in American Literature to 1920,” Calcaterra utilized a combination of written, oral, and material research to argue for aesthetics as framework for analyzing Indigenous North American political vitality between the 18th and early 20th centuries. As Calcaterra works on her second book “Bearing Arms: U.S. Gun Violence and Indigenous Relationality,” she considers gun violence against Native Americans and the complex, perceptive relationship Native Americans have as creators and handlers of material objects.

Teri Chettiar, history

Teri Chettiar is a historian of modern Britain with a focus on the history of gender and sexuality, history of science and medicine, and the history of welfare state and social developmental politics. According to her nomination, Chettiar is not only imaginative but extremely productive, publishing her book “The Intimate State: How Emotional Life Became Political in Welfare-State Britain” along with six articles published in important academic journals since 2012. Chettiar has served on committees like the undergraduate studies committee and uses her additional time advising and working on other department projects.

Janice Harrington, English

Janice Harrington, who teaches in the Creative Writing Program, is an accomplished poet and children’s book author. Her peers praise her for her contributions to the field, carrying on tradition while skillfully combining poetry and history in a way that delights readers. Some of her most recent books uncover stories about the achievements and struggles of groundbreaking Black scientists.

Irvin Hunt, English and African American studies

Irvin Hunt studies how Black public intellectuals have promoted cooperative economics in Black communities between the late 19th century and the 1970s. His new book, “Dreaming of the Present: Time, Aesthetics, and the Black Cooperative Movement,” was a finalist for the Best New Book in African American History and Culture from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Hunt creatively challenges his students and also serves as Dean’s Fellow in Inclusive Excellence. He has helped to support the growth of African American studies at the U of I.  

Ghassan Moussawi, sociology and gender and women's studies

Ghassan Moussawi is a leading scholar of humanistic sociology and feminist studies. His feminist research shines light on how transnational powers create racialized and subaltern sexualities. In his book, “Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut,” he analyzes LGBT lives in Beirut and the queer strategies of survival. The book has received the National Women’s Studies Associations 2021 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize and the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Sexualities section’s 2021 Distinguished Book Award.

Curtis Perry, English

Perry teaches about English literary and cultural history and is described as a luminary in Shakespeare studies who has substantially advanced the field through scholarship, teaching, and service. Perry, recognized as an expert in multiple fields, has been praised for creativity and productivity that has resulted in an impressive record of publications incorporating a broad range of topics and theoretical approaches.

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Felipe De La Guerra and Ella Dame