Skip to main content

Five Northwestern faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Five members of the Northwestern University faculty, including Provost Jonathan Holloway, have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

In addition to Holloway, Clare Cavanagh, Gerald Gabrielse, Christopher Kuzawa and Patty Loew are among this year’s class of more than 200 individuals with compelling achievements in academic, business, government and public affairs. 

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. The Academy’s dual mission remains essentially the same 239 years later with honorees from increasingly diverse fields and with the work now focused on the arts, democracy, education, global affairs and science.

Northwestern’s newest members include representatives from across the University:

Clare Cavanagh

Cavanagh is the Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She is a scholar of modern Russian, Polish and Anglo-American literature, and a renowned translator of Polish poetry. Her awards include the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for her book Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland and the West (Yale, 2010), and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature in 2018 for her many volumes of translations, including the work of Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska.

Gerald Gabrielse

Gabrielse is the Board of Trustees Professor in Physics in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Center for Fundamental Physics. He is one of the world’s leading practitioners of fundamental, low energy physics done with tabletop experiments. His measurements of the magnetism and the charge shape of the electron test the most precise predictions of the Standard Model of Particle Physics using the most precise measurements of properties of an elementary particle. He also started low energy antiproton and antihydrogen physics.

Jonathan Holloway

Holloway is provost of Northwestern University and professor of history and African American studies. He specializes in post-emancipation social and intellectual United States history. He is the author of “Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941” (2002) and “Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940” (2013), both with the University of North Carolina Press. The latter of these books won the 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Christopher Kuzawa

Kuzawa is professor of anthropology at Weinberg and a faculty fellow with the University’s Institute for Policy Research. In his research, he uses principles from anthropology and evolutionary biology to gain insights into the biological and health impacts of human developmental plasticity. Kuzawa also studies the psychobiology of social relationships and fatherhood, genetics and molecular biology, the evolution of the human brain and evolutionary medicine. He also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Patty Loew

Loew is professor in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and co-director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University (CNAIR). At CNAIR, she helps advance research and scholarship about Native nations, communities and people. Loew is author of “Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal,” now in its second edition, which won the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2002 Outstanding Book Award.

“One of the reasons to honor extraordinary achievement is because the pursuit of excellence is so often accompanied by disappointment and self-doubt,” said David W. Oxtoby, the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “We are pleased to recognize the excellence of our new members, celebrate their compelling accomplishments and invite them to join the Academy and contribute to its work.”

The 2019 class includes author Jonathan Franzen, former First Lady Michelle L. R. Obama, actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith and others.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and join the Academy members who came before them, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966) in the twentieth, and more recently Antonin Scalia (2003), Michael Bloomberg (2007) and John Lithgow (2010).