Faculty of arts and sciences

Faculty books earn recognition

Continuing Yale’s long tradition of excellence in history, eight Yale history faculty have received international recognition in the past year for pathbreaking books. Two were lauded for their work on Civil War–era history: David Blight’s definitive biography of Frederick Douglass won six major prizes, including the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, the 2019 Bancroft Prize, and the 2019 Francis Parkman Prize; while Joanne Freeman’s The Field of Blood was recognized by NPR and the Wall Street Journal and named a New York Times Notable Book. Rohit De’s A People’s Constitution topped the bestseller list in India, while Edward Rugemer’s Slave Law and the Politics of Resistance in the Early Atlantic World won the World History Association’s Bentley Book Prize.  Both volumes illuminate the oft-overlooked ways that everyday people shape law. Greg Grandin, longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for The End of the Myth, and Timothy Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom, both grappled with the history and future of freedom in the United States. Finally, innovative books unearthed histories of knowledge: Paola Bertucci’s Artisanal Enlightenment, which received the prize for best book from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, examines the role of artisans during the Enlightenment, while Deborah R. Coen’s Climate in Motion, winner of the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Award, reveals how Habsburg-era scientists pioneered climatology.

Scholar named humanities dean

Kathryn Lofton, noted scholar of religion, capitalism, and popular culture, has been named dean of the FAS Division of Humanities. Currently serving as acting FAS dean of humanities and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Lofton is a distinguished scholar, teacher, and administrator. She is the author of two landmark books: Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (2011) and Consuming Religion (2017), winner of four major Yale teaching prizes; and she has served as chair of three different Yale departments and programs. 

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