Benedict Kiernan, Naomi Schor and Harry Adams Named Endowed Professors at Yale

Benedict F. Kiernan, director of the Genocide Studies Program at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS), has been named the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History.

Benedict F. Kiernan, director of the Genocide Studies Program at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS), has been named the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History.

Kiernan, who came to Yale in 1990 as associate professor of history, was appointed professor of history in 1997. His research and teaching focus on the early and modern history of Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia; peasant studies; colonialism, nationalism and communism; the Vietnam War; comparative genocide; and the environmental history of Southeast Asia. In June, Kiernan will take up a Visiting Research Fellowship at Melbourne University, Australia, to work on a history of state-sponsored mass murder in the 20th century.

In 1998 Kiernan founded the Genocide Studies Program at the YCIAS. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, this program researches comparative and policy issues relating to the phenomenon of genocide.

As founding director of the CGP in 1994, Kiernan was instrumental in disclosing documents attesting to genocidal crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime, through research supported by the U.S. State Department. These documents are considered key evidence against Khmer Rouge leaders who may be brought to trial, either in Cambodia or before an international tribunal. The CGP established and continues to fund the Documentation Center of Cambodia, a collegial institution and research archive in Phnom Penh, and maintains a World Wide Web site (

Kiernan is author of “How Pol Pot Came to Power: A History of Communism in Kampuchea, 1930-1975” (1985); “Cambodia: The Eastern Zone Massacres” (1986); and “The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979” (1996), works cited extensively by the United Nations-commissioned Group of Experts that recommended the creation of an international tribunal to judge the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Kiernan’s work has been translated into nine languages.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Kiernan received a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in history from Monash University in 1975 and 1983, respectively, and taught at the University of Wollongong in 1986-1990.

Naomi Schor, an expert in the field of French literature, will join the Yale faculty on July 1 as the Benjamin F. Barge Professor of French.

A Yale alumna, Schor served as an acting instructor while completing her Ph.D. in French.

Schor has written five books about French literature: “Zola’s Crowds” (1978); “Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory and French Realist Fiction” (1985); “Reading in Detail: Aesthetics and the Feminine” (1987); “George Sand and Idealism” (1993); and “Bad Objects: Essays Popular and Unpopular” (1995). She also has authored scores of articles and reviews for such journals as Litterature, Romantisme, Representations, and Critical Inquiry, and is founding coeditor of the publication “Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.” She is a much sought-after lecturer, and also has contributed to academic dialogue and debate as a frequent participant in colloquia and conferences.

Schor received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1963. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale in 1969, then taught at Columbia University where she remained until 1978, when she was named associate professor at Brown University. She was appointed a professor at Brown in 1984 and the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor a year later. Schor left Brown in 1989 to become the William Hanes Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. In 1995, she joined the Harvard University faculty as professor of French and was named Harvard’s Smith Professor in 1998.

Schor has served on selection, monitoring, and search committees for organizations such as the Camargo Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Pembroke Center.

In 1986, Schor directed the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Seminar for College Teachers. She was elected to membership in the Academy of Literary Studies in 1984. In 1990 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1997 she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Reverend Harry B. Adams, former University chaplain and an expert in the field of pastoral theology, has been appointed the Horace Bushnell Professor of Christian Nurture.

A Yale alumnus, Adams began working at the University in 1956 as associate director of field work at the Divinity School. He served as associate professor of pastoral theology from 1960-76. In 1976, he was named professor of pastoral theology. He has held several administrative posts, including associate dean of the Divinity School, 1965-86. He currently is acting director of the Institute of Sacred Music, a position he also held 1983-84 and 1991-93. He was master of Trumbull College from 1987-97 and now serves as master of Saybrook College. Adams was University chaplain and pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale, 1986-91.

Among Adams’ primary interests is homiletics, or the art of preaching. He has written several books for the Christian Board of Publication, including “The Bible Message” (1959), “Seekers of the Way” (1965), “The Life of Faith in God” (1969) and “God Confronts Man” (1969). Other works include “People and Priorities” (1975), “Proclamation 2 Pentecost 2” (1981), “What Jesus Asks” (1986) and “Preaching: The Burden and the Joy” (1996).

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale College, Adams received his B.A. in 1947. He earned a B.D. from the Divinity School in 1951.

Adams served in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943-45. He was minister of the First Christian Church in Bonne Terre, Missouri, in 1950-52 and of the First Christian Church in Carbondale, Illinois, 1952-56. He was minister of Dingletown Community Church in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1969-86.

He sits on the general board administrative committee, and is vice-chair of the Worship Study Commission, of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Adams also is a member of the board of the Council on Christian Unity, and a past president of the Northeastern Area Christian Church. Active in civic organizations, he was vice chair of the Cheshire, Connecticut, Board of Education frp, 1964-72 and a member of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee, 1962-68.

Editor of the Divinity School publication Reflection 1965-86, Adams has contributed curriculum materials for the American Baptist, Presbyterian and United Methodist churches. He delivered the prestigious Beecher Lectures at the Divinity School in 1995, the Sprinkle Lectures at Barton College in 1992, and the Leslie Smith Lectures on Preaching at Lexington Theological Seminary in 1988.

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