Yale Scholar Helps Inaugurate American Academy of Arts and Sciences

A Yale University postdoctoral scholar, Joseph Entin, is among the first Visiting Scholars at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Entin’s research, titled “Sensational Modernism: Disfigured Bodies and Aesthetic Astonishment in American Literature,” is a reinterpretation of American modernism focusing on how writers, artists, photographers, journalists, social scientists, and doctors interpreted the lives and histories of immigrants, African Americans, working-class communities and the underclass.

The Academy’s Visiting Scholars Program (VSP) will support research conducted by young scholars showing promise of becoming leaders in their fields. The first group includes scholars of economics, political science, English literature, history and American Studies.

Academy Fellow and historian James Carroll, who is also a columnist for The Boston Globe, is chairing the program. The first class of Visiting Fellows, who arrived in September, have furthered their research during their first semester while taking the opportunity to interact with Academy Fellows.

According to Carroll, “The VSP will foster new ties between an emerging generation of thinkers and doers and members of the Academy with shared intellectual or policy-related interests. It will also create a national network for young scholars, assisting them in their research and in their career development.”

Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz emphasized that “for the first time in the Academy’s long history, its headquarters will provide a central base for intensive scholarship by individuals from diverse institutional and geographical backgrounds. Visiting Scholars will benefit from the Academy’s relationship with academic institutions and intellectual centers in Boston and across the country.”

Applicants were selected through a national competition that judged both the distinction of the research and its relevance to one of the Academy’s major areas of concern: science, technology and global security; social policy and education and humanities and culture. As Berlowitz noted, “The number and quality of the applications received in this first year indicate that the new community the Academy is building will lead to accomplishments that grace the intellectual life of this country.” In addition to Carroll and Berlowitz, members of the Academy’s national oversight committee for the VSP included R. Howard Bloch (Yale University), Allan Brandt (Harvard University), Neil Harris (University of Chicago), John Steinbruner (University of Maryland), Eugene Skonikoff (MIT) and Pauline Yu (UCLA).

To assist in the launching of the Visiting Scholars Program, the Academy has affiliated with 41 colleges and universities across the country that will provide support and guidance in advancing the goals of the Academy through the VSP. Grants from the Annenberg Foundation and the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation provide funding for the Program.

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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345