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From the Director’s Desk

The Kluge Center welcomes several accomplished scholars this month. These include two who will be holding new chairs – the Jay I. Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas and the Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-Russia Relations (funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York). All of our new chairs will be engaging with the public and policymakers over the next several months.

James Goldgeier, Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-Russia Relations
Jim is a professor of international relations and former dean of the School of International Service at American University and a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In the past, he has taught at Cornell University and George Washington University, and has held a number of public policy appointments, including Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff, Whitney H. Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, and Edward Teller National Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

He has authored or co-authored four books including: “America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11” (co-authored with Derek Chollet) and “Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War” (co-authored with Michael McFaul).

Jim serves as co-director of the Bridging the Gap initiative, which encourages and trains scholars and doctoral students to produce policy-relevant scholarship and theoretically grounded policy work, and he is co-editor of the Bridging the Gap Book Series at Oxford University Press.

At the Library, Jim will be exploring the history and practice of Congressional oversight on U.S. foreign policy, in particular vis-à-vis Russia. He will be in residence through May, 2019.

Stephen Houston, Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas
Stephen is the Dupee Family professor of social science and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. He has worked on the excavations of several major Mayan cities, most recently the ancient city of El Zotz in Guatemala, as well as on collaborative advances in mapping with LiDAR technology.

His interpretations of stylized representations of the human body reveal the concepts that underlie ancient Maya existence and his research on writing around the world reconstructs how early scripts begin, flourish, and die.

A major participant in the decipherment of Mayan script, Stephen draws on inscriptions and figural art to reconstruct the political and social structure of the Mayan civilization, including the dynamics of royal court life and the role of religion.

While at the Library, he will be drawing on the Kislak collection, which encompasses more than 3,000 rare books, manuscripts, maps, and works of art related to early American history and the cultures of Florida, the Caribbean and Mesoamerica. Stephen will be the Library through May, 2019.

Henry Jenkins, Kluge Chair in Modern Culture
Henry is professor of communication, journalism, civic arts and education at the University of Southern California. Previously, he was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As one of the first media scholars to chart the changing role of the audience in an environment of increasingly pervasive digital content, Henry has been at the forefront of understanding the effects of participatory culture on business, politics, and education. His research gives key insights about the success of social-networking websites, networked computer games, online fan communities and other advocacy organizations, and emerging news media outlets.

Through parallels drawn between the consumption of pop culture and the processing of news information, he and his fellow researchers have identified new methods to encourage citizen engagement. Henry has also played a central role in demonstrating the importance of new media technologies in educational settings.

He has published numerous books, including “Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture,” “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide,” “Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Era,” and “Participatory Culture in a Networked Era.”

On September 28, he will participate in an event at the Library on what “Star Wars” has to say about American politics and culture, which will also include our recent Chair in American Law and Governance, Seth Masket of the University of Denver. Henry will be in residence through the end of 2018.

Cathleen Kaveny, Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History
Cathy, a professor of law at Boston College, focuses on the relationship of law, religion, and morality. She holds a joint appointment in the department of theology. A member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, Cathy clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health law group.

Cathy has published four books and over a hundred articles and essays in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She serves on the masthead of “Commonweal” as a regular columnist. Her books include “Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society” and “Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square.”

Her book project at the Library seeks to map out a framework for understanding who is complicit when systemic wrongdoings are taking place, for example, when a multinational corporation supports unjust labor practices in developing countries. Cathy will be in residence through the end of 2018.

Ivan Krastev, Kissinger Chair in International Relations and Foreign Policy
Ivan Krastev is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Crisis Group.

His recent books include “After Europe, Democracy Disrupted; The Global Politics on Protest;” and “In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don’t Trust Our Leaders?” Ivan is a regular contributor to The New York Times’ opinion page.

He will be working on a book project exploring the crisis in the international liberal order. Ivan will be in residence for two months this fall and also in early 2019.

Marvin Overby, Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Marvin is professor of political science at the University of Missouri. He has also taught at the University of Mississippi and Loyola University Chicago. He was a fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. He has received numerous Fulbright fellowships and has taught as the Fei Yi-Ming Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, as well as in Hungary and Belgium.

Marvin is widely published on congressional election politics, congressional procedure, judicial politics, and identity politics.

At the Kluge Center, he will work on a book about some of the most significant congressional campaigns in the history of American politics. Marvin will be at the Library through the end of 2018.

Adam Rothman, Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Adam is a professor in the history department at Georgetown University. He studies the history of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, and the history of slavery and abolition in the Atlantic world.

Adam’s most recent book is “Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery.” The book tells the story of three slave children who were taken from New Orleans to Cuba by their owner during the U.S. Civil War, and their mother’s effort to recover them. It has been named a Humanities Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and has received the Jefferson Davis Book Award from the American Civil War Museum, and the Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award from the American Library Association. Adam’s first book, was “Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South.”

Adam served on Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation in 2015-2016, and is currently the principal curator of the “Georgetown Slavery Archive.”

At the Library, Adam will explore the Library’s Manuscripts Division in search of letters, journals, diaries, and memoirs written by African-Americans in the 19th century.  He will be developing podcasts on these and other Library treasures from this era. Adam will be in residence through the end of 2018.

Events in September
Be on the lookout tweets and other publicity for events this month, including a September 26, 4pm, book discussion with Jonathan Haidt on his new book, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” and a September 28, 6pm, event that explores the impact of “Star Wars” on American politics and culture. Next month, on October 11, we have a lineup of scholars and practitioners discussing “The Dynamics of the 2018 Midterms.” Stay tuned.




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