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Kluge Center Announces New Chairs in 2021

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The John W. Kluge Center is pleased to announce four new Chairs beginning their time in residence in 2021.

David Baron holds the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Scientific Innovation.

Baron is a journalist, author, and broadcaster who has worked as a science correspondent for National Public Radio and as science editor for Public Radio International’s “The World.” Baron’s first book, “The Beast in the Garden,” received the Colorado Book Award. His second, “American Eclipse,” won the American Institute of Physics book prize and tells the story of a total solar eclipse in 1878 that helped inspire America’s rise as a scientific power. Baron is now working on a project looking at the “Mars craze” that swept the United States around the turn of the 20th century, spurring the public’s passionate—and continuing—fascination with the red planet.

Lucas Mix will also hold the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Scientific Innovation, beginning in July.

As an associate of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Mix studies the intersection of philosophy and biology. He is the author of “Life-Concepts from Aristotle to Darwin: On Vegetable Souls” (2018) and “Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone” (2009). He also serves as project coordinator for “Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science” out of Durham University in Durham, England, connecting Christian leaders with world-class science and scientists. In residence, Mix will work on a popular science book project that looks at the ways in which space travel will shape the future of humanity, featuring the perspectives of scientists, artists, philosophers, and science fiction writers.

Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado will hold the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South beginning in May.

Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado is Jarvis Thurston and Mona van Duyn Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is a member of the faculty in the Latin American Studies Program and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Sánchez Prado’s areas of research include Mexican literary, film, and cultural studies; Latin American intellectual history, neoliberal culture, food cultural studies, and “world literature” theory. He is the author of several books, including the most recent, “Intermitencias Alfonsinas,” which gathers essays on the role of writer and diplomat Alfonso Reyes in the foundation of Mexican literary institutions and in the rise of Latin Americanism. He will be working on a project titled “Cosmopolitanism from Below. Mexican Cinema, the World and Globalization.”

Sophia Jordán Wallace will hold the Library of Congress Chair in Congressional Policymaking beginning in July.


Jordán Wallace is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race (WISIR). Her co-authored book, “Walls, Cages, and Family Separation: Race and Immigration Policy in the Trump Era,” was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. It examines public opinion towards contemporary immigration policies and focuses on the role of racial attitudes in driving support for certain policies. She is currently working on a book project that investigates Congressional negotiations on and the framing of immigration bills over the last fifty years, and considers the conditions under which passage of immigration bills may be possible in the future.

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