Alan E. Heimert '49, authority on American colonial literature and Master of Eliot House, will become the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature on July 1.
Heimert succeeds the late Perry Miller, the pre-eminent scholar in this field. Heimert said he was "not unmindful of the fact that the first man to hold this chair [miller] was the greatest student of American Literature."
Heimert added that Miller had been his "mentor and very good friend." There was nothing the University could have bestowed upon me which would have had more personal meaning," he said.
Heimert co-edited with Miller The Great Awakening (1967), an anthology, He wrote Religion and the American Mind: from the Great Awakening to the Revolution (1966) and, with Reinhold Niebuhr, he co-authored A Nation So Conceived (1963).
He received his Ph.D. degree from Harvard in 1960, and became associate professor of English in 1965. Heimert worked as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. in 1960.
"I don't think I'm as deserving of the honor as was Perry Miller," he said