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Harvard's ideal of a happy marriage between disciplines crept a little closer to reality this week when it was disclosed that Isabel G. MacCaffrey may join husband Wallace T. MacCaffrey in the ranks of Harvard department chairmen.
Dean Dunlop will reportedly add the marital bond to the already close links tying the History Department to History and Lit by appointing Isabel MacCaffrey, Kenan Professor of History and Literature, to head History and Lit.
MacCaffrey will become the department's first chairwoman when she replaces John L. Clive, professor of History and Literature. She will be the second woman to head a Faculty department.
The appointment follows a long engagement. Donald Fleming, Trumbull Professor of American History and a member of the History and Lit Committee, said this week. "I take it for granted that MacCaffrey will be the chairman." He added that after her appointment to the Kenan Professorship in July 1971. "It was understood that this would probably come to pass.
Dunlop refused to comment on the appointment, which will not be official for at least a month. Clive held his peace on MacCaffrey and said, "It (the appointment) is up to the Dean, who will consult the History and Literature Committee." MacCaffrey also declined to comment. "I can't say anything about it until the Dean announces it," she said.
MacCaffrey will assume her duties next summer, when Clive begins his year's leave of absence. Clive said that MacCaffrey's term will probably last from three to six years.
MacCaffrey joined the Harvard Faculty in 1971 after 17 years on the faculty of Bryn Mawr College and five years at Tufts. She is an expert on 17th century English literature and a leading specialist on John Milton.
Her husband Wallace, professor of History, was named chairman of the History Department last summer.
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