News

Harvard Law School Makes Online Zero-L Course Free for All U.S. Law Schools Due to Coronavirus

News

For Kennedy School Fellows, Epstein-Linked Donors Present a Moral Dilemma

News

Tenants Grapple with High Rents and Local Turnover at Asana-Owned Properties

News

In April, Theft Surged as Cambridge Residents Stayed at Home

News

The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

History to Offer Gordon Tenure

Duke Professor Specializes in Japan

By Douglas M. Pravda

In the latest in a series of moves to revamp the undergraduate concentration in history, the department will offer a senior appointment to Andrew Gordon '75, professor of history at Duke University, history department chair Thomas N. Bisson said yesterday.

President Neil L. Rudenstine approved the offer yesterday, and it will be made soon, Bisson said.

"I'm delighted to get the offer and I'm going to be considering it very carefully when it comes," said Gordon, who specializes in Japanese history.

Gordon's appointment would fill a void in the history department, which currently has one Japanese history professor, Harvard-Yenching Professor of History Albert M. Craig, who said he mainly teaches courses for graduate students.

"We have not had an intermediate level history course [or] freshman seminars, and I hope that if Professor Gordon comes some of these courses will be come part of our curriculum,' Craig said.

The offer to Gordon is just one in a series of appointments to strengthen the undergraduate concentration of history.

The department tenured a professor this fall, Laurel Ulrich, and Bisson said that he hoped the department would make two more offers this spring, one in 20th century American history and one in modern British history.

Gordon is a 19th and 20th century labor historian and he has done "very important work on the labor movement in Japan," Bisson said.

Gordon attended Harvard for both undergraduate and graduate studies. He graduatedsumma cum laudein East Asian Studies in 1975 and received his doctorate in history and East Asian languages in 1981.

From 1981 to 1985, Gordon was an assistant professor of history at Harvard. He left in 1985 to teach at Duke, where rose from assistant to associate professor. In 1991, he was granted tenure by Duke.

He has written or edited three books on labor relations in Japan, with his most recent book, Postwar Japan as History, published in 1993.

He is currently researching labor-management relations in Japan between 1950 and 1970.

If he came to Harvard, he would teach economics, history and political history, Bisson said.

"I'm very optimistic that this will result inan appointment," Bisson said.

Gordon declined to comment on whether he wouldaccept an offer, but said it was exciting toreceive an offer from a university with which hehas close ties.

"Of course it's a very attractive idea," hesaid. He said he knew a lot of people from when hewas here, "but there's also been a large turnover.It's been over 10 years and I'm very curious tofind out who the new faces are."

Gordon said he lived in South House, now Cabot,and "had a blast" as an undergraduate.

He was involved with activities relating to thecreation of the East Asian Studies concentrationand Phillips Brooks House.

Craig, who knew Gordon as an undergraduate andgraduate student, said Gordon was a "splendidscholar."

"He is, I think a very fine teacher," Craigsaid. "He's a very intelligent and penetratingscholar and he's very lively as a person and hiscontribution should be very large indeed.

Department Restructuring

The offer to Gordon is part of a largerrestructuring of the history department, which hasrecently made a number of curriculum changes.

Bisson said yesterday that the department wasconsidering a new two-semester world historycourse.

"It would be a broad world history surveycourse," Bisson said, but he added that theproblems and questions it explored would bedifferent from History 10.

He said History 10 will likely be taught nextyear, and the world history course could beoffered as early as 1996-7.

The course would expand the European focus ofHistory 10 to include Latin America, East Asia andAfrica, Bisson said.

The department announced an overhaul of itstutorial system last month. The new faculty-ledtutorial program, which will begin with the classof '98, will emphasize reading, writing andresearch skills.

Some faculty members also proposed movingHistory 10 into the core curriculum, but theHistorical Studies subcommittee on the Corerejected it.

"We certainly want to have a fully remodeledconcentration by the year after next," Bissonsaid

"I'm very optimistic that this will result inan appointment," Bisson said.

Gordon declined to comment on whether he wouldaccept an offer, but said it was exciting toreceive an offer from a university with which hehas close ties.

"Of course it's a very attractive idea," hesaid. He said he knew a lot of people from when hewas here, "but there's also been a large turnover.It's been over 10 years and I'm very curious tofind out who the new faces are."

Gordon said he lived in South House, now Cabot,and "had a blast" as an undergraduate.

He was involved with activities relating to thecreation of the East Asian Studies concentrationand Phillips Brooks House.

Craig, who knew Gordon as an undergraduate andgraduate student, said Gordon was a "splendidscholar."

"He is, I think a very fine teacher," Craigsaid. "He's a very intelligent and penetratingscholar and he's very lively as a person and hiscontribution should be very large indeed.

Department Restructuring

The offer to Gordon is part of a largerrestructuring of the history department, which hasrecently made a number of curriculum changes.

Bisson said yesterday that the department wasconsidering a new two-semester world historycourse.

"It would be a broad world history surveycourse," Bisson said, but he added that theproblems and questions it explored would bedifferent from History 10.

He said History 10 will likely be taught nextyear, and the world history course could beoffered as early as 1996-7.

The course would expand the European focus ofHistory 10 to include Latin America, East Asia andAfrica, Bisson said.

The department announced an overhaul of itstutorial system last month. The new faculty-ledtutorial program, which will begin with the classof '98, will emphasize reading, writing andresearch skills.

Some faculty members also proposed movingHistory 10 into the core curriculum, but theHistorical Studies subcommittee on the Corerejected it.

"We certainly want to have a fully remodeledconcentration by the year after next," Bissonsaid

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags