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Government professor Danielle S. Allen was appointed a University professor on Monday, the highest honor a Harvard faculty member can receive. She will take on the role on Jan. 1, just a year and a half after arriving at Harvard.
The title of University professor was created to “honor individuals whose groundbreaking work crosses the boundaries of multiple disciplines,” according to Harvard’s website. Current University professors include Nobel laureate in Economics Eric S. Maskin ’72, former University President Lawrence H. Summers, and other preeminent scholars like Henry Louis Gates Jr., Laurence H. Tribe ’62, and Stephen J. Greenblatt. There are currently 25 in total.
University professors have the flexibility to teach and pursue research at any of Harvard’s 12 schools. Allen will join Stephen Owen, a scholar of Chinese literature, with the title of James Bryant Conant University Professor.
In addition to her role within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Allen holds a faculty post at the Graduate School of Education and is the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, which “seeks to advance teaching and research on ethical issues in public life,” according to its website. She was also recently appointed co-chair of a University-wide task force to evaluate Harvard’s efforts to foster campus diversity and inclusivity.
Allen is a widely-published political theorist and classicist. She is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, a former chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, a former MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellow, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In an interview with the University-run Harvard Gazette, University President Drew G. Faust said, “Danielle Allen is one of the most distinguished and creative scholars of her generation.”
Allen currently teaches two undergraduate courses, Government 94cz: “From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age” and Government 1060: “Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy.”
—Staff writer Mia C. Karr can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @miackarr.
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