Three Professors among new faculty members
Three new Professors have joined the University faculty this quarter.
Tikva Frymer-Kensky of Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has joined the Divinity School as Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Carl Kaestle of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been appointed Professor in Education. In addition, Jean Bethke Elshtain of Vanderbilt University has joined the Divinity School faculty as the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics (see story on this page).
Frymer-Kensky's areas of specialization include Assyriology and Sumerology, biblical studies, Jewish studies, and women and religion. Her most recent book is In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (1992). She is the author of more than 100 articles and papers.
She has in progress a work titled Motherprayer, a collection of essays and poems dealing with the spiritual dimensions of pregnancy and birth and based on Jewish and Christian religious sources. The work is an attempt to develop a theology and liturgy of birth that is consistent with Western religious traditions. Also in progress are two books, The Judicial Ordeal in the Ancient Near East and Victims, Virgins and Victors: Reading the Women of the Bible.
Since 1988, Frymer-Kensky had been director of biblical studies at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She previously was associate professor in Near Eastern studies at Wayne State University, and she has been a visiting associate professor at numerous institutions, including the University of Michigan and the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Frymer-Kensky received her A.B. in 1965 from City College of New York and her M.A. in 1967 and her Ph.D. in 1977 from Yale.
Kaestle, who is president of the National Academy of Education, is an expert on literacy and the history of education. Much of his research has focused on the development of schools in the United States, particularly during the 19th century.
Among the books he has written or co-written are The Evolution of an Urban School System: New York City, 1750-1850 (1973), Education and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts (1980), Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780-1860 (1983) and Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading Since 1880 (1991).
Kaestle comes to Chicago from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he had served on the faculty since 1970. He was the William F. Vilas Research Professor in the departments of educational policy studies and history, and he also served as chairman of the department of educational policy studies from 1978 to 1981.
Kaestle received his B.A. in 1962 from Yale and his M.A.T. in 1964 and his Ph.D. in 1971 from Harvard.