May 11, 1995
Vol. 14, No. 17

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    Guggenheim fellowships awarded to four on faculty

    Fellowships to Faraone, Laitin, Pardee, Steinmetz Four University faculty members -- Christopher Faraone, David Laitin, Dennis Pardee and George Steinmetz -- have been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. They are among 152 artists, scholars and scientists chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants.

    Faraone, Associate Professor in Classical Languages & Literatures, will use his fellowship to help finish a book tentatively titled Erotic Magic in Ancient Greek Culture. The work will survey the use of aphrodisiacs in ancient Greek culture and explore how the socially constructed gender of the victim of Greek magical spells often dictates the type of spell used, the social context of its use and the perceived effects on the victim.

    An expert on the myths and rituals of ancient Greece, Faraone is associate editor and book-review editor of Classical Philology. He also serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Humanities Institute. His publications include the book Talismans and Trojan Horses: Guardian Statues in Ancient Greek Myth and Ritual (1992). He has been a University faculty member since 1991.

    Laitin, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor in Political Science, will continue his studies on the reformation of national identity among the Russian diaspora in the republics of the former Soviet Union. He plans to prepare publications on topics that emerged from fieldwork he did last year in the largely Russian city of Narva in northeastern Estonia.

    An expert on the impact of language and religion on politics, Laitin has conducted extensive fieldwork in Estonia, Nigeria, Somalia and Spain. He has written several books, including two published by the Press, Politics, Language and Thought: The Somali Experience (1977) and Hegemony and Culture: The Politics of Religious Change Among the Yoruba (1986). His most recent book is Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (1992). He has been a University faculty member since 1987.

    Pardee, Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, will pursue research on Northwest Semitic philology, particularly epistolary documents of the ancient city of Ugarit.

    Pardee is an authority on Ugaritic literature, the Ugaritic language and other Near Eastern languages, including Classical Hebrew, Phoenician and Aramaic. His publications include the books Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Letters (1982) and Ugaritic and Hebrew Parallelism: A Trial Cut (1988). He joined the University faculty in 1972.

    George Steinmetz, Associate Professor in Sociology, will study state formation in pre-World War I German colonies in Africa, China and the South Pacific.

    An authority on state theory and the history of the German welfare state, Steinmetz also studies the contemporary far-right movements in Germany. His publications include the book Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany (1993). He is also editing the book State/Culture: New Approaches in the Social Sciences, to be published in 1996. He joined the University faculty in 1987.

    Guggenheim fellows are selected on the basis of unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. During its 71-year history, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $165 million in fellowships.