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Two English Faculty to Endowed Chairs
April 24, 2007, Volume 53, No. 31

Edward W. Kane Professor of English

Amy Kaplan

Dr. Amy Kaplan has been named the Edward W. Kane Professor of English. Dr. Kaplan, who serves as the graduate chair of English, is a scholar of American literary and cultural studies and is currently working on the uses of language and history in contemporary political debates about the American empire. She has recently published articles “Where is Guantánamo?” in Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders and “Homeland Insecurities: Transformations of Language and Space” in September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? She is the author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture and The Social Construction of American Realism, and is co-editor of Cultures of U.S. Imperialism. She received an NEH Fellowship and the Norman Forster Prize for the best essay in American literature for “Manifest Domesticity.” In 2003, she served as the president of the American Studies Association. Dr. Kaplan received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University with a specialty in late 19th-century American literature.

This professorship was established through a gift from Edward W. Kane, C ’71, and Martha Wallace, parents. Mr. Kane is a founder and senior managing director of HarbourVest Partners, LLC, a global private equity investment firm. He graduated cum laude from Penn and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1975. During his term as a University trustee, from 1996-2001, he worked on a project to help distribute faculty books to alumni.

Watkins Assistant Professor in Humanities

Heather Love

Dr. Heather K. Love has been named the M. Mark and Esther K. Watkins Assistant Professor in the Humanities. Dr. Love specializes in gender studies, the literature and culture of modernity, film, psychoanalysis, race, ethnicity and critical theory. Her first book, Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History, rethinks the foundations of contemporary queer historiography by exploring dark or negative “structures of feeling” in several late 19th and 20th century literary texts.  In 2006, she received the Career Enhancement Grant for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship and the SAS Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching, among other honors. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia.

The M. Mark and Esther K. Watkins Assistant Professorship was established through a bequest of the late Mark and Esther Watkins in 1969. Their gift supports an accomplished teacher who shows potential as a leader in his or her subject area and whose broad concern for the humanities transcends his or her immediate field. Mr. Watkins graduated from Penn’s Towne Scientific School in 1921.

Almanac - April 24, 2007, Volume 53, No. 31