Four UCLA professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector, the academy's 181 new fellows and 16 foreign honorary members are leaders in their fields and include recipients of the Nobel Prize; the Pulitzer Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards. Among this year’s new members is UC President Janet Napolitano.
Three of the new UCLA fellows hail from UCLA’s College of Letters and Sciences. The fourth is on the faculty of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture. The new fellows from UCLA are:
Ivan T. Berend, Distinguished professor of history
A native of Hungary and a former president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Berend has been on the faculty of UCLA’s history department since 1990. The author of more than 30 books, Berend specializes in European economic history from the 19th century through to the present day. His recent books include “Europe in Crisis: Bolt from the Blue?” (Routledge, 2013); “An Economic History of 19th Century Europe: Diversity and Industrialization” (Cambridge University Press, 2013); “Europe Since 1980” (Cambridge University Press, 2010); and “From the Soviet Bloc to the European Union: The Economic and Social Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe Since 1973” (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Berend also is the author of a 2009 memoir.
Barbara Kruger, artist and professor of art
A world-renowned American conceptual artist, Kruger is known for her immersive installations that combine both moving and still images and text. Since 1974, Kruger has had 48 solo exhibitions in galleries, and her work has been featured in 18 exhibits in major museums. She also has created installations for three major museums, including an elevator installation that is a permanent feature of the Broad Museum of Contemporary Art at LACMA. One of Kruger’s immersive installations filled the entry staircase of the Hammer Museum during its 2014 exhibit “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology.” She joined the faculty of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture in 2006.
Michael Mann, Distinguished professor of sociology
A member of UCLA’s sociology faculty since 1987, Mann writes and teaches about the exercise of power in human societies. He is the author of 10 books, including a monumental, four-volume history of political systems and social and political control that synthesizes thousands of years of history and political developments. More than 2,000 pages long and more than 25 years in the making, Mann’s award-winning “The History of Social Power” discusses political and economic developments from prehistory to the present. Mann also is the author of “Incoherent Empire” (Verso/Norton, 2003), in which he warned that U.S. foreign policy on Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea and Islamic terrorists could result in blowback and other undesirable consequences. The book was selected as “Political Book of the Year”(Das Politische Buch des Jahres) by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany in 2004.
Gregory R. Schopen, professor of Asian languages and culture
Schopen is an authority on Indian Buddhist monastic life and the early history of the Mahāyāna tradition of Buddhism, which is the most widely practiced form of Buddhism today. In 1985 he received a MacArthur grant for his work. Many of his articles have been published in three volumes dedicated to his work: “Figments and Fragments of Mahayana Buddhism in India” (University of Hawai'i Press, 2005); “Buddhist Monks and Business Matters” (University of Hawai'i Press, 2004); and “Bones, Stones and Buddhist Monks” (University of Hawai’i Press, 1997). In 2009, he was selected by the UCLA Academic Senate to give a UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, which is the highest honor UCLA faculty bestow on their peers. Schopen has been on the faculty of UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures since 1999.
Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was elected to the academy as a member of the 2010 class.
“We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s board of directors. “Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution.”
The new class of fellows will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 10 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. See the full list of 2015 fellows here.