Political Theorist Danielle Allen Joins Faculty of Institute for Advanced Study

Political theorist Danielle Allen has been appointed the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study.  Dr. Allen will join the Faculty of the Institute on July 1, 2007.

Dr. Allen will fill the position currently held by Michael Walzer, who joined the Faculty of the Institute in 1980 and was named as the UPS Foundation Professor in 1986.  Professor Walzer will retire effective July 1, 2007.

Trained both as a classicist and a political theorist, Dr. Allen is presently Dean of the Humanities Division of the University of Chicago, where she has served on the faculty since 1997.  Her particular interests are democratic theory, political sociology, the linguistic dimensions of politics and the history of political thought.

"In a few years, Danielle Allen has already established a quite extraordinary record of achievement," commented Peter Goddard, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study. "Her work is outstandingly original, with enormous depth and range, addressing issues of the greatest importance to contemporary society.  Her appointment here will ensure that the Institute retains a leading position in political theory."

"It is terrific news that Danielle will be joining us," said Eric Maskin, Albert O. Hirschman Professor in the School of Social Science.  "She has a lively and penetrating mind and will add a great deal to the intellectual life of our School."

"I am astonished and delighted by the opportunity to work at the Institute, to learn from colleagues there, and to devote myself full-time to research," said Dr. Allen. "To follow in Michael Walzer's footsteps is a distinct and exciting honor but above all a challenge. I hope I will meet it."

Dr. Allen received her undergraduate education in Classics at Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude.  She was awarded an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Classics from Cambridge University and went on to Harvard University, where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science.  She joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1997 as Assistant Professor of Classics.  In 2000, Dr. Allen became Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures, Political Science and the Committee on Social Thought.  In 2003, she was promoted to Professor.  The following year she was named Dean of the Division of Humanities. 

Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in ancient Athens and its application to modern America, Dr. Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (Princeton University Press, 2000) and Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown vs. the Board of Education (University of Chicago Press, 2004).  In 2002 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine "the classicist's careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist's sophisticated and informed engagement."

Dr. Allen's plans for future work include a theoretical study of politics and change; an historical study of Platonic political thought; an examination of the concept of equality; and a theoretical study of democracy, knowledge and higher education.

About the Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities—the original, often speculative thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a permanent Faculty of approximately 30, and it ensures the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.

The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 6,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Thirty-three Nobel Laureates and 40 out of 56 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf or MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.