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Ishmael Reed Is Awarded MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship

Ishmael Reed, a Berkeley lecturer whose work has charted a new path in African American writing, is one of 29 national recipients of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship. Reed will receive $355,000 over the next five years.

Reed, 60, is a poet, novelist, essayist and playwright who has taught in Berkeley’s English Department since 1968. He is recognized for leading the movement in African American writing away from social realism toward a more complex, non-linear style.

The author of nine novels, several books of essays and volumes of poems, Reed is considered a driving force behind the publication of writers with multi-ethnic perspectives. His novels include “The Last Days of Louisiana Red,” “The Terrible Twos” and “Mumbo Jumbo.”

On June 2, the John D. and Catherine T. Mac-Arthur Foundation announced this year’s fellows.

“Ishmael Reed is an extraordinarily talented and accomplished writer,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol T. Christ. “He deserves the recognition the MacArthur Foundation is giving him.”

Eight Campus Faculty Members Win Guggenheim Fellowships

Eight Berkeley faculty are among the 168 U.S. and Canadian artists, scholars and scientists named 1998 fellows by the Guggenheim Foundation. The average grant amount in 1997 was about $29,000.

Guggenheim fellows are appointed on the basis of unusually distinguished past achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

Berkeley’s new Guggenheim fellows, and their Guggenheim fellowship projects, are:

Robert Bergman, professor of chemistry, development of new transition-metal catalyzed reactions;

Judith Butler, professor of rhetoric and comparative literature, the politics of kinship;

Candace Falk, editor and director, The Emma Goldman Papers, essays on Emma Goldman;

Carla Hesse, professor of history, women, literature and politics in the era of the French Revolution;

Christopher McKee, professor of physics and astronomy, the evolution of the interstellar medium of disk galaxies;

Christina Romer, Class of 1957 Garff B. Wilson professor of economics, the successes and failures of American macroeconomic policy in the 20th century;

Wendy Sussman, artist and associate professor of art, painting;

Linda Williams, professor of film studies and rhetoric, American racial melodrama.

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