The American Academy of Arts and Sciences boasts members such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr. and Georgia O’Keefe. This year, two IU professors are joining their ranks.
Susan Gubar, feminist literary critic and professor of English and gender studies, and Ellen Ketterson, professor of biology and gender studies, have earned spots in the
academy, one of the oldest honorary societies in the country.
“I was very honored and very humbled, especially when I got the letter and saw some of the names that were listed of people who are and were members,” Gubar said.
The members inducted into the academy this year include people who have
received Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Grammys, Tonys and Emmys.
Gubar said she and Ketterson are not the first from IU to be inducted. Previous inductions include former U.S. senator and School of Global and International Studies
Professor Richard Lugar in 2012.
“It’s good to see a new field being recognized,” Gubar said.
She said female membership in the academy is relatively new and being honored as a woman and a feminist is an honor itself.
She pointed out that, in addition to having a department of gender studies, IU also has feminists in all of its departments.
“I think it’s one of the great strengths of this institution, and we’ve been there since the beginning,” she said.
Gubar also said a majority of the living membership are from the Ivy League, and she thinks it’s great to be inducted from a public institution.
“A distinguishing characteristic of any world-class university is its faculty, and today the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has recognized two women who represent that guiding principle,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a press release. “For decades, Susan Gubar and Ellen Ketterson have worked
tirelessly to the benefit of their students, this University and to society, in turn
making their election to the academy most deserved.”
Gubar said she is not sure she’ll be able to attend the induction ceremony, as she continues to battle cancer, but she is very pleased to receive such an honor.
“I think it’s a great recognition of the field,” she said. “I think it’s a great recognition of the importance of the humanities and in particular the importance of feminist