July 14, 2020
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President Sean Decatur and Provost Joseph Klesner recently awarded two prestigious professorships. English Professor Jesse Matz has been appointed to the William P. Rice Professorship in English and Literature. David Leibowitz, associate professor of political science, was awarded the Harry M. Clor Professorship in Political Science.
The Rice chair was established in 2011 by William P. Rice ’66. It honors a promising scholar whose work in publications, research or teaching exemplifies excellence in his or her discipline.
“Matz has been an exemplary teacher and a highly effective faculty member and respected leader since he came to Kenyon in 2001,” Klesner said. “Beyond that, he has produced superb scholarship across an enviable range of topics in modern literature. Moreover, he has been at the forefront of initiatives to bring world literature to the Kenyon curriculum.”
Matz, the second holder of the Rice chair, said he is humbled by the recognition. “My predecessor of the chair was Jim Carson [professor of English], so I’m hoping to live up to his standard.”
He plans to use his three years as the Rice chair to continue his work on two projects already in progress: "Modernist Time Ecology," which explains how modernist forms shape temporal understanding, and "Lasting Impressions," a study of the legacies of Impressionism in contemporary culture. He hopes to be able to enlist students to help with his research.
The Clor Professorship in Political Science was established in 1998 by former students of Harry M. Clor, a Kenyon professor for 34 years. “I’ve always had the highest regard for Harry, who is very well known and regarded in political science,” Leibowitz said. “Being associated with Harry Clor in any way is an honor.”
Klesner said Leibowitz is worthy to be in the company not only of Clor, but the others who have held the five-year appointment since its inception. “Leibowitz’s commitment to political philosophy is something Clor — and Kenyon — value greatly,” he said. “He is both a renowned teacher and an award-winning scholar.”