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New heads named for foreign languages section and STS


Dean Philip S. Khoury recently announced two department head appointments in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, effective July 1. Elizabeth Garrels will succeed Isabelle de Courtivron as head of the foreign languages and literatures section, and Rosalind Williams will succeed Merritt Roe Smith as director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society .

Professor Garrels' research interests include 19th- and 20th-century Spanish American prose, and the interrelationship between Spanish American history and literature. In 1993 she won the Levitan Prize in the Humanities at MIT for innovative and creative scholarship.

Garrels received the B.A. from the University of Michigan and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1979.

She is currently finishing the first English translation of D.F. Sarmiento's autobiography, "Recollections of a Provincial Past," published in 1850. In addition to being co-translator, she is also volume editor of the book, which is part of the Library of Latin America series published by Oxford University Press.

Khoury said, "I look forward to working closely with Elizabeth Garrels. I have always admired her powerful commitment to humanistic scholarship and I know her to have the highest academic standards."

Williams, the Robert A. Metcalfe Professor of Writing, holds a joint appointment in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. She was dean of undergraduate education and student affairs at MIT from 1995 to 2000. Her current research focuses on the cultural history of technology.

She received the B.A. from Harvard University, the M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and the Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1985.

She has published two books entitled, "Notes on the Underground: An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination," and "Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-Century France." Her third book, "Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change," will be published by the MIT Press in September.

"Roz Williams is a superb colleague," said Khoury. "I have worked closely with her in the past. Her administrative experience as dean of undergraduate education, wide connections across MIT and devotion to promoting dialogue across the Institute's great learning cultures make her ideally suited to take over the leadership of STS."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.

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