SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell appointed Dr. Jean-Michel Rabaté, professor of English, who also teaches comparative literature, as the inaugural holder of the Vartan Gregorian Professorship in the Humanities.
Dr. Rabaté is a widely published literary theorist whose areas of interest include 20th century modernism, psychoanalysis and critical theory. He has written more than 20 books including The Ghosts of Modernity, James Joyce and the Politics of Egoism and The Future of Theory. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Lacan and co-editor of the forthcoming William Anastasi’s Pataphysical Society: Jarry, Joyce, Duchamp and Cage.
Dr. Rabaté’s courses include “Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory,” “Modernisms and Modernities” and “Giving the Gift in Theory and Literary History.” In recognition of his outstanding teaching, he has been presented with the College of General Studies Award for Distinguished Teaching and English’s Alan Filreis Teaching Award.
In addition to his administrative and teaching service at Penn, Dr. Rabaté also serves as senior curator of the Slought Foundation. A nonprofit organization located at 4017 Walnut Street, the Slought Foundation seeks to engage contemporary art and theory through alternative curatorial practices.
Before coming to Penn in 1992, Dr. Rabaté spent two decades on the faculty at the University of Bourgogne. He has also taught at the University of Manchester and the University of Montréal. He completed both his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Paris-VIII.
This chair was established in 2004 by the Annenberg Foundation to recognize distinguished scholarship and teaching in the humanities (Almanac November 2, 2004), reflective of the academic work of Dr. Vartan Gregorian, who currently serves as president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is the former president of the New York Public Library and Brown University. Dr. Gregorian came to Penn in 1972 as a history professor, became the founding dean of SAS in 1974 and was provost from 1978 to 1981. The Honorable Leonore Annenberg, Hon ’85, is an emeritus trustee, as was the late Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg, W ’31 Hon ’66, who received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1991. The Annenbergs have endowed many chairs in SAS and made countless contributions to the University.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 27, April 5, 2005