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Release: Immediate

Kerber is second UI prof to win national Phi Beta Kappa award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Linda K. Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and professor of history, has been named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, an honor awarded to only a handful of scholars nationwide each year.

Kerber is the second UI faculty member to serve in this position. Economics Professor Diedre McCloskey received the honor in 1993.

As a visiting scholar, Kerber will make a series of visits to several universities across the country. She will participate in classroom lectures and seminars, meet informally with faculty and student groups and give at least one public address at each institution.

The program was started in 1956 to "contribute to the intellectual life of campuses by making possible an exchange of ideas between visiting scholars and resident faculty and students," according to the Phi Beta Kappa national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Over the past 30 years, more than 350 visiting scholars have made some 3,000 visits to universities across the country.

Kerber, a past president of the local Phi Beta Kappa chapter, is widely considered one of the most distinguished historians in the United States. A pioneer in the area of women's history, she recently was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kerber received a doctorate from Columbia University in 1968, and holds an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College. She taught at Yeshiva University, San Jose State College and Stanford University before becoming an associate professor in the UI history department in 1971. She became a full professor in 1975, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

She taught the first women's history course at the UI in 1972, and co-edited the major textbook in the field, "Women's America: Refocusing the Past -- An Anthology," in print for 17 years and soon going into its fifth edition.

Her most recent book, "Towards an Intellectual History of Women: Essays by

Linda Kerber," was published by the University of North Carolina Press earlier this year. She also is the author of "Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America," recently reprinted in paperback. Another book, "No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship in American History," is scheduled to be published next year.

Kerber also has just completed a one-year term as president of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the largest learned society devoted to the study and practice of U.S. history. As OAH president, she has been actively involved in a number of national issues, including the debate over national history standards, funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and support for the National Historic and Public Records Commission.

For her excellence in teaching, Kerber received the UI Honors Program Faculty Award in 1996 and the Regents Award of Faculty Excellence in 1993. In addition, she was a recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships in 1976, 1983 and 1994, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1990-91.


(EDITOR'S NOTE: Professor Linda K. Kerber can be reached at the following phone numbers: Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, (319)335-4034; Dept. of History, (319)335-2299 and at (319)351-8446. The best place to reach her is at the Obermann Center.)