Catriona MacLeod has been appointed Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of German. Her research on 18th- and 19th-century German literature and cultural representation encompasses gender studies—in particular literary and aesthetic figurations of androgyny—as well as the intersections between high art and popular culture in Weimar Classicism and the relationship between verbal and visual arts. Incorporating literary theory with philosophical aesthetics, material culture and art history, she has undertaken interdisciplinary investigations into the decline—in aesthetic theory and practice—of the status of sculpture from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Dr. MacLeod has won the Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching in Penn Arts & Sciences, and she currently serves as the secretary of the International Association of Word and Image Studies and as senior editor of the journal Word & Image.
The Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Term Chair was established through the bequest of Edmund and Louise Kahn. Mr. Kahn was a 1925 Wharton graduate who had a highly successful career in the oil and natural gas industry. Mrs. Kahn, a graduate of Smith College, worked for Newsweek and owned an interior design firm. The couple created several professorships in the School of Arts & Sciences and generously supported Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, the Modern Languages College House and other projects at the University.