Butler and Hirschmann Named Segal Professors in American Social Thought

Anthea Butler (L) and Nancy J. Hirschmann, Geraldine R. Segal Professors in American Social Thought.

Anthea Butler, Professor of Religious Studies, and Nancy J. Hirschmann, Professor of Political Science, have been appointed Geraldine R. Segal Professors in American Social Thought.

Butler is a widely-recognized historian of American religion and an expert on African American religion, evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism. Her research combines the archive-driven historical study of evangelical Christianity with the study of race and religion, gender and religion, and religion, media and politics. Her books include White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, published in 2021, and Women in the Church of God in Christ. Butler is Chair of Penn’s Department of Religious Studies and President-Elect of the American Society for Church History. She is an opinion columnist for MSNBC Daily, and is a sought-after commentator on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN, The History Channel, and PBS.

Hirschmann is an internationally-known feminist theorist, historian of political thought, and analytic philosopher, with particular expertise on the concept of freedom. She is the author of nine books and the recipient of many fellowships and awards, including the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, The Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, and the European University Institute's Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship. Hirschmann has played a highly visible role in both the University and the profession, having served as Vice-President of the American Political Science Association and, at Penn, as Director of the Program on Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women, as well as Vice-Chair of the Department of Political Science. She has served on the editorial boards of several leading journals such as the Journal of Politics and Politics and Gender, and served on the local advisory board for Hypatia.

The late Bernard G. Segal, C'28, L'31, HON'69, and Geraldine R. Segal, ED’30, GR’78, established the Geraldine R. Segal Professorship in American Social Thought in 1978. The late Geraldine R. Segal completed her Ph.D. in sociology at Penn and was the author of In Any Fight Some Fall and Blacks in the Law. Bernard Segal, a former University Trustee, was one of America’s most respected lawyers and received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1977. The professorship is interdisciplinary in nature and awarded to a scholar of national reputation whose central interests include human rights, civil liberties, and race relations.


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