Faculty Advisory Committee
Leslie Kay is a professor in the Department of Psychology. She received her BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then worked for the original GenBank project at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was a programmer/analyst in business applications for a number of years in the mid- to late eighties, and then returned to graduate school at UC Berkeley to complete her PhD in Biophysics working with Walter J. Freeman III. Kay did her postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Gilles Laurent at the California Institute of Technology, where she studied olfactory bulb mitral cell responses to changes in odor context. She has been at the University of Chicago since 2000, and her laboratory studies the effects of behavioral context on olfactory and limbic system neurophysiology. They focus on the mechanisms and functions associated with intra- and inter-regional oscillatory cooperativity primarily in the rat olfactory and limbic systems.
Professor; Chair, Psychology
Katherine D. Kinzler is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. She first joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2008 as a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor. She spent 2015–2019 at Cornell, where she was most recently Chair of the Department of Psychology. Her research sits at the intersection of developmental and social psychology. Her work focuses on the origins of prejudice and ingroup/outgroup thinking, with an emphasis on understanding how language and accent mark social groups. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the John Templeton Foundation. Her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times and other media outlets, and she was named a “Young Scientist,” one of 50 scientists under age 40 recognized by the World Economic Forum. Her first book, How You Say It (2020), is geared toward a general audience.
Paul Cheney is a professor in the Department of History. His research focuses primarily on old regime France and its colonial empire, though the unifying element of Cheney’s work is an interest in early modern capitalism, and in particular the problem of how modern social and political forms gestated within traditional society. Old regime France serves as an excellent case study in this problem because of the way in which it combined real economic dynamism with deep-seated political and social impediments to growth. He addresses France’s integration into a globalized early modern economy in a methodology diverse way, drawing on intellectual, economic, and social history.
Elisabeth S. Clemens (AM 1985, PhD 1990) is the William Rainey Harper Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology. Her research explores the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change. Clemens’ first book, The People’s Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925 (Chicago, 1997) received best book awards in both organizational sociology (1998) and political sociology (1999). She is also co-editor of Private Action and the Public Good (Yale, 1998), Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology (Duke, 2005), Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America’s Past and Present (Chicago, 2010; winner of the 2012 Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize from ARNOVA), and the journal Studies in American Political Development. She is now completing Civic Nation which traces the tense but powerful entanglements of benevolence and liberalism in the development of the American nation-state.
Associate Professor, Comparative Human Development
Micere Keels is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development. Professor Keels’ principal research interests concern issues of race-ethnicity, inequality, poverty, and the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods. Her research centers on understanding children’s development in context. Her CPS-TREP Collaboration Project works to develop the individual and organizational capacity of educators and schools serving children growing up in neighborhoods that have high levels of toxic stress, such as violent crime, concentrated poverty, concentrated foster care involvement, and housing instability.
Alan L. Kolata
Professor, Anthropology and Social Sciences in the College
Alan Kolata is the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, overseeing interdisciplinary research projects on human-environment interactions over the past 3000 years in the Lake Titicaca basin of Bolivia, the north coast of Peru, and most recently in Thailand and Cambodia. His research interests include agroecological systems, human-environment interactions, the human dimension of global change, agricultural and rural development, and archaeology and ethnohistory, specifically in the Andean region.
Greg Kaplan is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He has done extensive research in macroeconomics and applied microeconomics, which has been featured in all the major journals in economics. His publications cover diverse topics such as household finance, unemployment, risk-sharing, and migration patterns. Previously a Professor in the Department of Economics at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, he is currently an Editor at the Journal of Political Economy and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Greg J. Norman is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology with a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. His research focuses on understanding the physiological processes underlying the relationship between social interaction and health outcomes using both animal models and human participants.
Professor, Political Science
Eric Oliver is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His current research examines why people believe in conspiracy theories, why liberals and conservatives name their children differently, why the United States’ 2016 was a populist election, and what is happening to America’s democracy. Discussions of his research is found in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, and Scientific American. His books include Democracy in Suburbia (Princeton University Press, 2001), Fat Politics: the Real Story Behind America’s Obesity Epidemic (Oxford University Press, 2005), The Paradoxes of Integration: Race, Neighborhood, and Civic Life in Multi-ethnic America (University of Chicago Press, 2010), Local Elections and the Politics of Small Scale Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2012), and Enchanted America (University of Chicago Press, 2018).
Former Committee Members:
Ali Hortacsu (2017–2021)
Julie Chu (2019–2021)
Associate Professor, Anthropology and Social Sciences
Jennifer Pitts (2019–2020)
Professor, Political Science
Kathleen Cagney (Chair, 2017–2020)
Boaz Keysar (2017–2019)
Kaushik Sunder Rajan (2017–2019)
Guanglei Hong (2017–2019)
Professor, Comparative Human Development
Sanjog Misra (2017–2019)
Professor, Booth School of Business
Brodwyn Fischer (2017–2018)
Professor, History; Director, Center for Latin American Studies
Maggie Penn (2017–2018)
Professor, Political Science