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Calhoun at the London School of Economics Library
Craig Jackson Calhoun
June 16, 1952
|Title||President of the Berggruen Institute; Director and Centennial Professor, London School of Economics; Global Distinguished Professor of Sociology at New York University|
|Pamela F. DeLargy|
|Thesis||Community, Class and Collective Action (1980)|
|Doctoral advisor||Ronald Max Hartwell|
|Sub-discipline||Comparative historical sociology|
|President of the Berggruen Institute|
|Director of the London School of Economics|
September 2012 - September 2016
|Julia Black (acting) Nemat Shafik|
Craig Jackson Calhoun FBA FAcSS (born 1952) is an American sociologist, currently University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University. An advocate of using social science to address issues of public concern, he was the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science from September 2012 until September 2016, after which he became the first president of the Berggruen Institute. Prior to leading LSE, Calhoun led the Social Science Research Council, and was University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University and Director of NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge. With Richard Sennett he co-founded NYLON, an interdisciplinary working seminar for graduate students in New York and London who bring ethnographic and historical research to bear on politics, culture, and society.
Calhoun was born in Watseka, Illinois, on June 16, 1952. He studied anthropology and cinema at the University of Southern California, (BA, 1972), anthropology and sociology at Columbia University (MA, 1974), and social anthropology at Manchester University (MA, (Econ.), 1975). He received his doctorate in sociology and modern social and economic history from Oxford University in 1980, a student of J.C. Mitchell, Angus MacIntyre, and R.M. Hartwell. He taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1977 to 1996. There he was also Dean of the Graduate School and founding Director of the University Center for International Studies. He moved to NYU in 1996 as Chair of the Department of Sociology in a period of major rebuilding. He left for Columbia in 2006 but returned to NYU as Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK), which promotes collaborations among academics from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and between academics and working professionals. In September 2012 he became the Director and President of the London School of Economics. Calhoun has also taught at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, University of Asmara, University of Khartoum, University of Oslo, and Oxford itself. He was Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol in 2000 and received an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University in Melbourne in 2005.
Calhoun is married to Pamela F. DeLargy, who is a public health and Horn of Africa specialist, and who served in the United Nations in Eritrea, Sudan, Sierra Leone and headed the humanitarian response programmes of UNFPA for a decade. She is currently Senior Advisor to Peter Sutherland, the U.N. Special Representative for Migration.
From 1999 to 2012 Calhoun was President of the Social Science Research Council. At the SSRC Calhoun emphasized the public contributions of social science. His views are explained in his essay "Towards a More Public Social Science", which first appeared in the SSRC's 2004 "President's Report" and has been translated, reprinted and widely circulated on the web. After September 11, 2001 he launched an initiative on "Real Time Social Science" which included an essay forum that attracted more than one million readers. This continued with work on the Privatization of Risk, Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences Program, and now Haiti, Now and Next (examining the impact of the 2010 earthquake on Haiti's social and political future). His conversations with Paul Price have received wide circulation, podcast as Societas.
Calhoun has written more than 100 scholarly articles and chapters as well as books, among which his most famous is a study of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China (California, 1994). Calhoun's work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Thesis Eleven (2006, Vol. 84, No. 1) devoted a special issue to his work, "Craig Calhoun: Critical Social Sciences and the Public Sphere." He was also editor in chief of the Oxford Dictionary of the Social Sciences. His recent work has focused on the future of capitalism and on humanitarianism. He has also written on Brexit and the rise of populism.
As the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science Calhoun was in the academic year 2012-13 the beneficiary of "one of the biggest increases in overall pay and benefits" in the British higher education sector. As Director, Calhoun was very successful in raising funds for the LSE, including millions from the Marshall Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, and many other donors. Also during his tenure, LSE begun work on a new Global Centre for Social Sciences, and rose significantly in global university rankings, rising from 71st to 35th best university in the world between 2014 and 2015 in QS World University Rankings. In December 2015 it was announced he would not seek a further term at LSE, instead choosing to step down and return to the USA in 2016 as President of the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles. In August 2017, British media published critical reports that Calhoun had been paid £1.7 million over four years and a London apartment with a market rent of £120,000 a year, despite LSE being criticised for its low teaching standards.
As president of the Berggruen Institute, Calhoun launched the million-dollar Berggruen Philosophy Prize, and oversaw the development of its Los Angeles and Beijing campuses. In May 2018, it was announced that Calhoun would be stepping down from the Berggruen Institute in order to become University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University, effective July 1, 2018.
He is a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.
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