University of Rochester

Historian Appointed to Newly Endowed Chair

May 19, 1999

Dorinda Outram has joined the University of Rochester faculty as first holder of the Franklin W. and Gladys I. Clark Chair of History, established by a generous bequest from University alumnus Franklin Clark and his wife, Gladys Clark.

"I was very happy to accept this appointment because the Department of History here is internationally known, and I'm very proud to be part of it," Outram said. "I'm also happy to be in a department where the wide range of strengths supports the study of the historical interconnections of many different subjects."

"We are delighted that our search for the Clark Chair has resulted in the appointment of a scholar who not only enhances our current strengths in European and American cultural history, but also affords us an opportunity to establish a fresh presence in important fields such as the history of science," said Robert Westbrook, professor and chair of the Department of History.

The author of five books, two of which have been translated, Outram has written on women in science, the French Revolution, the Enlightenment, and on the naturalist Georges Cuvier, a towering figure in the establishment of scientific disciplines such as paleontology, geology, and comparative anatomy in the 19th century. Her interdisciplinary commitment is also demonstrated by her teaching of a wide variety of courses in British and American universities on environmental history, the history of science, the French Revolution and Enlightenment, and general European history. She has been teaching courses at Rochester on the history of the body and on the history of exploration from Columbus to David Livingstone.

After earning her doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge, Outram held teaching posts in London, Montreal, and Ireland. She has received research awards from the Royal Society of London and the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris; held a research fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge, and a visiting chair in humanities at Griffith University, Australia; and was visiting associate professor of the history of science at Harvard University, and a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Outram was recently elected Senior Research Associate of the Department of the History of Science of the University of Cambridge. In 1995, she was a Guest at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and returned there in the summer of 1997 as Senior Docent of the Summer Academy in Environmental History.

Mr. Clark earned a bachelor's degree in history from the university in 1930 and a master's degree in history in 1933. He worked for the Civil Service Commission in Washington, D.C., served in the Army during World War II, and then worked in the Navy Bureau of Ordnance before joining his wife in owning and managing a translation agency, Language Service Bureau. The history department received a bequest from Mr. Clark and his wife Gladys in 1996.