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Historian Elected Fellow of Academy of Arts and Sciences

Historian Louis Pérez Jr. has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Pérez is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of history at UNC. His current research explores the sources of Cuban nationality and identity. He is the author of To Die in Cuba: Suicide and Society (2005, UNC Press), a social and cultural history of suicide in Cuba. His research interests center on the 19th- and 20th-century Caribbean, with emphasis on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. He teaches courses on the history of Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Cuba. He also directs the Institute for the Study of the Americas and has been a featured member of the faculty participating in the GAA’s Carolina College for Lifelong Learning.

UNC now has a total of 36 faculty members in the academy. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 11 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Pérez is among 191 fellows and 22 foreign honorary members to be inducted into the academy in 2008. The new members are leaders in their fields and include Nobel laureates and recipients of Pulitzer Prizes, Academy Awards and Grammy Awards and Kennedy Center honors.

Pérez joins a distinguished list of new fellows that includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, computer company founder Michael Dell, two-time cabinet secretary and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III, Academy Award-winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen and blues guitarist B.B. King.

An independent policy research center, the academy was founded in 1780 to undertake studies of complex and emerging problems. The academy’s diverse membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary research.


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