Pamela Smith is the new RSA President
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Pamela H. Smith, Seth Low Professor of History, Columbia University, has been appointed President of the Renaissance Society of America for a two-year term, beginning April 2016. She has served for the last two years as Vice President of the society, and previously for two three-year terms on the Executive Board, as an Associate Editor for Renaissance Quarterly, and on the Gordan Prize Committee. She succeeds Joseph Connors, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, whose term ended with the business meeting in Boston, and who now continues to serve as immediate past president.
As she said in her introductory remarks at the business meeting, Smith foresees continuing the good work of the last years of the RSA Board, which has revised the constitution to ensure transparency and greater participation of the membership in the governance of the society. She wishes to see continued progress in taking the society beyond the bounds of Europe, as well as greater diversity among the membership. She looks forward to working closely with the Board and staff to raise additional funding for the society, especially for fellowships and travel subventions, as well as to explore the role of the RSA in fostering digital scholarship.
At Columbia, Smith teaches early modern European history and history of science, and recently founded and directs the Center for Science and Society. Her research focuses on early modern European artisanal knowledge and culture, and she is directing a large collaborative research and pedagogical initiative, The Making and Knowing Project, to reconstruct the vernacular knowledge of early modern craftspeople from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including hands-on research in a laboratory.