USC Dornsife’s Maggie Nelson elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Writer and scholar Maggie Nelson has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nelson, professor of English at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, will be inducted in October alongside former first lady Michelle Obama, cell biologist Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, novelist Jonathan Franzen, philosopher Tommie Shelby, and actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.
Nelson is the 25th USC Dornsife faculty member elected to the academy, bringing USC’s overall total to 34.
Nelson’s work focuses on feminism, queerness, sexual violence, the history of the avant-garde, aesthetic theory and philosophy. Her memoir The Argonauts (Graywolf Press, 2015) explored themes of sexuality and gender through her experience falling in love with gender-fluid artist Harry Dodge, winning the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award. That same year, she received a MacArthur Fellowship, often called a “genius grant.” She earned a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010.
In addition to The Argonauts, Nelson has published four other nonfiction works: The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial (Graywolf Press, 2007); Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007); Bluets (Wave Books, 2009), and The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (W.W. Norton & Company, 2011).
Known for her poetry as well as her nonfiction, Nelson won a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for poetry in 2011. Her published collections are Shiner (Hanging Loose, 2001); The Latest Winter (Hanging Loose, 2003); Jane: A Murder (Soft Skull, 2005); and Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull, 2007).
AAAS was founded in 1780 to honor excellence in every field of human endeavor, according to its website. Past inductees include statesman Alexander Hamilton, poet Robert Frost and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. A full list of the 239th class of AAAS Fellows can be found on the academy’s website.