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Post WAIS Welcomes Paul Levine (Denmark/Greece)
Created by John Eipper on 08/19/11 6:10 AM

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WAIS Welcomes Paul Levine (Denmark/Greece) (John Eipper, USA, 08/19/11 6:10 am)

I am pleased to introduce our newest WAISer, Paul Levine of Copenhagen. Paul was nominated to WAISdom by Harry Papasotiriou, and has led a very WAISly life, as his bio demonstrates:

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936, and grew up after the War in Manhattan.

I was educated at Wesleyan, Princeton and Harvard Universities. My Harvard PhD is from the Program in the History of American Civilization. I wrote my dissertation on the contemporary American novel and its social and cultural background.

Though I didn't plan it that way, my teaching experience has been spread over five countries and three continents. First I taught in North America at Wesleyan, the University of Rochester and York University in Toronto. But in 1975 I was invited to Copenhagen University to take up a newly established professorship in American literature. It was an offer I couldn't refuse; I stayed for 31 years and retired in 2006.

In addition I was fortunate to accept invitations as visiting professorships in exotic places: the Otto Salgo Chair in Budapest (1986-9) and a Fulbright Professorship in Shanghai (2004-6). I also directed the Athens American Studies Seminar for fifteen years (1994-2009). After my retirement in Denmark, the Li Ka Shing Foundation invited me to China to create a new Center for International Studies at Shantou University (2007-2011). I am now retired but I continue to travel and teach. In September we return to China, where I will direct seminars in Beijing and Shanghai.

My interests are varied and so are my publications. They include: a book on social thought (Divisions, 1975); a monograph on the American novelist E. L. Doctorow (1985); a study of the British sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1988); an edition of his screenplays with Doctorow (2003); and America Since 1945: The American Moment (2005; revised 2011) with WAISer Harry Papasotiriou. In August Peking University Press will publish my Fulbright lectures on postwar American society and culture.

My lovely wife is Greek: Lily Varidaki-Levine. We live in Copenhagen and Athens.

JE comments: Paul just sent this postscript:

Greetings from Athens. Nice to hear from a neighbor, Jon Kofas (17 August). Do you all know Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer, America's premier political scientist?

JE again: Paul Levine will be able to enrich our conversations on, well, just about everything. Thank you for the nomination, Harry! A note on pronunciation: The Levines, as Paul wrote me off-Forum, are a contentious lot when it comes to pronunciation. Paul pronounces his surname LeVEEN (rhymes with "clean machine"), not LeVINE (rhymes with "wine"). Our other WAISer Levine, Alan, prefers LeVINE.  Neither of these gentlemen is to be confused, of course, with Henry Levin, who lacks an "e" and whose last name rhymes with "eleven."

Paul Levine also has followed the WAISly custom of marrying someone born in another country. Prof. Hilton established this tradition in the 1930s. I did the same thing a good number of years later. Anecdotally, it appears that WAISers who marry "in-tribe" are in the minority.  As far as Levin(e)s go, Henry (Levin) married outside his nation, while Alan (Levine) married within.

It's a small world: our colleague Gilbert Doctorow is a distant cousin of writer E. L.  Another fascinating coincidence:  Paul is simultaneously the third Dane (after Holger Terp and David Gress) and the third Greek (after Harry Papasotiriou and Jon Kofas) to join our ranks.

Paul Levine promises to be an excellent fit in our organization. I extend to him the heartiest, and WAISliest, welcome.



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