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Renowned philosopher and literary theorist joins University of Aberdeen

One of the leading figures in the field of Comparative Literature in the United States has made the transatlantic journey from New York to Scotland to join the University of Aberdeen's School of Language and Literature.

Christopher Fynsk, former Professor of Comparative Literature and Philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Binghamton, New York, has taken up his appointment as Chair in Comparative Literature and Modern Thought at Aberdeen. Professor Fynsk is an internationally recognised Heidegger scholar and literary theorist, who has had a long and distinguished association with the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

He has directed one of the most successful and popular Comparative Literature programmes in the United States, and his experience and expertise in this area brings an entirely new dimension to the teaching of contemporary literature and thought within the School of Language and Literature, building bridges not only between the modern languages and English, but also with other disciplines such as philosophy, history of art and political theory.

Professor Fynsk said he was delighted to join the University of Aberdeen. He said: "I am proud to join a University that honours its great tradition with such ambitious and imaginative plans for its future. In recent years, my primary mission has been to help rethink the role of the humanities in the modern university.

“The University of Aberdeen offers me an exceptional site for pursuing this goal. With the Centre for Modern Thought, I also hope to find new ways to advance interdisciplinary theoretical study.”

Michael Syrotinski, Professor in French in the School of Language and Literature, said: "Christopher Fynsk is a very highly regarded intellectual in the international academic community, whose work on the intersections between literature, philosophy, art, and critical theory crosses several national literary traditions, and is at the forefront of the most original and exciting work being done today in the field of Comparative Literature.

“His appointment is wonderful news for the University of Aberdeen, and he will provide exactly the kind of academic leadership and intellectual vision necessary to further develop Aberdeen as an international centre of excellence for the study of comparative literature."

Professor Fynsk's post is one of 26 new Chair appointments that have been made as part of the University's Chairs for the Sixth Century recruitment campaign. The campaign has been extremely successful with a number of exceptional appointments in key areas. These have helped to strengthen significantly the intellectual capital and academic competitiveness of the institution.

The College of Arts and Social Sciences plans further appointments at all levels over the next few months.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Monday 21st of February 2005

Ref: 1598fynsk

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