Two Scholars Join the National Council on the Humanities

WASHINGTON, (November 12, 2009)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that Rolena Adorno, the Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University, and Marvin Krislov, the President and a professor of politics at Oberlin College, have joined the National Council on the Humanities. The Council is the NEH’s 26-member advisory body. Ms. Adorno and Mr. Krislov were nominated by President Barack Obama in July and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Nov. 5. The new members were sworn in and began their official duties on Thursday.

“We are delighted to welcome two such learned scholars and leaders in the field of humanities to our council,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. “We look forward to the special expertise they bring in the important areas of Hispanic literature and culture and of college governance and modern jurisprudence.”

The National Council on the Humanities meets four times a year to review grant applications and to advise the NEH chairman. Ms. Adorno and Mr. Krislov assume seats previously held by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Celeste Colgan and begin terms that will expire on January 26, 2014.

Biographical information about the new members can be found below:

Rolena Adorno is the Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Spanish and Department Chair of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University where her focus of study and teaching includes Colonial Spanish American literature and history, manuscript culture and textual transmission in Colonial Spanish America, and the nineteenth century origins of Hispanism in the United States.

Adorno’s most recently published books are The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative (Yale University Press, 2007), for which she won the Modern Language Association of America’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, and De Guancane a Macondo: estudios de literatura hispanoamericana (Sevilla: Renacimiento, 2008). In 2008, she published, with Ivan Boserup, studies of the making and censorship of the seventeenth-century manuscripts of Fray Martín de Murúa at the Getty Institute, Los Angeles. Her earlier books include Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru (1986, 2000); Cronista y príncipe: La obra de don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala (1989); and a three-volume study entitled Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life, and the Expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez,which she co-authored with Patrick C. Pautz. This study received the J. Franklin Jameson Award from the American Historical Association, the Dwight L. Smith Book Award from the Western Historical Association, and the Best Book Award from the New England Council of Latin American Studies. Adorno is the editor of From Oral to Written Expression: Native Andean Chronicles of the Early Colonial Period (1982) and co-editor, with Kenneth J. Andrien, of Transatlantic Encounters: Europeans and Andeans in the Sixteenth Century (1991). She has co-edited print editions of Felipe Guaman Poma’s Nueva coronica y buen gobierno (1980, 1987), and since 2001 she has been the academic advisor to the digitized edition of the work on the Guaman Poma Web site at the Royal Library of Denmark, Copenhagen.

Adorno has received various awards for her work in the humanities including the Graduate Mentor Award of the Graduate School of Yale University as well as a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from her alma mater, the University of Iowa. Prior to teaching at Yale, Adorno taught at Syracuse University, The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is an Honorary Associate of the Hispanic Society of America and holds an Honorary Professorship at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Adorno is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Marvin Krislov is the President and a professor of politics at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Previously, he served for nearly a decade as both vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan; during that time he led the University’s legal team in the 2003 Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of the consideration of student body diversity in university admissions. While at Michigan, he was also an adjunct professor, teaching undergraduate level political science courses, as well as seminars in the law school and a course in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Summer Program. Krislov taught law at George Washington University in 1991-93.

Prior to his time at the University of Michigan, Krislov served as the Acting Solicitor and the Deputy Solicitor for National Operations at the U.S. Department of Labor. He also worked as an Associate Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s Office. Earlier, Krislov worked as a Federal prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department on cases involving racial or religious violence as well as police brutality. From 1988-89, he clerked for Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Krislov has been a member of the American Anthropological Association’s Project Advisory Board on Race and Human Variation, as well as several academically-oriented boards while at the University of Michigan, including the University’s Center for Institutional Diversity, and as co-chair of the University of Michigan’s President’s Initiative on Ethics in Public Life. He has served on past Rhodes Scholars Selection Committees and the proposals review committee for the University of Michigan Arts in Citizenship grants. Additionally, Mr. Krislov has contributed articles and commentaries to several publications, and is the co-author of the upcoming book The Next Twenty-five Years: Affirmative Action in Higher Education in the United States and South Africa.

Mr. Krislov received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1982. As a Rhodes Scholar, he studied at the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College where he received an M.A. degree in modern history in 1985. He earned a doctor of laws degree from Yale Law School in 1988, where he also served as editor of the Yale Law Journal.

For information about all members currently serving on the National Council on the Humanities visit

Media Contacts:
Office of Communications: (202) 606-8446 |