William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellows

Academic Year 2010-2011

Fall 2010

Matthew Crawford is a writer and research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. In addition to his work at the university, he runs a motorcycle repair business. For some, employment as both a philosopher and as a mechanic might not seem like the most logical combination, but for Crawford, it is quite natural and provides the subject of his New York Times-bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009). In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Crawford discusses the alienation felt by individuals working in cubicles and provides a solution: a return to an aesthetic that values manual labor and the trades. Crawford's writings have been reviewed in Slate, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He spoke at the Athenaeum on “The Case for Working with Your Hands.”

Charles Calomiris is the Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee and the Financial Economists Roundtable, and the coordinator of the “Bank Performance and the Economy” program at the Center for Financial Research at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. His research spans several areas—from banking and corporate finance to financial history and monetary economics. Calomiris has codirected the American Enterprise Institute's Financial Deregulation project and served on the 2000 International Financial Institution Advisory Commission. During his time on campus, he presented an Athenaeum talk titled “Making Financial Reform Work” and team-taught a course, “The History of Financial Crises,” with Professor Gregory Hess.

Rohini Somanathan is a professor of economics at the Delhi School of Economics. Somanathan’s interests lie at the intersection of Development Economics, Public Economics, and Political Economy. A major strand in her research explores mechanisms through which public institutions and community behavior influence patterns of mobility and group inequality. This includes work on the politics of caste identities in India and racial segregation in the United States. Other projects include work on rural credit markets and microfinance institutions and on the wage and productivity effects of economic liberalization in India. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Demographic Economics. She spoke at the Athenaeum on the topic of “Group Inequality in Democracies: Lessons from India and the United States.”