AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. William H. Goetzmann, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and professor of American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the country’s oldest learned society.
The society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, honors extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of the sciences and the humanities. Presently, there are more than 700 members around the world, although 85 percent of the membership resides in the United States. Members have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Marie Curie and Margaret Mead.
Goetzmann, who holds the Jack S. Blanton, Sr., Chair in History and American Studies at UT Austin, has been at the University since 1964. He served as chairman of the history department and created the American Studies interdisciplinary program. Goetzmann teaches courses on a variety of subjects, including the art, photography and culture of the American West.
A past recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in history for his 1967 book on the American West, Goetzmann also created a six-part television series for Public Broadcasting Service in 1986 titled The West of the Imagination. The series told the story of the West through the eyes of those who captured its vivid life on canvas and film — the artists, photographers and cinematographers. Both the series and the companion book by the same title won several awards.
Goetzmann also is the author or editor of numerous other publications and has contributed to scholarly anthologies and atlases.
Other UT Austin faculty members of the American Philosophical Society include Steven Weinberg, Walt Rostow and Norman Hackerman. The society operates a library that serves as a major national center for research in the history of science and technology, publishes various papers and journals and grants annual research programs.