American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Robert Alter
 Institution:  University of California, Berkeley
 Year Elected:  2001
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402b
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1935
A number of Robert Alter's twenty-two books have been translated into several languages. As a critic in both of his fields, Hebrew Literature of all ages and Modernism, he emphasizes the virtures of close reading and broad sympathies over ideological commitment, though in his work with students he has shown a tolerance which has produced some of the leading lights in the postmodern camp. Dr. Alter is fluent in French and Hebrew and reads a number of other languages. He is an exemplary academic citizen: a thoughtful and engaged colleague, willing to take on administrative chores; a popular teacher and director of a host of dissertations; an immensely productive scholar; a good friend to many; and absolutely without a shred of the diva in him. He is internationally known, with strong connections in Britain, France, and Israel. Since 1967 he has served on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature. His most recent book is a translation of the Hebrew Bible, entitled Ancient Israel. The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. A Translation with Commentary.
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