The department is home to the Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History, held by John Davis, the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights, held by Amii Omara-Otunnu, and the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in Early American History, held by Robert A. Gross.
Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History
Since it inception in 1992 the Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History has been held by John A. Davis, a leading scholar of modern Italy. Under Davis's leadership the EPNC has developed a major graduate program, established contacts with Italian Universities, promoted exchanges of graduate students, senior and junior faculty, and organized numerous scholarly conferences and workshops. In 1996 Davis was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, the leading English language peer review journal in the field. The JMIS continues to be produced at the EPNC and offers graduate students opportunities to be involved in the production of a major academic journal.
UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights
In May 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded the University of Connecticut the first UNESCO Chair in Human Rights in the United States of America. The Chair joined a network of 52 UNESCO Chairs around the world, which was founded in 1992 to promote human rights through education and research and to encourage collaboration among institutions of higher learning.
Amii Omara-Otunnu is the first and to date the only holder of a UNESCO Chair in Human Rights in the United States of America and Coordinator of UNESCO Chairs in Human Rights in the region that comprises Israel, Western Europe and North America. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.
James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in Early American History
The Draper Chair in Early American History was endowed by University of Connecticut graduates James L. and Shirley A. Draper for the support of research and teaching in the history of colonial America and of the United States down to the middle of the nineteenth century. Its establishment was designed to enhance and highlight the significance of the early American field in the graduate program in History at UConn. Under the aegis of Robert A. Gross, the first to hold the professorship, the Draper Chair helps to sustain a variety of activities in the early American field, including periodic workshops and colloquia, research assistantships, and national conferences.