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Junko Takeda and Merril Silverstein Named Chairs at Maxwell School

July 13, 2023

Takeda is leading the citizenship and civic engagement program on an interim basis, while Silverstein has taken the helm of the Sociology Department.

Junko Takeda

Junko Takeda


Merril Silverstein

Two Maxwell School faculty members have been appointed department chairs: Junko Takeda and Merril Silverstein.

Takeda, professor of history and Daicoff Faculty Scholar, was named interim chair of the Citizenship and Civic Engagement Undergraduate Program. She fills the vacancy left with the departure of Julia Carboni this past spring.

Her research and teaching interests include the histories of citizenship, early modern globalization, revolutions, migration, displacement and disease. She has written two monographs, “Between Crown and Commerce: Marseille and the Early Modern Mediterranean” (Johns Hopkins, 2011), and “The Other Persian Letters: Iran and a French Empire of Trade, 1700-1808” (Liverpool University Press, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2020). Her two current books-in-progress, “Avedik, Louis XIV's Armenian Prisoner: Incarceration and Disinformation in France’s Early Empire” and “Maria Yamada Guyomar de Pinha: The Half-Japanese Indo-Portuguese Slave Who Sued the Compagnie des Indes” explore migration, dispossession, and ethnic and religious violence in the early modern world. Takeda's additional interests include Asian-American history and Zainichi Korean history.

Takeda is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, the Georges Lurcy Fellowship, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Research and Teaching. She received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2006.

Silverstein, professor of sociology and Marjorie Cantor Endowed Professor in Aging Studies, succeeds Janet Wilmoth as chair of the Sociology Department. He is also professor of human development and family science at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, a faculty associate in the Aging Studies Institute, and a research affiliate in the Center for Policy Research and in the Center for Aging and Policy Studies.

Silverstein’s work on aging in the context of family life, life course and international perspectives has been featured in over 150 research publications and has been funded by numerous institutions. In 2019, he received $2.9 million from the John Templeton Foundation for his project “Spirituality and Prosocial Values in the Absence of Religion Among Millennials and Their Families.”

For his expertise, Silverstein is frequently cited by major media outlets such as the New York Times. He serves as principal investigator of the Longitudinal Study of Generations and has had projects in China, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel. He is a Brookdale Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar, and from 2010-14, he served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. He received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1990.

Takeda and Silverstein were among the eight faculty members who received 2023 Syracuse University Graduate School Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Awards

Published in the Fall 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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