Elaine Scarry, PhD

Elaine Scarry is the Cabot Professor of Aesthetics at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows. She has worked on torture, war and the nuclear peril since 1977. Her recent book – Thermonuclear Monarchy – shows that nuclear weapons and democratic governance are mutually exclusive, and that we have ready at hand the constitutional tools for dismantling the country’s nuclear architecture. In 1988, she participated in a law suit again presidential first use of nuclear weapons, and in 2017 she co-organized the national conference at Harvard, “Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons: Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just?”

Elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, her awards include honorary degrees from Northwestern University in the United States and Uppsala University in Sweden, as well as the Truman Capote Award for literary criticism, and most recently, the Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for a “progressive and original” writer. In 2005, Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy named her one of the 100 leading intellectuals. Her other books include The Body in Pain as well as On Beauty and Being Just.