Stanley Fish

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Stanley Eugene Fish (born April 19, 1938) is an American literary theorist and legal scholar. He was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He is often associated with postmodernism, at times to his irritation, as he describes himself as an anti-foundationalist.[1] He is the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and a Professor of Law at Florida International University, in Miami, as well as Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the author of 10 books. Professor Fish has also taught at the Cardozo School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Duke University.

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Academic career

Fish did his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania [2] and earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1962. He taught English at the University of California at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University before becoming Arts and Sciences Professor of English and Professor of Law at Duke University from 1986 to 1998. The latter appointment was in spite of the fact that Fish does not have a law degree and has never formally studied law. From 1999 to 2004 he was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also held joint appointments in the Departments of Political Science and Criminal Justice, and was the chairman of the Religious Studies Committee [3]. During his tenure there, he recruited professors well respected in the academic community and garnered a lot of attention for the College [4]. After resigning as dean in a high-level dispute with the state of Illinois over funding UIC [5], Fish spent a year teaching in the Department of English. The Institute for the Humanities at UIC named a lecture series in his honor, which is still ongoing [6]. In June 2005, he accepted the position of Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida International University, teaching in the FIU College of Law. In November 2010 he joined the Board of Visitors of Ralston College, a start-up institution in Savannah, Georgia.[7]

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