Council Announces 2022-23 Old Dominion Research Professors

April 22, 2022
From left: Rob Nixon (English, High Meadows Environmental Institute), Stephen F. Teiser (Religion), and William Chester Jordan (History)

The Humanities Council has named William Chester Jordan, Rob Nixon, and Stephen F. Teiser as 2022-23 Old Dominion Research Professors.

This cohort of senior faculty will join a yearlong program designed to provide additional research time and to enhance the humanities community more broadly. They will also serve as faculty fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.

Old Dominion Research Professors contribute to the Council’s programs and events and engage the campus community in sustained discussions about their research.

William Chester Jordan is the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History. He is a former director of the Humanities Council’s Program in Medieval Studies and previously served as director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies. Jordan is a prolific author whose current research focuses on migrant labor in the 13th and early 14th century. His Old Dominion Research Professorship will support the study of the economic and social experiences of migrant laborers in the High Middle Ages in the rural areas of northwestern continental Europe.

Rob Nixon is the Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment and professor of English and the High Meadows Environmental Institute. His scholarship focuses on literature, environmental justice and social movements, particularly in the Global South. During his Old Dominion Professorship, Nixon will focus on his most recent book project, “Blood at the Root: Environmental Martyrs and the Defense of Life,” which is a response to the 21st century surge in environmental martyrs, who are being persecuted and murdered at alarming rates.

Stephen F. Teiser is the D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and professor of religion. His research interests include the transformations of Buddhism throughout Asia, and his scholarship traces the interaction between cultures along the Silk Road using textual, artistic, and material remains. Teiser’s project as Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities Council is to develop his book, “Curing with Karma: Healing Liturgies in Chinese Buddhism,” which will engage with moral issues of healing rituals in premodern Buddhist cultures, the poetics of prayer, and the materiality of liturgical manuscripts. 

“Congratulations to our new cohort of Old Dominion Professors, each of them embarked on exciting new work,” said Esther Schor, chair of the Humanities Council and Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Professor of American Jewish Studies and professor of English. “We’re delighted to have them with us in the Council and the Society of Fellows and look forward to learning more about their research in a collegial and congenial setting.”

Old Dominion Professors are full professors in the humanities and humanistic social sciences appointed for a term of one year, one semester of which would otherwise have been devoted to a regular sabbatical leave. The Professorship extends that leave to one full year.

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