Tera W. Hunter, the Edwards Professor of American History and professor of African American studies, has been named Acting Chair of the Humanities Council, effective July 1, 2022. She will serve in place of Esther Schor, who will be on research sabbatical leave for the academic year 2022-23.
“I’m delighted that Tera Hunter, a member of our Executive Committee, has agreed to serve as Acting Chair during my leave,” Schor said. “Tera’s view of the humanities is wide and generous. A writer of prize-winning, innovative studies of labor and marriage in African American history (among other topics), Tera understands well the crucial role of the Council in sparking innovation. We’re fortunate to be able welcome her to the Council.”
Hunter joined the Princeton faculty in 2007. Her research focuses on gender, race, labor, and Southern histories.
Hunter has written several award-winning books, including “Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century” and “To ’Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War.” Her current book project is “The African American Marriage Gap in the Twentieth Century.” She is also co-authoring “The Making of a People: A History of African-Americans” with Robin D. G. Kelley and Earl Lewis under contract with W. W. Norton Press.
She has engaged in public history projects as a consultant for museum exhibitions and documentary films and worked with public school teachers on curriculum development. Hunter has published essays in the Times Literary Supplement, New York Times, Essence, TheRoot.com, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and others.
Hunter joined the Humanities Council’s Executive Committee in the academic year 2021-22.
“I am excited to step in as Acting Chair for Starry this year who is leaving us in good stead. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues and units across the campus to advance innovative work in our teaching and scholarship,” Hunter said. “The humanities speaks to the heart and soul of liberal arts universities and we are privileged at Princeton to have tremendous traditions and resources that we can build on to strengthen our mission even more.”
After attending public schools in Miami, Hunter received a B.A. from Duke University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. She has received numerous fellowships and grants, including the Rogers Distinguished Fellowship in 19th-Century American History, Huntington Library, 2021-2022; National Humanities Center Fellowship in 2017-2018, and a Mary I. Bunting Institute fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for 2005-2006.
In Fall 2022, Hunter will co-teach AAS 300: Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies with Naomi Murakawa, associate professor of African American Studies. She will moderate the Council’s 16th Annual Humanities Colloquium, “Humanities and/as Choice,” on September 8, 2022 at 4:30 pm in Chancellor Green Rotunda.