Council Welcomes New Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Directors for AY23-24

September 5, 2023

The Humanities Council is pleased to welcome new faculty, scholars, staff, and visitors for the 2023-24 academic year. They will support the Council’s mission to nurture the humanities locally and globally, engage diverse perspectives past and present, and enrich public dialogue with humanistic approaches.

Visiting Scholars and Practitioners

The Council has appointed five Long-Term Visiting Fellows for 2023-24, who will each teach a course for a full semester.

In the fall, physician and medical ethicist Joseph Fins, co-appointed in the Department of Classics, will team-teach a course with Brooke Holmes (Classics) entitled, “Bio/Ethics: Ancient and Modern” and conduct archival research for a biography of the physician-humanist, Dr. Lewis Thomas ’33. In the Department of Religion, Emory University professor Timothy Jackson will teach the undergraduate seminar, “Christianity and the Holocaust.” Viktoria Tkaczyk, who joins the Department of German from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, will co-teach the graduate course “Topics in German Media Theory & History: Ecopolitics of Media: Material, Knowledge, Resource Regimes” with Thomas Levin (German).

In Spring 2024, literary theorist Frances Ferguson visits the Department of English where she will draw on her expertise in 18th century literature and Romanticism. The Department of Near Eastern Studies will host Meir Hatina, whose research focuses on the history of ideas and politics in the modern Middle East and from a comparative perspective.

Eleven Short-Term Visiting Fellows will also join the University this year. During intensive three-to-five-day periods, these Fellows lecture and participate in classes, colloquia, and informal discussions.

Eva Doumbia, director and founding member of the collective Décoloniser les Arts, and award-winning novelist Alice Zeniter will both bring insights to the Department of French and Italian. 

Internationally-recognized countertenor Lawrence Zazzo will contribute to the Department of Music. Helen Steward, philosopher and Fellow of the British Academy, will visit the Department of Philosophy. The Lewis Center for the Arts will host Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation), the first-known female Native American playwright on Broadway. 

Data scientist Jo Guldi, who is a pioneer in the field of text mining for historical research, will partner with the Department of History and the Center for Digital Humanities. Three visitors will contribute to the Department of English this year, including John Durham Peters, a media historian and theorist, R. Darren Gobert, chair of theater studies at Duke University, and Robert Sullivan, writer and 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. 

Latin literature scholar Alessandro Schiesaro, a professor at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, will contribute to the Department of Classics. The Effron Center for the Study of America will host Julietta Singh, an academic and nonfiction writer whose work is rooted in decolonial feminisms and the ecological humanities. 

The Fund for Canadian Studies has named historian and religious studies scholar Emma Anderson, of the University of Ottawa, as the 2023-24 Laurence G. Pathy ’56 Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies. She will teach the humanistic studies course “Indigenous Peoples and Christianity.”

The Program in Journalism will welcome six distinguished journalists as visiting professors in 2023-24, who will teach an intensive seminar within the Humanities Council for one semester. The visiting journalists’ seminars will complement the courses regularly led by the program’s Ferris Professors in Residence.

In the fall, Jane Ferguson, international correspondent for PBS NewsHour and contributor to The New Yorker, will focus on foundational journalistic skills and approaches to sensitive and compelling reporting in the course “War Reporting: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Author and journalist Joshua Prager will offer the seminar “The Literature of Fact: Writing about History,” where students will learn to read, examine, and retell historical narratives. Keith Richburg, a member of the Editorial Board of The Washington Post, will examine coverage of the 2024 election cycle in the course “Politics and the Media: Foreign Policy, Public Opinion and the Press.”

Next spring, Rund Abdelfatah, a Princeton alumna and the co-creator of NPR’s Peabody-Award winning show Throughline, will teach a seminar on experimental audio journalism. Returning to the program this year, journalist and queer culture historian Channing Joseph will teach a course on racial justice reporting in the United States. New York Times journalist Christiaan Triebert will delve into the emerging field of online open-source investigation in his spring course on digital journalism.

Lecturers and Postdoctoral Fellows

The Council’s Program in Linguistics welcomes Allison Bienas as a lecturer for the American Sign Language (ASL) sequence. The sequence, which was approved in 2021, includes new introductory and intermediate ASL courses and fulfills the University’s A.B. language requirement for undergraduate students.

The Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, with new director Yelena Baraz (Classics), welcomes the 2023-2026 cohort of Cotsen postdoctoral fellows. Fellows hold appointments as lecturers in their academic host departments and in the Council, teaching half-time while conducting their own research over a period of three years.

Historian Supratik Baralay will develop his first book, provisionally titled “Arsacid Eurasia: Sovereignty, Subjection, and the Making of the Silk Roads.” In the fall, he will co-teach in Princeton’s Humanities Sequence, housed in the Program in Humanistic Studies and teach the spring freshman seminar, “The Camera and Classical Art.” Lacy Feigh, a historian who specializes in modern Ethiopia and the greater Nile Valley, will develop her first book, Abyssinia to Ethiopia: Slavery, Race and the Transition from Empire to Nation, 1855-1957.” She will teach “A Global History of Modern Ethiopia: Rastafari to Haile Selassie” in the fall.

Anthropologist Akil Fletcher will explore the use of race in gameplay through anthropological lens in the course, “Gaming Blackness: The Anthropology of Video Games and Race.” He will also develop his book project, which engages with the way Black gamers use technologies to imagine new worlds of play. Xiaoyu Xia, a scholar of modern Chinese literature, will teach “Modern Chinese Poetry: Seeing Modern China through the Poetry Cloud.” She will also focus on her current book project, “Revolution Between the Lines: Typography and Chinese Literary Modernity (1895-1937).”  

Appointed in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Lieke van Son also joins the Society of Fellows. Her research combines computational simulations with analytical models, in order to unravel the complex phenomena that govern stellar evolution.  

Wouter Haverals joins the Humanities Council and the Center for Digital Humanities as a Postdoctoral Research Associate this year. He will teach the humanistic studies course “introduction to Digital Humanities” in the spring.

Humanities Council Staff

Tim Waldron joined the Council in August 2023 as program manager for the Program in Journalism. His role includes supporting faculty who teach Princeton’s journalism seminars as well as students who participate the certificate and minor programs. He oversees communications and events related to the program. He also serves as manager for the Committee for Film Studies.

Humanities Council Program Directors

The Council is pleased to announce several new program directors and committee chairs, who will begin their service in the 2023-24 academic year.

Brooke Holmes (Classics) has been named the director of the  Gauss Seminars in Criticism,instituted in 1949 to provide a focus for discussion, study, and the exchange of ideas in the humanities. A comparatist and classicist, Holmes explores the Greco-Roman roots of Western ideas about the physical body, the natural world, matter, and the non-human. William Chester Jordan (History) has been named director of the Program in Medieval Studies. Jordan was a 2022-23 Old Dominion Research Professor, and his research is currently focused on migrant labor in the thirteenth and early fourteenth century.

Carolina Mangone (Art & Archaeology) will serve as the director of the graduate Program in Italian Studies. Mangone, who specializes in southern Renaissance and Baroque art, will also join the Council’s Executive Committee this year. Carolyn Yerkes (Art & Archaeology) has been named the director of the Program in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. Specializing in Renaissance and Baroque architecture, Yerkes investigates relationships between theory and techniques of architectural representation.

Old Dominion Research Professors

Bridget Alsdorf (Art & Archaeology), Sandra Bermann (Comparative Literature), Laura Edwards (History), and Sarah Rivett (English and American Studies) have been named 2023-24 Old Dominion Research Professors, and will join the yearlong program designed to provide additional research time and to enhance the humanities community more broadly.

As Old Dominion Research Professors, these senior faculty members will contribute to the Council’s programs and events, engage the campus community in sustained discussions about their research, and serve as faculty fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.

Behrman Professor and Behrman Fellows

This year, Beatrice Kitzinger (Art & Archaeology) joins the Council and the Program in Humanistic Studies as a 2022-23 Behrman Professor. The three-year term appointment recognizes distinguished humanities scholars and dedicated teachers from within the University community.

Behrman Professors teach in the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture (HUM 216-219) sequence and play a leading role in building community among students in the interdisciplinary humanities certificate program.

Princeton faculty promoted to tenure in the humanities are invited to spend two years as Behrman Fellows, a program designed to recognize exceptional humanists and to provide a forum for conversation and collaboration across disciplines. New Behrman Fellows this year include Ksenia Chizhova (East Asian Studies), Elizabeth Ellis (History), Laura Kalin (Linguistics), Barbara Nagel (German), Daniel Sheffield (Near Eastern Studies), Garry Sparks (Religion), and Autumn Womack (African American Studies and English).

Campus Partnerships

The Council is also pleased to provide substantial support for several visitors across campus, in collaboration with University partners.

The Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication, which resides within the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, appointed two Translators in Residence for the 2023-24 academic year, with funding from the Humanities Council and the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Hanna Leliv will join the University in the fall. A native of Lviv, Ukraine, Leliv specializes in translating contemporary Ukrainian literature into English. Daisy Rockwell, who translates from Hindi and Urdu into English with a focus on women’s writing, will arrive in the spring.

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities appointed Sonali Dhanpal and Zhiyan Yang as Princeton-Mellon Fellows, with additional support from the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and the Humanities Council.

While at Princeton, Dhanpal will work on her first book, “Caste and the City: Spatial Politics in Colonial and Princely Bangalore”  and will teach “Race, Caste, and Space: Architectural History as Property History” in spring 2024. Yang will also work on his first book, titled “Inventing Contemporary Architectural Culture in the Age of Globalization, 1979-2006” and offer the spring course “Chinatown, the Japanese Garden, the Period Room: Case Studies for Diasporic Architecture.” 

Historian and digital humanist Christine Roughan will join the Center for Digital Humanities and Manuscript, Rare Book and Archive Studies (MARBAS) at Princeton as a postdoctoral research associate, with additional funding from the Council.

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures will welcome Russian scholar Oleg Lekmanov, who joins the University this semester as a research scholar, with support from the Council. The department also welcomes back Ukrainian literary critic Tamara Hundorova, who joined the University as a research scholar and lecturer in spring 2023.

Read more about our 2023-24 visitors and find up-to-date information about events and funding deadlines on the Humanities Council website.

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