The Humanities Council supports the advancement of the humanities and related fields by sponsoring professorships and fellowships.
This page provides an overview of the intellectual pursuits of our distinguished community of scholars. For a complete list of people in current roles, please see our People Directory.
Directors and Chairs
Our faculty Directors and Chairs are key to the Council’s mission and work. Membership in the Humanities Council is open to chairs and directors of all humanities departments, programs and committees.
Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities
The Council is home to the Carpenter Professorship in the Humanities, a joint appointment in the Council and a humanities department. The inaugural Carpenter Professor, Alexander Nehamas, is currently Professor in the Humanities Council, Philosophy, and Comparative Literature. His books include Nietzsche: Life as Literature, The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault, Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates, and Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art.
At Princeton, he has chaired the Council of the Humanities and directed the Program in Hellenic Studies, and he was the Founding Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.
Old Dominion Research Professors
This program is designed to provide additional research time for faculty members and to enhance the humanities community more broadly by providing a core group of senior faculty with time and resources to engage colleagues and students from across the university in sustained discussions of their work. Old Dominion Professors are full professors in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
Old Dominion Professors are 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. Old Dominion Professors are expected to be in residence for the year and to engage in the intellectual life of the Council and the university.
To foster a community of scholars, Old Dominion Professors are provided with offices in a congenial setting outside their home departments. They participate in Humanities Council activities and serve as Faculty Fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.
Faculty interested in applying should visit the Research Professorships webpage for information about deadline and procedures.
2021-22 Old Dominion Professors
Wendy Laura Belcher, Professor of Comparative Literature and African American Studies
Project: Ladder of Heaven: The Miracles of the Virgin Mary in Ethiopian Literature and Art
Judith Hamera, Professor of Dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts and American Studies
Project: Los Angeles Live Art and Critical Pluralist Imaginaries, 1989 – 2000
Old Dominion Lecture Series
During their term, Old Dominion Professors are invited to share their research through a series of conversations and lectures.
February 11, 12:00 pm
Elizabeth Harman, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values
Racist research: What does respect for researchers require? What should academic freedom allow?
February 25, 4:30 pm
Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics and Director, University Center for Human Values
Lycurgus, Solon, Charondas…Figuring the Legislator in Platonic Political Thought and its Aftermath
March 25, 12:00 pm
Yaacob Dweck, Professor of History and the Program in Judaic Studies
Rabbinic Reactionaries in the Sephardic Diaspora: Notes on a Social Type
April 19, 4:30 pm
Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English
Pride and Prejudice: not altogether ‘light & bright & sparkling’
Past Old Dominion Professors
Kevin M. Kruse, Professor of History
Project: The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department, and the Civil Rights Movement
Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer Professor of English
Project: The Atlantic Crypt: Slavery and the Cultures of Modernity
Kofi Agawu, Music
April Alliston, Comparative Literature
David Bell, History
David Bellos, French and Italian; Comparative Literature
João Biehl, Anthropology
Isabelle Clark-Decès, Anthropology
John Cooper, Philosophy
Maria DiBattista, English
Andrew Feldherr, Classics
Diana Fuss, English
Daniel Garber, Philosophy
William Gleason, English
Tony Grafton, History
Molly Greene, History; Hellenic Studies
Thomas Hare, Comparative Literature
Bernard Haykel, Near Eastern Studies
Wendy Heller, Music
Martha Himmelfarb, Religion
Alison Isenberg, History
Michael Jennings, German
Claudia Johnson, English
Robert Kaster, Classics
Emmanuel Kreike, History
Paul Lansky, Music
AnneMarie Luijendijk, Religion
Susan Naquin, History; East Asian Studies
Alexander Nehamas, Philosophy; Comparative Literature
Deborah Nord, English
Philip Nord, History
Elaine Pagels, Religion
Albert Raboteau, Religion
Eileen Reeves, Comparative Literature
Daniel T. Rodgers, History
Esther Schor, English
Nigel Smith, English
Susan Stewart, English
Michael Wachtel, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Behrman Professors in the Humanities
Behrman Professors are faculty of tenured rank who are appointed for a three-year term to teach in the Humanistic Studies Program and to raise the overall profile of the Humanities at Princeton. Each year, we appoint one dedicated Humanities teacher from within our community to take a leading role in the year-long sequence, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture (HUM 216-219), and in the undergraduate interdisciplinary certificate in Humanistic Studies.
This is a three-year appointment (for consecutive years), and there are three “Behrman Professors” at any given time. The Professors are intended to enhance the appeal and continuity of the year-long interdisciplinary sequences and to raise the profile of the Program in Humanistic Studies, supporting interdisciplinary research by certificate students, who are concentrators in all divisions of the University.
The new Professor will teach in either Fall or Spring in HUM 216-219, as part of a six-member faculty team, receiving the usual Council summer salary of $7500 for preparing a team-taught HUM course for the first time.
He or she will coordinate for HUM 216-219, teaching in both Fall and Spring semesters. Because of the higher commitment in this year, the Professor will receive a 1/9th summer salary either before or after the second year.
In the third year, the Professor will design and lead four gatherings (research-related workshops/panels) and at least one excursion aimed at sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the HUM certificate program, receiving a Council summer salary of $7500 for planning and implementation. The Professor may also elect to teach the capstone seminar for the Certificate in Humanistic Studies, with an additional $7500 course-development grant for a new team-taught course. The capstone seminar requires team teaching with another regular faculty member at Princeton from a different discipline/department.
In recognition of this commitment of three continuous years to the Humanistic Studies Program, the Humanities Council will provide a guaranteed semester’s leave at the end of the three years; this leave can be banked to be used in conjunction with another semester leave when it becomes available from the home department.
How to Apply
The Council currently invites applications for Professorships to begin in academic year 2022-2023. Inquiries may be sent to Dr. Kathleen Crown, Executive Director, Humanities Council.
Current Behrman Professors
Yelena Baraz (Classics) is team teaching a HUM 470 capstone seminar—“Ancient Plots, Modern Twists”–with Jhumpa Lahiri (Creative Writing) in Spring 2020.
Coordinating the year-long Humanities Sequence this year is Denis Feeney (Classics).
Moulie Vidas (Religion) begins his three-year term in Spring 2021, teaching in HUM 216-217.
Previous Behrman Professors
The Council supports tenure-track professors in the Linguistics Program, in addition to several lecturers and postdoctoral fellows in Humanistic Studies, Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Religion, Sanskrit, Urban Studies, and American Studies.
Long-Term Visiting Fellows
Each year, distinguished writers, artists and scholars spend a semester visiting at Princeton, teaching one course. Nominations are invited from chairs of humanities departments and may be made jointly with interdisciplinary programs and committees under the Council’s umbrella.
Departments interested in nominating fellows should visit our Visiting Faculty page for information about deadlines and procedures.
Short-Term Visiting Fellows
During intensive three-to-five-day periods, these Fellows lecture and participate in classes, colloquia and informal discussions. The Program was created with a gift from Frank E. Taplin, Jr.’37 in honor of Whitney J. Oates, the distinguished classicist and founder of the Humanities Council. The Short-Term Fellows Program also hosts Belknap Fellows in Arts and Letters, Stewart Fellows in Religion, and Edward T. Cone ’39*42 Fellows, named in memory of the eminent composer, musicologist, professor and benefactor of the arts and humanities.
Departments interested in nominating fellows should visit our Visiting Faculty page for information about deadlines and procedures.
Stewart Visiting Fellows in Religion
The Stewart Fellow for 2018-19 is Andrew Nicholson (Stony Brooks University). Read more about the Stewart Fellow.
Ferris Professors of Journalism and McGraw Professors of Writing
We welcome proposals from journalists and writers who wish to teach seminars in journalism as visiting Ferris Professors of Journalism, or seminars in other kinds of nonfiction related to journalism as visiting McGraw Professors of Writing. Visiting professors will join our Ferris Professors of Journalism in Residence: Joe Stephens, who spent two decades as an investigative projects reporter for The Washington Post, and John McPhee, who has been a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than 50 years. More information.
Rachel Donadio is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Based in Paris since 2013, she covers politics and culture across Europe. Her writing-intensive course, The Literature of Fact: Writing About Culture, will focus on how to tackle culture – low and high, new and older – by exploring cultural consumption and criticism.
Jane Ferguson is an international correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a contributor to The New Yorker. In The McGraw Seminar in Writing: War Reporting Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, she and her students will explore the challenges journalists face while witnessing and explaining complex global conflicts.
Helen Thorpe is a journalist and an award-winning author of books of narrative non-fiction. Her course on Creative Non-Fiction will examine how vast differences in power, income and social status are addressed in literary masterpieces, and to what extent it is possible for authors to understand their subjects’ struggles.
Michael Calderone is a senior editor at Vanity Fair’s Hive, a news site about politics, media and technology. His course – on how journalists work to hold the powerful accountable in government, business and entertainment – will include a spring-break trip to Washington, D.C. to see up close how today’s newsrooms cover government.
Joanna Kakissis is a contributing international correspondent for NPR and a contributor to This American Life. Based in Athens, she files dispatches from Europe. Students in her international news seminar will learn how to report on rising nationalism in Europe since the 2015 refugee crisis, with an emphasis on audio journalism.
James Martinez is the breaking news investigations editor at The Associated Press, responsible for investigative projects stemming from major news events. In his course, students will learn about the dynamics of the modern news cycle, how to develop tightly focused news angles, and other strategies for investigative reporting.
Joe Richman is the award-winning founder and executive producer of Radio Diaries whose work is regularly heard on NPR. His seminar will explore narrative storytelling in audio formats – with particular attention paid to stories of immigration, past and present – and incorporate a spring-break trip to the border town of Laredo, Texas.
The Council supports several lecturers and postdoctoral fellows in Humanistic Studies, Digital Humanities, and Linguistics. The Council also supports fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which promotes innovative interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and teaching. Each year, a new cohort of recent recipients of the Ph.D. in the humanities and humanistically-oriented social sciences are appointed for three-year terms of teaching and research. Meeting regularly for informal and formal discussion, seminars, lectures, and reading groups, the fellows pursue new knowledge within and across disciplines. The Society enjoys the support of the Humanities Council, with whom it shares the Joseph Henry House, a historic building at the center of campus named after its designer, the eminent scientist and Princeton professor, Joseph Henry (1797-1878).
The Council supports several lecturers in Humanistic Studies, Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Religion, South Asian Studies/Sanskrit, and American Studies.