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 faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are full professors and who have been at the University for a minimum of five years.
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.
Old Dominion Professors
- Yaacob Dweck, Professor of History and the Program in Judaic Studies, Project: Rabbinic Reactionaries in the Sephardic Diaspora: Notes on a Social Type
- Elizabeth Harman, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values, Project: Morality Within the Realm of the Morally Permissible
- Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics and Director, University Center for Human Values, Project: Lycurgus, Solon, Charondas, and their fellows: Figuring the legislator in Platonic political thought and its aftermath
- Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English, Project: Romanticism’s Generative Reading
- Rachael Z. DeLue, Christopher Binyon Sarofim ’86 Professor in American Art, Project: Impossible Images and the Perils of Picturing
- Kevin M. Kruse, Professor of History, Project: The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department, and the Civil Rights Movement
- Steven Mackey, William Shubael Conant Professor of Music, Project: Concertos for Underdogs: Timpani and Trumpet
- D. Vance Smith, Professor of English, Project: Modernity’s African Unconscious
- Michael Flower, David Magie ’97 Class of 1897 Professor of Classics, Project: The Art of Historical Fiction in Ancient Greece
- Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer Professor of English, Project: The Atlantic Crypt: Slavery and the Cultures of Modernity
- Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, Project: Counter-Constitutions and the End of History
- Sean Wilentz, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History; Professor of History, Project: The Triumph of American Antislavery
- Maria DiBattista, Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English, Project: Modernist Portraiture: Literature, Painting, Photography, Film
- Tony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History, Project: Post Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Early Modern Europe
- Philip Nord, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Project: Memories of Deportation: France, 1945-1985
Previous Old Dominion Professors
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
Andrew Feldherr, Classics
Diana Fuss, English
Daniel Garber, Philosophy
William Gleason, English
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
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 Humanities Sequence (HUM 216-219) and in the undergraduate certificate in Humanistic Studies.
This is a three-year appointment (for consecutive years), and we aim to have three “Behrman Professors” at any given time. The new Professors are intended to enhance the appeal and the continuity of the Humanities Sequence (HUM 216-219) and raise the profile of the Humanistic Studies Program and of the Humanities at Princeton.
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 either 1/9th summer salary or a course release in the third year.
He or she will teach another HUM course, ideally the capstone seminar for the Certificate in Humanistic Studies, with a $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.
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
Inquiries may be sent to Dr. Kathleen Crown, Executive Director.
Applications should comprise:
- a statement of interest
- a curriculum vitae
- teaching evaluations
- a list of courses taught
- a brief letter from the chair of the home department confirming that the department can release the faculty member on the above terms.
Behrman professorships are not offered every year. If a round is conducted in the coming year an announcement regarding the deadline will be distributed.
Current Behrman Professors
Effie Rentzou (French & Italian) will be teaching the capstone seminar in the Humanistic Studies program in Spring 2020.
Coordinating the year-long Humanities Sequence this year is Yelena Baraz (Classics). Denis Feeney (Classics) will begin his three-year term in 2019-20, teaching in the Humanities Sequence in the Spring.Future Behrman Professors
In 2020-21, Moulie Vidas (Religion) will begin his three-year term.
The Council supports Professors in the Linguistics Program, in addition to several lecturers and postdoctoral fellows in Humanistic Studies, Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Religion, Sanskrit, 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.
Bill Keller is a former executive editor of The New York Times and the founding editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. In The McGraw Seminar of Writing: The Craft of Profile-Writing, he will teach students how successful profilers produce this particularly versatile and particularly challenging journalistic form.
Joe Richman is the founder and executive producer of Radio Diaries whose work is regularly heard on NPR. His course, Audio Journalism: The Art of Narrative Storytelling for Radio and Podcasts, will include a fall-break trip to Alabama and Mississippi to capture and tell stories of the Civil Rights Movement.
Errin Whack is The Associated Press’s award-winning national writer on race and ethnicity. Her course on The Media and America: Black Women and the 2020 Election will examine how the press reports on the political priorities of this consequential constituency in the lead up to a presidential election.
Kushanava Choudhury is a veteran journalist and author whose work has appeared in leading newspapers in the U.S. and India. He will teach The Literature of Fact: The Urban World, which will explore the social and cultural dimensions of the modern urban form through writing about cities.
Carol Giacomo is a member of The New York Times’ editorial board and writes on foreign and defense policy. Her course, on shaping the debate on international issues, will incorporate a spring-break trip to Hungary to report on the threat to democracy posed by the forces of illiberalism, xenophobia, and hate.
Kimbriell Kelly is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor in the Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau with more than 20 years’ experience working as a journalist. She will teach a seminar on investigative journalism with a focus on public-records accountability reporting in an age of disinformation.
Jon Gertner is a bestselling author, editor, and journalist known for his writing on science, technology, innovation, business, and society. In his course, on covering new technology and climate science, students will learn how to cut through hype and craft narratives that make sense of new ideas.
Suzy Hansen is an award-winning author and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine with extensive experience reporting from the Middle East. She will teach a seminar focused on writing about foreign countries and the challenges of being an international correspondent.
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.