Humanities Council lines up roster of distinguished visitors


Princeton NJ -- The Council of the Humanities continues the celebration of its 50th anniversary this year by hosting 28 distinguished guests.

The council, founded in 1953 to foster teaching, research and intellectual exchange, will be home to 17 visiting fellows, seven professors of writing and journalism, two Hodder Fellows and two Belknap Visitors in the Humanities. Nineteen of the visitors are spending a semester or more at Princeton, while the others come for intensive shorter periods of lectures, seminars and colloquia.

The public is invited to talks by these visitors, which are announced in the Humanities Council's calendar at <> and in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin.

Long-term visiting fellows

These fellows generally spend a semester at Princeton.

· David Cannadine, a historian from the University of London, is the author of many books, including "Aspects of Aristocracy: Grandeur and Decline in Modern Britain," "Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire" and "In Churchill's Shadow: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain."

· Maryse Condé is widely considered to be the most important literary figure of the French Caribbean. The author of 14 novels, six plays and many short stories, she has received numerous prizes, including the Prix de l'Académie Française. A professor emerita at Columbia, she is a Class of 1932 Fellow this fall, teaching a graduate seminar on francophone literature.

· Mark Dresser is a composer/performer who has written more than 75 works, including concert music and jazz. As an Old Dominion Fellow in Music in the spring, he will teach a seminar on composition and improvisation.

· Erik Ehn, a playwright and director, is writing a cycle of plays that use saints and Biblical characters to depict the spiritual exigencies of contemporary life. As a Stewart Fellow in Theater and Dance in the spring, he will teach a course on "Writing Religious Drama in a Postmodern Age."

· Michael Frede, a philosophy professor at Oxford, is a Stewart Professor this fall, teaching a seminar on Plotinus under the joint auspices of the classical philosophy program and the philosophy department. His publications cover a wide range of Greek thought, from the pre-Socratics to the "church fathers."

· Kenneth Gross of the University of Rochester teaches the Renaissance from an interdisciplinary perspective. His "Dream of the Moving Statue" is an inquiry into the power of animation to disturb social and philosophical categories. Gross will be a Class of 1932 Fellow in English in the spring.

· Denzil Hurley, chair of the art department at the University of Washington, is a painter whose work is represented in many collections, including the Metropolitan and Brooklyn museums, the Library of Congress and the Yale University Art Gallery. He is teaching painting this fall as an Old Dominion Fellow in Visual Arts.

· Leslie Kurke, who earned her Ph.D. in classics from Princeton in 1988, reads Greek literature in its wider social and political context. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she is a professor of classics and comparative literature at the University of California-Berkeley. She will be Class of 1932 Fellow in Classics, teaching a spring-term course on Greek literature and leading a faculty seminar on Aesop's fables.

· Fergus Millar of Oxford University will return to Princeton in March for a one-month visit as an Old Dominion Fellow in Classics. A historian of ancient Greece and Rome, he has more recently expanded his research to the ancient Near East. He will lead a graduate seminar.

· Israel Jacob Yuval, a scholar of medieval Jewish-Christian relations at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writes about the constant interchange between Judaism and Christianity. He will be a Stewart Fellow in Religion in the spring.

Short-term visiting fellows

During intensive week-long periods, these fellows lecture and participate in classes, colloquia and informal discussions. Three are designated Whitney Oates Fellows (*) in honor of the distinguished classicist and founder of the Humanities Council.

· Lazar Fleishman, a scholar of Russian culture at Stanford and a specialist on Boris Pasternak, will give a series of talks in November about futurist poetry, Russian émigré journalism and Soviet counterintelligence.

· Michael Hardt of Duke University is co-author of "Empire," which has become an international bestseller. The English department will host him in February.

· Riley Lee is an enthnomusicologist, composer and virtuoso performer of the traditional Japanese end-blown flute, the skakuhachi. In November, he will perform this music and reflect on its relation to Zen meditation and other arts.

· Liz Lerman, dancer, choreographer and MacArthur Fellow, emphasizes dance as a tool of communication and expression for people of varied abilities (or disabilities). Dancers in her company range in age from their 20s to their 70s and come from varied cultural backgrounds. Lerman will give lecture-demonstrations between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5.

· Michael Martin*, editor of the journal Mind and professor at University College, London, works in philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. As a fellow in philosophy this fall, Martin will talk about memory, attention and desire.

· Suzan-Lori Parks*, eminent contemporary playwright and MacArthur Fellow, won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In her plays and in a new novel, "Getting Mother's Body," she reflects about the African-American experience and the influence of the past. Parks will be a fellow in theater and dance in the spring.

· Yopie Prins* writes about classics, English Victorian literature, women and gender. In "Victorian Sappho," she traces the 19th century's fascination with new fragments of Sappho's poems. A professor at the University of Michigan who earned her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1991, Prins will be a fellow in comparative literature in the spring.

Visiting professors of journalism

Each year eminent journalists teach at Princeton, joining a roster that includes many of America's most distinguished writers.

· Jim Dwyer of The New York Times is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes. As a Robbins/Ferris Professor this fall, he is helping students understand the role of vision and voice in print journalism.

· Jeff Gerth, an investigative reporter for The New York Times in Washington, covers political corruption, national security issues, corporations and government regulation. His spring-term seminar will analyze how investigative journalism intersects with society, especially as a force for change.

· Marc Fisher, a 1980 alumnus and Washington Post columnist, was Berlin bureau chief during the fall of the wall and the reunification of Germany. In the spring, he will explore how the stories of ordinary men, women and children can be as compelling as reporting from the White House, Wall Street and Hollywood.

· Chris Hedges, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, has covered Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The author of the 2002 book, "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," he is teaching international reporting this fall as a Ferris Professor.

· Deborah Sontag, winner of a George Polk Award, is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. A former Jerusalem bureau chief, she will be a Ferris Professor in the spring, helping students write in a variety of genres, from news to arts criticism to foreign correspondence.

· Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor and former Washington bureau chief of Newsweek, will spend the academic year as a Ferris/Stuart Professor in the Humanities Council and the Woodrow Wilson School. The author of six books, including biographies of Robert Kennedy and John Paul Jones, he will teach narrative writing in the fall and "The Media and Public Policy" in the spring.

· Marilyn Thompson, assistant managing editor for investigations at The Washington Post, is the author of "The Killer Strain: Anthrax and a Government Exposed," an investigative look at the anthrax attacks of 2001. As a McGraw Professor this fall, she is leading a seminar on "Writing About Bioterrorism."

Hodder Fellows

Recipients of this fellowship are humanists of exceptional promise who spend a year at Princeton pursuing independent projects.

· Anthony Doerr is the author of a volume of short stories, "The Shell Collector," which won the New York Public Library's 2003 Young Lions Fiction Award. He will spend the year working on a novel.

· Sarah Manguso is the author of "The Captain Lands in Paradise: Poems." While at Princeton, she will work on a new collection of poems.

Belknap Visitors in the Humanities

Named in honor of Chauncey Belknap '12, this program sponsors visitors for one or two days at Princeton.

· Chuck Close, the eminent artist and subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, showed that the traditional art of portrait painting could be transformed into a challenging form of contemporary expression. He will show slides and talk about his work on Oct. 9.

· Rachel Whiteread, the British installation artist whose work figures in the collections of the Tate Britain in London, the Yale Center for British Art and many other museums, created the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna. She will be a Belknap Visitor in the spring.


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