President’s Pages in Princeton Alumni Weekly
Strengthening the Faculty
February 11, 2009
Each fall, Princeton welcomes between 40 and 50 new professors to its faculty — from renowned scholars who have helped to define their fields to rising stars whose greatest work is still to come. Their arrival not only replenishes the ranks of our faculty but also ensures that our University community is continually enriched with new points of view and areas of expertise. Some faculty appointments reinforce existing strengths at Princeton while others propel us into unfamiliar territory, but all allow fresh voices to be heard, broadening and deepening the conversations on our campus. I hope that the following thumbnail sketches will give you a small taste of what the newest members of our faculty have brought to Princeton.
Professor of Classics Nino Luraghi, who comes to us from Harvard, is among the foremost historians of ancient Greece in the world today. Born and raised in Italy, he has taught on both sides of the Atlantic and brings to Princeton the perspective of one for whom “the ancient world is not only a place in time, but a place in space.” He is an authority on archaic tyrannies, particularly in the Greek colonies of southern Italy and Sicily, on the Messenians of southwestern Greece, and on the great historian Herodotus and the influences that shaped his work. Professor Luraghi is a splendid addition not only to our classics department but also to our history department and Program in Hellenic Studies, with which his courses are cross-listed.
Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies Cyrus Schayegh was educated on three continents, earning degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Geneva, and Columbia before joining the American University of Beirut. His forthcoming book explores the role of science in the development of Iranian society in the first half of the twentieth century. His current project re-examines the post-Ottoman Levant as a region formed by the interplay between new states and cross-border movements of goods and people. He is also probing what the post-World War II Iranian fascination with mammoth projects such as dams reveals about the links between the Cold War, development, and techno-politics in the Middle East. Professor Schayegh is the first social historian to join our Near Eastern studies department, at a time when a thorough understanding of the Middle East has never been more vital.
Associate Professor of Psychology and African American Studies Stacey Sinclair received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles less than a decade ago but has already earned a respected place in the field of social psychology. First at the University of Virginia and now at Princeton, she is breaking new ground through her exploration of the interpersonal basis of ethnic and gender stereotyping, both with respect to oneself and others. As she puts it, “individuals will engage in self-stereotyping when they want to get along with someone who seems to think stereotypes of their group are true — even if doing so may have non-relational negative consequences.” Her research sheds new light on the determinants of prejudice and how this enduring social problem can be overcome.
Blair Professor of Geology and Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics Jeroen Tromp, a native of the Netherlands who received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1992, is arguably the world’s pre-eminent theoretical seismologist. At Harvard and the California Institute of Technology, where he headed the Seismological Laboratory, Professor Tromp made a significant contribution to our understanding of the Earth’s deep interior and the seismic activity that can wreak such havoc on its surface. He has developed and enhanced techniques for modeling both regional- and global-scale geophysical phenomena, and together with the late Tony Dahlen, a long-time member of our faculty, wrote the definitive textbook on theoretical seismology. It seems fitting that Professor Tromp should return to Princeton to build on the work of his distinguished — and much missed — thesis adviser.
These are just four of the outstanding scholars who now call Princeton home. Whether they are discussing free oscillations of the Earth or Greek alphabetic systems or any one of a host of other topics, Princeton’s newest faculty are making this a more exciting place to be.