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About us

John Borneman (anthropology),
Gyan Prakash (history),
and Barry Jacobs (psychology)

The Princeton Report on Knowledge

The Princeton Report on Knowledge (P-ROK) is an internet platform which hosts revealing interviews, lively debate, cool analysis, and compact understandings of current events, academic affairs, and all knowledge contemporary and perennial.

P-ROK focuses on timely and globally-relevant knowledge, expertise, and insights produced through interactions at Princeton University. We highlight not only Princeton's excellence as an undergraduate teaching institution, but also its strength and resources as a top research university. This internet platform serves to publicize and disseminate our expertise and understandings to a general public.

The P-ROK Editorial Board, comprised of three Princeton professors and five graduate-student editors, acts as a collective, bringing expertise from different disciplines and stages of the academic life-course into the making of each issue. P-ROK is open to publication in various styles and formats by all Princeton faculty. We pay special attention to visiting faculty, the seminars they teach and the activities, panels, workshops, and talks in which they participate.

Each issue is built around one elastic theme-e.g., "Elections;" "Securities"-which is used as a node to gather together disparate and diverse contributions from Princeton faculty and visitors. Each issue consists of five sections: Interview; Forum on Current Events; Inventions, Innovations, Ideas; Comptes Rendus; 4Q & 4A.

The Interview provides a place for prominent lecturers, visitors, alumni, or faculty members to reflect on their experience, address issues of pressing concern, delve into the making of their own expertise, or just share great stories.

Forum on Current Events brings together four faculty members from different disciplines for a wide-ranging and critical discussion of each issue's theme.

Inventions, Innovations, Ideas (I/I/I) seeks out a range of innovative, inventive, or imaginative approaches to the theme of the issue. Generically capacious, this section includes focused interviews, reports on recent activities, and responses by students and/or faculty to provocative ideas or visual materials. We explore the current state of knowledge in various fields of inquiry, pose questions of continuity and change in methodology and along disciplinary boundaries, and investigate problems of pedagogy and knowledge transmission.

Comptes Rendus reserves space for reviews, responses, and revisists to earlier themes, as well as compact understandings of recurring topics. Occasional features include:

  • Translations - the convergence and divergence of knowledges across disciplinary, linguistic, and social boundaries;
  • Accidental Knowledge gained by faculty through unforeseen encounters, geographical displacement, and irregular involvement in newsworthy events;
  • Previously [Un]Published contention, acrimony, and self-defense intended for the pages of other journals, or continuing debates begun elsewhere;
  • Special interviews with Visiting Scholars; and
  • Weather Report - an attempt to bridge the gap between specialist knowledge and wild popular speculation on the experience of climate change.

Four Questions and Four Answers aims to amuse, incite, intrigue, surprise, and inform. Respondents are free to interpret or willfully mis-read the questions to suit their interests and viewpoints.

About the Editors

John Borneman is Professor of Anthropology. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard (1989), and taught at Cornell University (1991-2000) before coming to Princeton. He has written on political anthropology, kinship, and memory. He did fieldwork in Berlin, Germany for sixteen years, and in 1999 began research in the Levant, with a focus on Lebanon and Syria. Gyan Prakash is Professor of History. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), and has taught at Princeton since 1988. He has written extensively on modern Indian history, and his teaching and research interests include colonialism and imperialism, social theory, and cultural and urban history. Barry Jacobs is Professor in the Program in Neuroscience. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA (1971) and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychiatry Department at the Stanford University Medical School (1971-1972). He has taught at Princeton since 1972. He does animal laboratory research on brain chemical communication (especially serotonin) and morphological and functional brain changes (plasticity). His work relates to human diseases such as clinical depression.

About the Graduate Student Editors

Alexander Bick is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History
Vera Keller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History
Peter Kurie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology
Anthony Petro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion
Sidhartha Goyal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics

- Former Graduate Student Editors
Gretchen Boger (History)
Leo Coleman (Anthropology)
Chris Darnton (Politics).
Gasper Tkacik (Physics)
Mona Zaki (Near Eastern Studies)