Susan Stewart is the Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanities, Professor of English, and a member of the associated faculty of the Department of Art and Archaeology. A poet and critic, she teaches the history of poetry and the philosophy of literature. Her most recent books of criticism are The Poet's Freedom: A Notebook on Making; Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, which won the Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism in 2003 from Phi Beta Kappa and the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in 2004; and The Open Studio: Essays on Art and Aesthetics, a collection of her writings on contemporary art. Her most recent books of poetry are Red Rover,Columbarium, which won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle award, and The Forest. She also has translated or co-translated many works, including Milo De Angelis's Theme of Farewell and After Poems, Laudomia Bonanni's The Reprisal, Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini, Euripides' Andromache, the poetry and selected prose of the Scuola Romana painter Scipione, and selections in the recent Collected Poems of Marcel Proust. Her song cycle, "Songs for Adam," commissioned by the Chicago Symphony with music by the composer James Primosch, had its world premiere with baritone Brian Mulligan and the CSO, Sir Andrew Davis conducting, in October 2009. A former MacArthur Fellow, Professor Stewart has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and in the Spring of 2009 she received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In the Spring of 2014 she was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and received as well Princeton's Behrman Award in the Humanities.
Mary Harper received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a dissertation on Gérard de Nerval and the nineteenth-century European "voyage en Orient." Her current research projects include a study of women's memoirs in early nineteenth-century France; law and narrative in mid nineteenth-century France; and the accounts of nineteenth-century European travellers to the Middle East with particular focus on questions of gender, colonialism, and the interplay of ethnography and aesthetics. She has published articles on Gérard de Nerval's Voyage en Orient and "Temple d'Isis," Delacroix's "Femmes d'Alger," and nineteenth-century French literature and historiography. Her teaching at Princeton University has included courses on nineteenth-century European literature and culture, the modern French novel, and Orientalism.
Alessandro Giammei, Maria Paula Saffon Sanin, Johan Samsing, Susan Stewart (Director), Alexander Harper, Alberto Rigolio
Alessandro Giammei received his Perfezionamento (PhD) in Italian Literature from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, completed his Laurea and Laurea Magistrale studies at the University of Rome La Sapienza, and taught at NYU as a Visiting Scholar Researcher. His published articles address topics such as the interactions between verbal and iconic codes in both classicist and experimental texts, avantgarde and neo-avantgarde writing, the appropriation of early-modern cultural objects in 20th century literature and art, and the work of Italian poets that have been marginalized because of their peripherality, their gender, their infirmity, their ideology. Alessandro’s first book, Nell’officina del nonsense di Toti Scialoja: Topi, toponimi, tropi, cronotopi, was fully sponsored by a grant from Fondazione Toti Scialoja, and won the Harvard edition of the Edinburgh Gadda Prize in 2015. As a fellow at Princeton, Alessandro will complete his current book project A Poet in Marble, which is based on his doctoral thesis. The work shows how the multimedia legacy of Orlando Furioso — the most influential book of the Italian Renaissance and a model of ‘interdisciplinarity’ avant-la-lettre — intersects with the major aesthetic and literary experiences that define twentieth-century Italy as it moved through colonialism, totalitarianism, two world wars, and through highly visible vanguard artistic movements. While at Princeton, Alessandro will be affiliated with the Department of French and Italian, teaching courses on both Renaissance and modern Italian literature and art, and he will also take part in the Prison Teaching Initiative.
Alexander Harper specializes in social and economic histories of art, architecture, and urbanism during the later Middle Ages, particularly in southern Italy. He holds a PhD from the Department of Art at the University of Toronto and a BA in Medieval Studies and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. He most recently was a postdoctoral fellow in Italian Studies at Bryn Mawr College. His doctoral dissertation, which was awarded fellowships and grants from the University of Toronto, the Fulbright Commission, and the Medieval Academy of America, examined the early fourteenth-century architecture, art, and urbanism of Lucera in Apulia (southern Italy), a former Muslim colony rebuilt and re-Christianized during the first half of the fourteenth century after its destruction in 1300. That work emphasized the growth of Angevin cities as social and historical phenomena and most fundamentally examined how the emergence of a centralized Angevin crown affected architectural production and the dissemination of artistic styles throughout the southern Italian Kingdom of Naples. At Princeton, Alex will complete his first book, tentatively titled Angevin New Towns: Studies in Medieval Colonialism, an architectural, urban, and institutional history of seven new urban projects initiated by the Angevin Kings of Naples from the second half of the thirteenth century through the first quarter of the fourteenth century. In addition, he will complete projects on the structure of the medieval construction worksite at Manfredonia in Southern Italy, the value of vernacular architecture in medieval architectural studies, and begin work on Angevin “colonial” architecture outside of the Italian peninsula. At Princeton he will hold the Link-Cotsen Fellowship and be affiliated with the Department of Art and Archaeology.
Alberto Rigolio holds a BA in Classics from UCSC Milan, and an M.Phil. in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies and a D.Phil. in Classical Languages and Literature from the University of Oxford. His work focuses on the transmission of Greek literature into Syriac and into Arabic during the Late Antique and Byzantine period. In his dissertation he argued that the Syriac translations of Plutarch, Lucian, and Themistius provide insight into the developments of higher education during Late Antiquity, and they call for a reassessment of inherited views on ʽmonasticʼ and ʽscholasticʼ education. He is endlessly fascinated by the uses (and misuses) of classical authors during Late Antiquity, and, being generally unsatisfied with too narrow subject boundaries, finds a continuous source of interest in intercultural and interlinguistic interactions throughout Antiquity. He has also written on the Syriac and Arabic translations of Aristotle, and on Christian literature in dialogue form composed in Greek, Latin, and Syriac. His postdoctoral project addresses the bewildering career of possibly the most influential statesman of the fourth century AD, Themistius, a teacher of rhetoric and philosophy who, albeit pagan, was active at the court of four Christian emperors. Before moving to Princeton, Alberto has taught Greek and Latin languages and literature as a College Lecturer in Oxford, mostly at St. Johnʼs and Merton Colleges; he has carried out research as a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington DC, and at the Fondation Hardt in Geneva; and he has studied spoken classical Syriac at the Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Turkey. In the academic year 2015-16, he is lecturing within the sequence Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture (HUM 216-219) and is running a Graduate Seminar in Syriac. He is a Faculty Fellow at Mathey College, and a list of publications can be found here.
Maria Paula Saffon Sanín earned her Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University. She is also a summa cum laude graduate of the school of law of Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. Her fields of specialization are comparative politics and political theory, with an emphasis on the political history of Latin America. Her research interests include the history of institutions, land politics, ethnic and peasant groups, contentious politics and social movements, democracy, constitutional and human rights law, and transitional justice. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications on these subjects, including the article “Procedural Democracy: the Bulkwark of Equal Freedom”(with Nadia Urbinati), which appeared in Political Theory, and the book Distributive Justice in Transitions (co-edited with M. Bergsmo, P. Kalmanovitz and C. Rodriguez). At Princeton, she will transform her dissertation into a book. Entitled When Theft Becomes Grievance, the dissertation develops a historical-institutionalist theory of the conditions under which land redistribution is demanded from below. She argues that claims for land redistribution are more likely to emerge in places where prior dispossessions (or land theft) occurred at a significant level, as a result of exogenous shocks that increase the value of land. She also argues that the type of legal rights attacked by dispossessions define the trajectories of rural conflict and agrarian reform in different countries. She applies the theory through an analysis of the impact of dispossessions during Latin America’s first export boom (1870-1920s) on rural political contestation in the mid-20th century (1920s-60s). She offers an in-depth study of the different historical trajectories followed by Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. The study combines qualitative analysis based on historical and secondary literature with GIS geo-referencing and basic quantitative analyses of unexplored archival data. At Princeton this fall she will teach a lecture course, “Latin American Politics” (POL 367), and in the spring a seminar entitled “Latin American Politics From Below.”
Johan Samsing comes to Princeton from Denmark where he was awarded a PhD in Astrophysics from the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. In his PhD thesis, entitled "Dynamics of Stars, Dark Matter and the Universe," he studied a variety of phenomena where gravity plays a central role. One of his key results was the discovery of how three gravitationally-bound compact stars, known as neutron stars, can emit a special gravitational wave signal which can be used to test general relativity in new regimes. By studying the effect from a possible early dark energy contribution with collaborators from Berkeley, he also made some of the first model-independent constraints on the expansion history of our universe just after the Big Bang. During his first year at Princeton, Johan will explore the dynamics of multi-stellar systems, including effects from general relativity and tidal forces, to understand the rate of stellar collisions. Such collisions could play a role in the formation of giant stars and black holes. He is also interested in exo-planets, and has recently developed a new method he is now using to search for exo-planets with rings and asteroid belts. At Princeton he is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, supported by the NASA Einstein and the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Fellowships. While at Princeton he will co-organize the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in the Department of Astrophysics as well as advise student research projects.
Andrew Hamilton, Susan Stewart (Director), David Minto, Eric Huntington. Mira Siegelberg, Sara Pursley
Andrew Hamilton received his PhD and M.A. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and his B.A. in the History of Art from Yale University. He was most recently a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale at the Collège de France. During his doctoral research, he was awarded fellowships from the Fulbright-Hays, Dumbarton Oaks, the Sainsbury Research Unit, and the Musée du Quai Branly. His research focuses on scale and its expressive capacity in art, particularly in the material culture and built environments of the Inca civilization and the Pre-Columbian Andes. As a fellow at Princeton he will complete his first book Scale and the Incas, based on his doctoral thesis, and a second monograph on the Dumbarton Oaks Tunic—a masterpiece of royal Inca weaving in the Dumbarton Oaks collection. While at Princeton, he will be affiliated with the Department of Art and Archaeology, teaching courses on Pre-Columbian Andean art and seminars exploring art and scale. He will also be associated with the Program for Latin American Studies.
Eric Huntington specializes in the relationships between visual arts, ritual, and philosophy in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet, Nepal, and India. He holds a PhD from the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, as well as degrees in religious studies, fine arts, and philosophy. His doctoral dissertation examined depictions of the cosmos in the literature, art, and rituals of Nepal and Tibet, revealing ways in which cosmology has been an underappreciated foundation for many aspects of Buddhist culture. This project was also framed so as to transcend boundaries between academic disciplines such as religious studies, area studies, and art history. One of his current projects is to expand this dissertation into a book, including additional analyses of issues concerning literary narrative, sacred space, and other cosmological models. Huntington has also worked on other topics involving religion and the arts, including the ritual significance of lay artistic craftsmen and the visual encoding of illustrations in ritual texts. At the University of Chicago, he received the Provost’s Dissertation Fellowship, and in 2013–14, he served as the Mellon/Korff Postdoctoral Fellow in South Asian Art at Washington University in Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Art Museum. He has curated or co-curated several art exhibitions, including Facets of the Three Jewels: Tibetan Buddhist Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and has an article forthcoming in the Cambridge World History of Religious Architecture. In Fall of 2015, he will teach The Buddhist Individual, examining the framing of particular persons within Buddhist traditions through literature and visual art. In Spring of 2016, he will teach The Virtue of Objects, an exploration of how objects of art function within, and are affected by, Buddhist rituals.
David Minto completed his Ph.D. in History at Yale University in 2014. An interdisciplinary scholar, he also holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an M.A. in Contemporary History and Politics from Birkbeck, University of London. David’s work focuses on the intersection of sexuality—that most intimate of human domains—and geopolitical processes and formations. At Princeton he is currently revising his dissertation manuscript for publication under the title of Special Relationships: Transnational Homophile Activism and Anglo-American Sexual Politics. The project examines the affective and strategic dimensions of cross-border gay activist connections in the decades following World War II, exploring the transatlantic nature of a movement nevertheless subject to territorial strictures. Putting the “special relationships” of homophiles in dynamic tension with the “special relationship” of postwar Anglo-American exchange, it charts an “Intimate Atlantic” around which ideas, texts, and people—often marginalized in their home cultures—insistently circulated with significant local and international effects. David’s research has previously appeared in British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives (edited by Brian Lewis) and he has presented at numerous conferences, including collectively with Yale’s Working Group on Globalization and Culture. This group helped to inspire a second book-length project he is pursuing on sexuality, spies, and domestic and imperial surveillance. At Princeton he will hold the Fund For Reunion-Cotsen Fellowship in LGBT Studies; he is also the Resident Faculty Fellow at Butler College. In Spring 2015 he will teach a course on Queer Utopias.
Sara Pursley received her PhD in history in 2012 from the Graduate Center of CUNY, where she taught for two years in the master’s program in Middle East Studies and for three years in the history department of Queens College. She works on the cultural and social history of the modern Middle East, especially around questions of subject formation, gender, economic development and modernization theory, conceptions of time and space, histories of psychology and selfhood, and the expansion of American influence in the region. She is working on her first book manuscript, Familiar Futures: Time, Selfhood, and Sovereignty in Iraq, 1932-63 (Stanford University Press). It looks at how various notions of time and selfhood shaped pedagogical interventions in the family, the school system, and the law, especially in the context of decolonization, the dawn of the global “age of development,” and the 1958 Iraqi revolution. Her planned second book explores the social and ecological effects of postwar land settlement projects in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan that relocated peasants and pastoral nomads onto isolated nuclear-family farms in accordance with US Cold War modernization theories of agrarian reform and political stability. She is the author of several articles, including “The Stage of Adolescence: Anticolonial Time, Youth Insurgency, and the Marriage Crisis in Hashimite Iraq,” in History of the Present, and “Daughters of the Right Path: Family Law, Homosocial Publics and the Ethics of Intimacy in the Works of Shi`i Revivalist Bint al-Huda,” in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. From 2009-2014 she served as associate editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies. At Princeton she teaches courses on the modern Middle East in the Near Eastern Studies department, including, in the fall of 2014, “Youth and Youth Movements in the Middle East.” In 2016, Pursley will join the department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU as assistant professor of modern Middle East history.
Mira Siegelberg completed her PhD in International History at Harvard University in May 2014 and holds a B.A in History and Human Rights from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests include the history of international society, modern international relations, international law, human rights, and ideas of international order. Her dissertation “The Question of Questions: The Problem of Statelessness in International History 1921-1961” examines the evolution of the concept of statelessness and its impact on ideas and practices of rights, sovereignty, and international law. It draws on a variety of archival and textual sources to illuminate a body of legal and political thought on statelessness, as well as to recover the experiences and self-understanding of the stateless themselves. Her book manuscript, based in part on the dissertation, will provide a history of statelessness from World War I to the present day. She has published articles in Modern Intellectual History, the Journal of Genocide Research, and History Workshop Journal. At Harvard, she taught in the Social Studies and History and Literature concentrations. During the 2014-2015 academic year at Princeton, she will teach a course on the history of human rights, and will lecture in the second half of the “Approaches to Western Culture” sequence.
Larissa Brewer-Garcia, Tineke D'Haeseleer, Christophe Litwin, Susanna Berger, Molly Greene (Acting Director 2013-2014), Stefan Kamola, Jonny Thakkar
Susanna Berger's research and teaching explore diverse facets of art and visual culture from printed and drawn illustrations of philosophical knowledge to central works in the history of European early modern painting. Her book, The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Early Modern Europe, is under contract at Princeton University Press. This project is a transnational study of the relations between images and philosophical knowledge in Italy, England, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. The central thesis of the book is that in this period the production and contemplation of visual art were conceived as activities essential to philosophical thought, not supplementary exercises. She is currently working on three additional research projects. The first is a book, entitled Reflections on Narcissus: Art and Nature in Early Modern Europe, which examines how artists, such as Caravaggio, and philosophers differentiated artworks from works of nature. The second project explores the intersections of visual culture with mathematics and science in early modern Italy and France through a consideration of the activities of the hitherto neglected French artist and mathematician Philippe de la Hire (1640–1718). In addition, she is collaborating with Daniel Garber on an edited volume, entitled Teaching Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century: Text and Image. Berger’s articles are published in The Art Bulletin, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Word & Image, Intellectual History Review, The British Art Journal, and elsewhere. During her doctoral studies she held a Samuel H. Kress Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., a Professional-Development Fellowship in Art History from the College Art Association, and a Junior Research Fellowship at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. At Princeton, Berger has lectured on Greek, Roman, medieval, and early modern art and philosophy for “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture.” In the Department of Art and Archaeology, she offers courses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century visual art. Berger is also the Resident Faculty Fellow of Mathey College and teaches as a volunteer in the Prison Teaching Initiative in New Jersey.
Tineke D'Haeseleer (Ph.D, University of Cambridge) is a historian of China, with a strong interest in foreign relations and cross-cultural contacts in the early middle ages in East Asia. She has taught classical Chinese and Chinese history at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Leiden. She is currently preparing a book manuscript based on her Ph.D. thesis, "Northeast Asia during the Tang Dynasty (618-907): Relations of the Tang court with Koguryŏ, Bohai and Youzhou-Yingzhou." In this book she aims to provide a new perspective on East Asian foreign relations, employing an adapted version of the concept of the "Galactic Polity" to explore the changing dynamics of the power balance in East Asia in the early medieval period. Her work explores the complexity of the decision-making process in foreign relations by taking into account the influence of domestic politics, and the historical memory of the various polities. The combined use of epigraphy, archaeology and transmitted historical sources in her Ph.D research has led to a second project: an investigation of the militarised provincial regimes in the second half of the Tang dynasty. This reflects D'Haeseleer's wider interests in the intersection of politics, economics and social organisation, and the balance between central government and local governance as a recurring theme in East Asian history. In Fall 2014 she will co-teach East Asian Humanities I; in Spring 2015 she will teach with Matt McCarty a new comparative history course on the Rome and Han empires.
Renée Hlozek received her BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Pretoria and her BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees from the University of Cape Town, in South Africa. She completed her DPhil in Astrophysics at Oxford University as a South African Rhodes Scholar. Her thesis, entitled "Probing the early universe and Dark Energy with multi-epoch cosmological data," used data from both the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Supernova Survey (SDSS-II SN) to constrain the current cosmological model. She uses small-scale measurements of the microwave sky to constrain the initial conditions in the universe, and to characterize the physics at an epoch roughly four hundred thousand years since the Big Bang. Her interest in novel statistical techniques led her to develop BEAMS, a Bayesian method for performing parameter estimation in the presence of contaminated cosmological data, which she applies to datasets such as the SDSS-II SN survey. She is currently the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics in the Astrophysics Department, where she works on a variety of cosmological and statistical problems, including preparing for the upcoming data from ACTPol, the polarization-sensitive follow-up to ACT. In addition to advising and supervising student research projects, she has been co-organizing the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in the Department of Astrophysics since 2012; she also participates in the Prison Teaching Initiative in New Jersey and formed the Hope-Princeton exchange which brings female students in astronomy to work in Princeton over the summer. She was named one of the Mail and Guardian's 200 Young South Africans for 2012, and is a 2014 TED Senior Fellow. In January 2016 she will join the faculty in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto.
Stefan Kamola received a MA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (2007) and a Ph.D. in History (2013) from the University of Washington. His work examines intellectual and administrative history in the Mongol Empire, with a particular concentration on Persian historiography. More broadly, his interests include pastoral nomadism, Islamic intellectual history, and the intersection between oral and literate traditions of social organization and communal memory. Stefan is currently preparing a biographical study of Rashid al-Din, the most prominent statesman and most famous historian from the Mongol Middle East, as well as a series of articles on the text and early manuscript tradition of Rashid al-Din’s dynastic history of the Mongols. He is involved in the Digital Humanities community at Princeton as part of his interest to apply digital tools to the study of manuscripts and other unique historical items both in his own research and in the classroom. In the fall he will teach a Freshman Seminar titled, “Nomads, nomadism, and nomadology.” He is also a faculty fellow at Wilson College.
Christophe Litwin holds a dual PhD in French Literature from New York University and in Philosophy from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He graduated from the Paris Ecole Normale Supérieure and completed an MA in German Philosophy at the Sorbonne, where he taught philosophy for four years. At NYU, he was a lecturer in French language and literature for five years. Last year, he coordinated the Humanities and Social Sciences Program at the Institut français in Paris. He is the author of numerous articles on Montaigne, Pascal, Hobbes, Rousseau and the Enlightenment published in Philosophie de Rousseau (2014); La politique et l'âme. Autour de Pierre Manent (2014); Bulletin de la Société des Amis de Montaigne (2012) and Eduquer selon la nature. - Seize études sur Emile de Rousseau, ( 2012). He is also the editor of Penser l'homme : treize études sur Jean-Jacques Rousseau, P. Manent & C. Habib (dir.), 2013. A member of the « Groupe Jean-Jacques Rousseau », he is working on a reedition and a commentary of Rousseau's manuscripts on Corsica and Poland. His current book project - based on his dissertation, entitled Genealogies of Self-Love: Montaigne, Pascal, Rousseau - is an inquiry into the passion of self-love and the quarrel over its interpretation that emerges after the Renaissance between the Augustinians and the Humanists. The book addresses the intertwined moral, political and aesthetic implications of this quarrel through the works of Montaigne, Pascal and Rousseau. Litwin's second book project focuses on Rousseau's critique of early utilitarian quantitative approaches to human pains and pleasures. The book hopes to show that the Enlightenment's failure to capture the core relationship between pain and subjectivity is central to the understanding of the Romantics' rejection of Voltaire's century.
Jonny Thakkar completed his PhD at the University of Chicago's Committee On Social Thought in 2013. His dissertation, "Can There Be Philosopher-Kings In A Liberal Polity? A Reinterpretation and Reappropriation of the Ideal Theory in Plato's Republic," showed that Plato can help us reconceive what it means to be an excellent citizen in a liberal democracy, despite himself being markedly illiberal and antidemocratic. This project had three stages: interpreting Plato correctly; seeing which parts of his theory could survive a transition to liberal democracy; and showing that what remained was both distinctive and compelling. The ambition was to provide an ideal that could serve as a standpoint for critiquing contemporary neoliberalism and hence to overcome the sterile opposition between ideal and non-ideal theory that has dominated much recent political philosophy. The dissertation will eventually find its way into a book, but the first step will be to publish some of the constituent research in specialist journals. At the University of Chicago, Thakkar won a division-wide competition for the (Mellon-funded) Hanna Holborn Gray three-year dissertation fellowship. He lectured extensively in the College Core program, teaching Classics of Social and Political Thought in the social sciences andHuman Being and Citizen in the humanities, as well as teaching a stand-alone course on Plato'sRepublic and serving as coordinator of a great-books major, Fundamentals: Issues & Texts. In 2009 he co-founded a twice-yearly journal, The Point, which aims to provide rigorous but accessible commentary on contemporary life and culture, and he continues to edit and write for it. One of his essays for the journal, "Hail Mary Time," was named as a "Notable Essay" inBest American Essays 2012, given a "Special Mention" in the Pushcart Prize 2013, and translated into Portuguese for the journal Forma da Vida; another, "Why Conservatives Should Read Marx," saw him interviewed on Australian public radio. At Princeton, Thakkar holds the Haarlow-Cone Fellowship. In 2013-14 he coordinated and lectured in the two-semester humanities sequence, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture: Antiquity to the Modern Period (HUM 216-219). In the Spring of 2015 he will also teach Political Philosophy (PHI 309).
Current Faculty Fellows
Yelena Baraz specializes in Latin literature, Roman cultural history, and history of ideas. She received her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2004. In 2004-2005 she held the APA-NEH postdoctoral fellowship at the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich. She taught at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, before coming to Princeton in 2007, where she currently holds the Jonathan Edwards Bicentennial Preceptorship. She is interested in how literary texts shape, and are in turn shaped by, social and cultural forces. Her first book, entitled A Written Republic: The Cultural Politics of Cicero's Philosophy, was published by Princeton University Press in 2012. It locates the body of philosophical work Cicero produced in the 40s BCE under Caesar's dictatorship in its historical and cultural context, investigating writing philosophy as a cultural act. She has co-edited, with C. van den Berg, a special issue of AJP on intertextuality (134:2013). She has written articles on Pliny, Vergil, and both Senecas, and has contributed lexicographical articles to the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae: her particular favorites are the adjective popularis and the exclamation pol. She is now working on a book that explores various aspects of pride and related concepts in Roman society across periods and genres. She has also become very interested in post-Vergilian pastoral, especially Calpurnius Siculus, and expects to turn to that next.
Wendy Belcher specializes in medieval, early modern, and modern African literature. Her current research addresses the circulation of African thought in Europe and England before the nineteenth century. She works at the intersection of diaspora, postcolonial, and eighteenth century studies, theorizing transcultural intertextuality as a form of discursive possession in which African discourse animates representations in the English canon. These scholarly interests emerge from Professor Belcher's life experiences growing up in East and West Africa, where she became fascinated with the richness of Ghanaian and Ethiopian intellectual traditions. Her other research interests include race and gender in eighteenth century English literature; rhetorical indirection as a form of resistance in twentieth century African diasporic novels; prison literature; African manuscript cultures; African female saints; Ge`ez (Ethiopic) literature; third culture and immigrant memoir; and intellectual autobiography. Her teaching focuses on how non-Western literature has participated in a global traffic in invention, pairing texts across national and continental boundaries in order to debunk stereotypes of Africans as peoples without history, texts, or influence until the 1950s. Professor Belcher has published an award-winning memoir about Ghana, is co-editor of volumes on the Chicano personal essay and African politics and development, and has written for such media as the BBC, Salon.com, The Seattle Times, LA Weekly, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Ethiopian Review, Index on Censorship, and other. She spent 2010-2011 on a Fulbright in Ethiopia studying manuscripts about Ethiopian female saints. Her latest book, Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson: Ethiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
David A. Bell is a historian of early modern France, whose particular interest is the political culture of the Old Regime and the French Revolution. He attended graduate school at Princeton, where he worked with Robert Darnton, and received his Ph.D. in 1991. From 1990 to 1996 he taught at Yale, and from 1996 to 2010 at Johns Hopkins, where he held the Andrew W. Mellon chair in the Humanities, and served as Dean of Faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2010. Bell has written three books. Lawyers and Citizens (Oxford University Press, 1994) examined the politicization of the French legal profession in the eighteenth century, showing how spaces for radical criticism of the French monarchy first opened up within the structure of the French state itself. The Cult of the Nation in France (Harvard University Press, 2001) argued that nationalism, as opposed to national sentiment, was a novelty of the French Revolutionary period, and that it arose both out of, and in reaction to, Christianity. The First Total War (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), is a general study of the political culture of war in Europe between 1750 and 1815, which showed how an aristocratic culture of limited warfare gave way to a world in which total war was possible-and in which, between 1792 and 1815, it actually took place. His major current project is a comparative and transnational history provisionally entitled Men on Horseback: Militarism and Charismatic Authority in the Age of Democratic Revolutions. In addition to his research and teaching, Bell writes frequently for a range of general-interest publications, particularly The New Republic, where he is a contributing editor. He is committed to the proposition that serious history can be readable, enjoyable, and accessible to an interested general public.
Göran Blix studies the tradition of nineteenth-century French prose writing in the context of major historical and political developments. His interests include romanticism, realism, literary aesthetics, the historical imagination, and the relationship between democracy and literature. He has published articles on Balzac, Hugo, Michelet, Flaubert, Tocqueville, the Goncourt brothers, and Zola, among others, and his book on romantic historicism, From Paris to Pompeii: French Romanticism and the Cultural Politics of Archeology (2008), examines the impact of the nascent science of archeology on modern secular attitudes to death, memory, and immortality. He earned a B.A. in Literature from Harvard College (1996), a DEA from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (1998), and a Ph.D. in French from Columbia University (2003). He joined the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University in 2003.
Bradin Cormack (Ph.D. Stanford University) studies early modern and Renaissance literature, with a focus on poetry and drama as they relate to law, the bookish disciplines, and intellectual culture more generally. His first book, A Power to Do Justice (Chicago, 2007), considers how writers including Skelton, Wyatt, More, Spenser, and Shakespeare addressed the principle and practice of jurisdiction at a time when the central law courts were consolidating the common law’s institutional identity in relation to the state and its subjects. With Richard Strier and Martha Nussbaum, he has recently edited Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among Disciplines and Professions (Chicago, 2013); and with Leonard Barkan and Sean Keilen, he edited The Forms of Renaissance Thought (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Cormack’s interest in the material history of the book is reflected in the analytic catalogue Book Use, Book Theory, 1500–1700 (University of Chicago Library, 2005), co-authored with Carla Mazzio. Most recently, Cormack has been writing on the philosophical dimensions of early modern poetry and drama. A new book, Shakespeare’s Substance: Being in the Sonnets, places the 1609 Quarto of Shakespeare’s sonnets in the grammatical and logical culture of the late sixteenth century so as to read the poems as experiments in erotic philosophy at the boundary of ethics and ontology. Related work includes an afterword on lyric desire in the reissue of Thom Gunn’s edition of The Selected Poems of Fulke Greville (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Cormack is also writing a short book on Shakespeare and Law, towards which he has published essays on the shape of legal possession and legal sovereignty in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare, and Law and Humanities. With Lorna Hutson, he is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500–1700, expected from Oxford UP in 2016. In addition to a range of courses on Renaissance literature, he teaches on Utopianism, poetry and poetics, and media studies.
Rachel DeLue (Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2001) Professor DeLue’s area of specialization is the history of American art and visual culture, with particular focus on intersections between art and science and the history of African American art. She is the author of George Inness and the Science of Landscape (2004) and the coeditor, with James Elkins, of Landscape Theory (2008). Her book-length study of the 20th-century American painter Arthur Dove is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. She has also published on the French painter Camille Pissarro, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, Darwin and the visual arts, and the relationship between art writing and medical diagnosis in America circa 1900. Her most recent publications include an essay on art and science in America and an essay on beauty and stereotype in the work of the contemporary artists Kara Walker and Michael Ray Charles. In addition, she serves as editor-in-chief for a series of multiauthor volumes on salient concepts in the history of American art, including picturing, scale, color, origins, circulation, and experience. She is currently working on an essay that suggests several possible models for Samuel F. B. Morse’s painting The Gallery of the Louvre, including natural history, geography, literature, and medicine; an essay that considers the idea that landscape might have a point of view; and an essay that examines the explanatory value and interpretive stakes of the idea of intentionality. Her current book projects include Vision in History and At the Limit: Conditions of Picturing in American Art and Visual Culture.
Molly Greene studies the history of the Mediterranean Basin, the Ottoman Empire, and the Greek world. Her interests include the social and economic history of the Ottoman Empire, the experience of Greeks under Ottoman rule, Mediterranean piracy, and the institution of the market. After earning a B.A. in political science at Tufts University (1981), Professor Greene spent several years living in Greece and then completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton (1993), where she studied Ottoman history. Upon graduating she joined the Princeton faculty with a joint appointment in the History Department and the Program in Hellenic Studies. Her first book, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (2000), examines the transition from Venetian to Ottoman rule on the island of Crete, which the Ottomans conquered in 1669. Challenging the assumption of a radical rupture with the arrival of the Ottomans, Greene shows that the population of Crete had been drawn into the Ottoman world long before the conquest and that important continuities linked the Venetian and the Ottoman periods. Professor Greene's most recent book is Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton Modern Greek Studies). Her current project is a history of the Greeks and the Greek world under Ottoman rule for a multi-volume series being published by Edinburgh University Press.
Thomas Hare is William Sauter LaPorte '28 Professor in Regional Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature. He came to Princeton in 2001, having been an undergraduate here in the raucous '70s. He did graduate work at the University of Michigan (PhD, Far Eastern Languages and Literature, 1981) before moving to Stanford University where he worked in the Department of Asian Languages and, eventually, the Department of Comparative Literature. He works in Japanese drama and literature through the eighteenth century, Buddhism in Japanese cultural history, the music of Noh drama and ancient Egyptian literature and arts. His most recent book, Zeami, Performance Notes won the Kanze Hisao Memorial Prize in Noh Drama, awarded by Hosei University, in 2008.
Wendy Heller, Professor of Music and Director of the Program in Italian Studies at Princeton University, is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the field of Baroque music. Specializing in the study of baroque opera with emphasis on the music of Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Handel, Heller is the author of Emblems of Eloquence: Opera and Women’s Voices in Seventeenth-Century Venice, which was named a finalist for the Otto Kinkeldey Prize from the American Musicological Society and was also a winner of the annual book prize from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. Heller’s commitment to the study of opera from interdisciplinary perspectives has earned her numerous fellowships and prizes from such organizations as the ACLS, the Mellon Foundation, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Winner of the Rome Prize, Heller has also been a been a Mellon Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Columbia University, an appointee at the Villa I Tatti Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies (as winner of the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars), and was also the Sylvan C. and Pamela Coleman Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Heller’s work for students and general readers includes Music in the Baroque and its companion volume Anthology of Music in the Baroque, part of the innovative new series Western Music in Context: A Norton History (W. W. Norton, 2013). Known for her engaging lecture style, Heller has spoken recently for such organizations as Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Boston Early Music Festival, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Portland Art Museum (Oregon), and the Drottningholm Palace Theater in Stockholm. Having trained as a singer at New England Conservatory before receiving her PhD in musicology from Brandeis University, Heller maintains a strong interest in performance. At Princeton she has been a driving force in the baroque operas at Princeton, and served as dramaturg for Princeton Univeristy Opera Theater’s 2014 production Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. As Director of the Program in Italian Studies and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Handel Society, Heller has organized numerous conferences and projects that promote collaborations between scholars and performers, such as the 2013 American Handel Festival at Princeton. Her current projects include critical editions of Handel's Admeto and Cavalli's Veremonda L' Amazzone d'Aragona, and a study of antiquity in early opera entitled Animating Ovid: Opera and the Metamorphoses of Antiquity in Early Modern Italy.
Ex Officio members
Kathleen Crown, Executive Director of the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, received her Ph.D. in Literatures in English at Rutgers University and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Louisiana State University. A scholar, poet, and administrator, her research focuses on testimonial literature and contemporary poetry, and she has devoted particular attention to the place of poetry in the public sphere, with essays published in Contemporary Literature, Callaloo, Women's Studies, and many other journals and edited collections. Before coming to Princeton she held a position as Assistant Professor at Kalamazoo College, Michigan, where she taught American literature, 20th-century poetry and poetics, and creative writing. She has also taught at Rutgers University and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, as well as in Princeton's Writing Program, where her seminars have included "The Politics of Personal Narrative" and "Poetry and the Public Sphere." She has also taught courses that engage students in community-based service projects. Before coming to the Council, she was for ten years a director of studies in Princeton's residential colleges, where she was responsible for advising undergraduates about the curriculum and developing programs focused on the arts and humanities, including the Mathey Writers Studio, the Firestone Society, and the Edwards Collective, a new residential option for students interested in the creative arts and humanities. Among other awards, she was the recipient of a New Jersey Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship and a Stanley Seeger Fellowship for research in Greece.
Denis Feeney works on Latin literature and on Roman culture more broadly, including especially Roman religion and time. After his first degree at Auckland University in New Zealand, he went to Oxford for his D.Phil. (1982), and after positions both in Britain and the United States, came to Princeton in 2000. In addition to articles on Latin literature (particularly on his favourite Latin poets, Catullus, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid), he has written three books. The Gods in Epic (Oxford, 1991) investigated the problem of how gods were represented in (especially Latin) epic, focusing on the problems of fiction involved in negotiating the boundaries between Roman religion and epic forms of representation. His second book, Literature and Religion at Rome (Cambridge, 1998), looked more broadly at the problem of the interaction between the literary and religious systems of Rome, framing the issues in terms of a dialogue between the way scholars tend to read Greek culture and Roman culture more generally. His third book, Caesar’s Calendar (California, 2007), based on his Sather Classical Lectures of 2004, examined Roman constructions of time, in terms of synchronism, historical vs. mythical time, and calendrical time. He is currently working on a book, tentatively entitled Roman Horizons, about why Rome developed a literature in Latin when it shouldn’t really have done so.
Michael Wood , B.A., M.A., Ph.D 1957, 1961, 1962, Cambridge University. His research and teaching interests include Twentieth-Century Literature, Film, Literary Theory, History of Criticism. Selected publications: Stendhal (1971); America in the Movies (1975, 1989); The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction (1994); Children of Silence: on Contemporary Fiction (1998); The Road to Delphi: the Life and Afterlife of Oracles (2003); Literature and the Taste of Knowledge (2005) andYeats and Violence (2010).
Old Dominion Faculty Fellows in the Society of Fellows
This program offers faculty members the opportunity to spend a year of academic leave in the Humanities Council, pursuing research and participating in the Society of Fellows.
Bernard Haykel is professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is also director of The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia and Director of the Princeton Project on Oil and Energy in the Middle East. Dr. Haykel’s primary research interests center on Islamic political movements and legal thought as well as Saudi Arabia’s politics and history. He has published extensively on the Salafi movement in both its pre-modern and modern manifestations. He has recently completed a second book on the religious politics of Saudi Arabia since the early 1950s. Dr. Haykel holds a doctorate from Oxford University.
Alison Isenberg writes and teaches about nineteenth and twentieth century American society, with particular attention to the transformation of cities, and to the intersections of culture, the economy, and place. Her book Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It (University of Chicago Press, 2004) received several awards: the Ellis Hawley prize from the Organization of American Historians; Historic Preservation Book Prize from Mary Washington University; Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History; and an Honor Book award from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. At Princeton, Isenberg is a Faculty Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School and has co-directed the Urban Studies Program since Fall 2012. She serves on the Executive Committee of the American Studies Program, and is an Affiliated Faculty member in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Professor Isenberg is completing two books. Land v. Landscape examines the experimentations in 1950s and 1960s urban redevelopment that were overshadowed by the publication of Jane Jacobs’ 1961 book Death and Life of Great American Cities. In Second-Hand Cities: Antiques, Inheritance, and Preservation from the Civil War to Urban Renewal, the antique and second-hand trades serve as a lens for analyzing the reconfiguration of cities and their regions during this era.
AnneMarie Luijendijk joined the Princeton faculty in 2006 after receiving her doctorate from Harvard Divinity School. At Princeton she is the Melancthon W. Jacobus University Preceptor in Religion (2009-2012). A scholar of New Testament and Early Christianity and a papyrologist, Luijendijk is interested in the social history of early Christianity, using both literary texts and documentary sources. Her book Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (Harvard University Press, 2008) investigates papyrus letters and documents pertaining to Christians in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus in the pre-Constantinian period. Her next book, Forbidden Oracles entails a previously unknown 5th- or 6th-century Coptic manuscript entitled "The Gospel of the Lots of Mary" that contains Christian oracular answers. She also works on a book on the Gospel of Thomas in Late Antiquity, and more generally on Christian manuscripts, the development of the New Testament canon, and material culture. Luijendijk specialized in New Testament at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and received her doctorate from Harvard University, The Divinity School, in 2005. She won an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for the 2008-2009 academic year and was the Melancthon W. Jacobus University Preceptor in Religion for 2009-2012.