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Anthony Grafton

Department/Program(s):
  • History
Position: Faculty Associate
Title: Henry Putnam University Professor of History.
Office: 126 Dickinson Hall
Phone: 609-258-4182
Anthony Grafton



Faculty Associates

Profile

Anthony Grafton (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the chair of the Council of the Humanities. Professor Grafton’s special interests lie in the cultural history of Renaissance Europe, the history of books and readers, the history of scholarship and education in the West from Antiquity to the 19th century, and the history of science from Antiquity to the Renaissance. He joined the Princeton History Department in 1975 after earning his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) in history from the University of Chicago and spending a year at University College London. Professor Grafton likes to see the past through the eyes of influential and original writers, and has accordingly written intellectual biographies of a 15th-century Italian humanist, architect, and town planner, Leon Battista Alberti; a 16th-century Italian astrologer and medical man, Girolamo Cardano; and a 16th-century French classicist and historian, Joseph Scaliger. He also studies the long-term history of scholarly practices, such as forgery and the citation of sources. Professor Grafton is the author of ten books and the coauthor, editor, coeditor, or translator of nine others, including two collections of essays, Defenders of the Text (1991) and Bring Out Your Dead (2001). He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (1993), the Balzan Prize for History of Humanities (2002), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2003). Professor Grafton’s current project is a large-scale study of the science of chronology in 16th- and 17th-century Europe: how scholars attempted to assign dates to past events, reconstruct ancient calendars, and reconcile the Bible with competing accounts of the past. He hopes to reconstruct the complex and dramatic process by which the biblical regime of historical time collapsed.