Council of the Humanities

Overview

The Council of the Humanities (or the Humanities Council, as we are known on campus) nurtures the humanities locally and globally, engages diverse perspectives past and present, and enriches public dialogue with humanistic approaches to the pressing issues of our day. We are known by our many constituencies — faculty, students and distinguished visitors — for our core values of innovation, public engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion.

The council has been shaping the intellectual and cultural life of Princeton’s students and faculty for 70 years. While sponsoring conversations among humanists, we also bring humanities departments and programs into lively dialogue with the arts and sciences. For students, faculty and visitors alike, we are a crucial resource for creative scholarship and transformative teaching.

Program Offerings

Interdisciplinary Forum

The Council of the Humanities works to connect and encourage cooperation across departments and is a crossroads for interdisciplinary inquiry. A lively hub for innovation and collaboration, the council connects 17 humanities departments and more than 30 interdisciplinary centers, programs and committees across the University.

Participating members include the directors and chairs of interdepartmental units: African studies, American studies, the Program in the Ancient World, Canadian studies, classical philosophy, digital humanities, the East Asian studies program, European cultural studies, film studies, gender and sexuality studies, Hellenic studies, humanistic studies, the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM), Irish studies, Italian studies, journalism, Judaic studies, Latin American studies, linguistics, media and modernity, medieval studies, the Near Eastern studies program, political philosophy, Renaissance and Early Modern studies, Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, South Asian studies, the study of Late Antiquity, translation and intercultural communication, and the University Center for Human Values. The council also works with an array of campus initiatives, including the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton (NAISIP), the PU-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, and the initiative in Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Archival Studies.

Academic Opportunities

The Council of the Humanities is the academic home to five undergraduate minors and certificates: European Cultural StudiesHumanistic StudiesJournalismLinguistics and Medieval Studies. Our Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities offers dual doctoral degrees in concert with individual humanities departments. Our three full-year humanities sequences — Western, East Asian and Near Eastern — are challenging courses in which (mostly) first-year students learn collaboratively and build community.

Among our signature programs is the Ferris Professorship in Journalism and the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Seminar in Writing and Publishing, under whose auspices distinguished journalists and nonfiction writers teach undergraduate seminars each year. 

The council is also home to the Committee for Film Studies, which strengthens the interdisciplinary study and teaching of film and video, and the Fund for Canadian Studies, which sponsors Canada-focused academic activities.

Faculty and Fellows

Each year, the Council of the Humanities invites long-term and short-term visiting fellows — distinguished scholars from around the world — to reside in Princeton and participate in the life of the University. The council’s Old Dominion research professors, a small group of faculty members in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences, devote a year to intensive research and discussion. The Behrman professors in the humanities dedicate three years to teaching in the humanistic studies program. The council also hosts a program of Old Dominion faculty fellows, drawn from all four divisions of the University, as well as the Behrman fellows, recently tenured associate professors in the humanities who meet regularly for discussion.

The Council of the Humanities is also home to the highly selective Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, in which outstanding postdoctoral fellows spend three years on campus, teaching and pursuing research.

The Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Chair in the Humanities brings a senior scholar to Princeton on a permanent shared appointment between a department and the council.

Innovation

The Council of the Humanities sparks experiments in teaching and learning through initiatives such as the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Grants for innovation, team teaching grants, breakthrough seminars (undergraduate courses with experiential or fieldwork components) and exploratory grants in collaborative humanities. Our global initiatives are multiyear, cross-disciplinary research and teaching collaborations developed in a global context.

Public Lectures

The council serves the University community (and in many cases, the greater Princeton community) by hosting the Annual Humanities Colloquium, the Gauss Seminars in Criticism, the Belknap Visitors in the Humanities, Belknap Global Conversations, the Eberhard L. Faber IV Lectures, the Stewart Seminars in Religion and a series of faculty seminars taught by visiting fellows and other scholars.

Please explore our website for additional information.

Faculty

  • Chair

    • Esther H. Schor
  • Executive Committee

    • Tera W. Hunter, History
    • Martin Kern, East Asian Studies
    • Lital Levy, Comparative Literature
    • Rosina A. Lozano, History
    • Carolina Mangone, Art and Archaeology
    • Kinohi Nishikawa, English
    • Laurence Ralph, Anthropology
    • Kim Lane Scheppele, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Associate Professor

    • Laura Kalin
  • Assistant Professor

    • Byron T. Ahn
    • Florian Lionnet
  • Associated Faculty

    • Bridget Alsdorf, Art and Archaeology
    • Yelena Baraz, Classics
    • Sandra L. Bermann, Comparative Literature
    • D. Graham Burnett, History
    • Allison Carruth, Effron Center Study of America
    • Katie Chenoweth, French & Italian
    • Ksenia Chizhova, East Asian Studies
    • Benjamin Conisbee Baer, Comparative Literature
    • Matthew Desmond, Sociology
    • Jacob S. Dlamini, History
    • Jeff Dolven, English
    • Marc Domingo Gygax, Classics
    • Laura F. Edwards, History
    • Adam N. Elga, Philosophy
    • Elizabeth Ellis, History
    • Andrew M. Feldherr, Classics
    • Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology
    • Devin A. Fore, German
    • Elena Fratto, Slavic Lang & Literatures
    • Jonathan C. Gold, Religion
    • Lara Harb, Near Eastern Studies
    • Bernard A. Haykel, Near Eastern Studies
    • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
    • Alison E. Isenberg, History
    • William C. Jordan, History
    • Laura Kalin, Council of the Humanities
    • Anna Arabindan Kesson, Art and Archaeology
    • Beatrice E. Kitzinger, Art and Archaeology
    • Eve Krakowski, Near Eastern Studies
    • Joel B. Lande, German
    • Yiyun Li, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Stephen J. Macedo, Politics
    • Daniela E. Mairhofer, Classics
    • Simone Marchesi, French & Italian
    • Federico Marcon, East Asian Studies
    • Meredith A. Martin, English
    • Nolan McCarty, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
    • Forrest M. Meggers, Architecture
    • Simon A. Morrison, Music
    • Barbara N. Nagel, German
    • Arvind Narayanan, Computer Science
    • Kinohi Nishikawa, English
    • Elaine H. Pagels, Religion
    • Efthymia Rentzou, French & Italian
    • Sarah Rivett, English
    • Gideon A. Rosen, Philosophy
    • Daniel J. Sheffield, Near Eastern Studies
    • D. Vance Smith, English
    • Brian R. Steininger, East Asian Studies
    • Susan L. Sugarman, Psychology
    • Janet A. Vertesi, Sociology
    • Michael A. Wachtel, Slavic Lang & Literatures
    • Christy N. Wampole, French & Italian
    • Trenton W. Wilson, East Asian Studies
    • Autumn M. Womack, African American Studies
    • Carolyn Yerkes, Art and Archaeology
  • Lecturer with Rank of Professor

    • Christiane D. Fellbaum
  • Senior Lecturer

    • Noah A. Buchholz
  • Lecturer

    • Deborah Amos
    • Supratik S. Baralay
    • Allison M. Bienas
    • Andrea Capra
    • Matthew C. Delvaux
    • Lacy N. Feigh
    • Akil F. Fletcher
    • Alexander Göbel
    • Marcus A. Lee
    • Daniel W. Maier
    • John T. Merrill
    • Ayah Nuriddin
    • Nicolas Sanchez-Rodriguez
    • Milena Sereikaite
    • Bailey E. Sincox
    • Guy T. St. Amant
    • Joe Stephens
    • Xiaoyu Xia
  • Visiting Professor

    • Emma J. Anderson
    • Joseph Fins
    • Timothy P. Jackson
    • Viktoria Tkaczyk
  • Visiting Lecturer

    • Jane Ferguson
    • Joshua Prager
    • Keith B. Richburg

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.