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May 23, 2016

Jeff Dolven announced as second Behrman Professor in the Humanities

The Council of the Humanities is pleased to announce that Jeff Dolven, associate professor of English, will become the second Behrman Professor in the Humanities, starting his three-year term next spring. The appointment recognizes distinguished Humanities scholars and dedicated teachers from within the University community. Behrman Professors will lead the Humanities Sequence and play a leading role in the humanities at Princeton.

Dolven joins English professor Esther (“Starry”) Schor, the Council’s inaugural Behrman Professor in the Humanities, who will teach HUM in both the fall and spring semesters. “We are delighted to have this continuity in participation across the full year of the Sequence,” said Kathleen Crown, executive director of the Council of the Humanities.

Dolven teaches poetry and poetics, principally of the English Renaissance, but he has also taught and written about subjects ranging from literary style to literary theory to the history of prosody to player pianos. His poems are widely published and he is an editor-at-large at Cabinet magazine; and he was the inaugural director of Princeton’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities.

“My scholarly home is the Renaissance, but I have always been interested in the long history of the arts and ideas; in my first year of college, I did something very like the HUM sequence, and I have been extending and filling in that map ever since,” said Dolven. “I am looking forward to three years of exploring with such a talented group of fellow travelers, students and faculty alike.”

The 2015-16 academic year has seen a near doubling of enrollment in the Humanities Sequence, with strong momentum developing under the leadership of Yelena Baraz (fall) and Denis Feeney (spring).  The course has added a sophomore Rome Study Trip, concurrent with the Greece break trip, and a new Humanities Mentoring program is building bonds across class years. The HUM Certificate program is thriving, and this year the program began to offer senior thesis research funding. A new Humanistic Studies website offers up-to-date information about new courses, student awards, and events of interest.