Literary scholar; Historian; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Literature and Language Studies
Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies, Columbia University. Interests in American history, literature, and religion. Teaches and writes on such subjects as the history of American education, colonial and classic American literature, and American culture past and present. His literary and social critiques have appeared frequently in The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. Author, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be; Melville: His World and Work; The Abolitionist Imagination; Required Reading: Why our American Classics Matter Now; The Death of Satan; The Puritan Ordeal; and The Real American Dream. Formerly Vice President, PEN American Center. Trustee of the Teagle Foundation and the Library of America. Emeritus trustee, National Humanities Center. Member, American Philosophical Society, Winner of the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and Recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama, 2011.