Nirenberg appointed founding director of Neubauer Collegium

David Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought, has been named the founding director of the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society.

An expert on Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the medieval period, Nirenberg is the author of Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages, an exploration of violence against and attitudes toward minorities in 14th-century France and Spain. That work received numerous honors, including the 1996 Premio del Rey Prize from the American Historical Association, the AHA’s 1998 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, and the 2000 John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America. His Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is forthcoming from W. W. Norton in January 2013.

“David Nirenberg is a scholar who epitomizes all the qualities the Neubauer Collegium hopes to promote. He is innovative, ambitious, creative and collaborative, and he inspires others to achieve excellence,” said Martha Roth, the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology and dean of the Division of the Humanities. “I can’t think of a more fitting choice to serve as the Neubauer Collegium’s inaugural director.”

John Mark Hansen, dean of the Division of the Social Sciences, also praised Nirenberg for his far-ranging intellectual curiosity.

“David Nirenberg has intellectual connections all over the humanities and social sciences, and even beyond the social sciences. I would describe David as intellectually gregarious—he likes people and he likes ideas, and he represents the best of the University of Chicago,” adds Hansen, the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and the College.

In addition to Nirenberg, nine faculty members, who comprise an advisory board, will guide the Neubauer Collegium. The Faculty Advisory Board will serve a crucial role in the governance of the Collegium and as an advisory and consultative body for the director. The inaugural members of the Faculty Advisory Board are:

  • Marianne Bertrand, the Chris P. Dialynas Professor of Economics in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Klimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College
  • James Chandler, the Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professor in English Literature, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College, director of the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and chair of Cinema and Media Studies
  • Lorraine Daston, director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and Visiting Professor in Social Thought and History
  • Judith Farquhar, the Max Palevsky Professor in Anthropology and the College, and chair of Anthropology
  • David Levin, the Addie Clark Harding Professor in Germanic Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College, and director of the Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry
  • Salikoko Mufwene, the Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor in Linguistics, the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, and the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the College
  • Haun Saussy, University Professor in Comparative Literature and the College
  • Candace Vogler, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor in Philosophy and the College, and Chair of Philosophy

A second advisory group, composed of leaders from outside the academy, will be selected and convened in the coming months.