Advisory Council

Russell Berman

Russell Berman

Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies, Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities
Stanford University
Member, 2020-2022
Russell Berman

Russell Berman

Professor Berman joined the Stanford faculty in 1979. In 1982-83 he was a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard, and in 1988-89 he held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin. In 1997 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Berman is the editor of the journal Telos.
Gerald Early

Gerald Early

Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in the African and African American Studies Department
Washington University in St. Louis
Member, 2020-2022
Gerald Early

Gerald Early

Gerald Early is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in the African and African American Studies Department at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has taught since 1982.  He also has courtesy appointment in the American Culture Studies Programs and the English Department at Washington University.  He earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and the Ph.D. in English and American literature from Cornell University.

He is currently the chair of the African and African American Studies Department.  He had previously served as director of the African and African American Studies Program from 1992-1999.  He has also served as the director of the American Culture Studies Program, and was the founding director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University.  He is also the executive editor of The Common Reader, Washington University’s new interdisciplinary journal that is published under the auspices of the Provost ( .  From 2009-2012, Early served on the advisory committee for tenure, promotion, and personnel for the School of Arts and Sciences.

Early is a noted essayist and American culture critic. His collections of essays include Tuxedo Junction: Essays on American Culture (1989); The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism; This is Where I Came In: Essays on Black America in the 1960s (2003)and, most recently, A Level-Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports (2011). He is also the author of Daughters: On Family and Fatherhood (1994).  He was twice nominated for Grammy Awards for writing album liner notes, of which Early has written many including Black Power: Music of a Revolution (2004), Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary (2009), Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones (2001), Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection, (2007), Motown: The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 2: 1962The Sammy Davis Jr. Story, (1999), and Rhapsodies in Black: Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance (2000).

Additionally, Early is a prolific anthologist. He launched the Best African American Essays 2010 with guest editor Randall Kennedy and Best African American Fiction 2010 with guest editor Nikki Giovanni.  Both were part of the annual Best African American Essays and Best African American Fiction series published by Bantam Books for which Early served as the series editor during the life of the series. His other anthologies include The Cambridge Companion to Boxing (2019); Approaches to Teaching Baraka’s Dutchman (2018, with Matthew Calihman); The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader (2001); Miles Davis and American Culture (2001); The Muhammad Ali Reader (1998); Ain’t But a Place: An Anthology of African American Writings About St. Louis (1998): and Body Language: Writers on Sport (1998). He has served as a consultant on several Ken Burns' documentary films—Baseball; Jazz; The Tenth Inning; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, and Jackie Robinson—all of which have aired on PBS.  Early is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has served or is currently serving on a number of non-profit boards in St. Louis including the Missouri History Museum, the Foundation Board of the St. Louis Public Library, Jazz St. Louis, and the Whitaker Foundation.  He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center where he enjoyed an appointment as the John Hope Franklin Fellow in 2001-2002.  He was nominated by President Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, was confirmed by the Senate and began his five-term in August 2013.  He was awarded a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2013.

He is completing a book with his daughter, Rosalind, a professional writer and editor, about an African American festival in Philadelphia called Odunde, one of the largest black street festivals in the country and the biggest public event for adherents of the Yoruba religion in the United States.  His longer term projects include a study of the Korean War and a book about conservatism in the United States.   

Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas

Board of Governors Professor of English
Rutgers University-Newark
Member, 2020-2022
Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translations. She most recently co-edited the anthology The Greek Poets: Homes to the Present. Her latest book of poems is The Ache of Appetite, and Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry, a book of prose about her husband's illness. Rachel Hadas studied classics at Harvard, poetry at Johns Hopkins, and comparative literature at Princeton.  Between college and graduate school she spent four years in Greece, an experience that surfaces variously in much of her work. Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark (NJ) campus of Rutgers University, and has also taught courses in literature and writing at Columbia and Princeton, as well as serving on the poetry faculty of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the West Chester Poetry Conference.  She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Rachel's latest collaborative work with her husband, Shalom Gorewitz:

Major Jackson

Major Jackson

Professor of English, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities
Vanderbilt University
Member, 2020-2022

Major Jackson

Major Jackson

Major Jackson is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently The Absurd Man (Norton: 2020). His other books include Roll DeepHolding CompanyHoops and Leaving Saturn, recipient of a Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His edited volumes include Best American Poetry 2019Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry ReviewThe New YorkerParis ReviewPloughsharesPoetry London, Orion MagazineYale Review, among other fine publications. His poetry has received critical attention in The New York TimesChristian Science Monitor, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Major Jackson is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.
Roosevelt Montás

Roosevelt Montás

Senior Lecturer of American Studies and English
Columbia University
Member, 2020-2022
Roosevelt Montás

Roosevelt Montás

Roosevelt Montás is Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia University.  He holds an A.B. (1995), an M.A. (1996), and a Ph.D. (2004) in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.  He was Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College from 2008 to 2018.  Roosevelt specializes in Antebellum American literature and culture, with a particular interest in American citizenship.  His dissertation, Rethinking America: Abolitionism and the Antebellum Transformation of the Discourse of National Identity, won Columbia University’s 2004 Bancroft Award.  In 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student.  Roosevelt teaches “Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West,” a year-long course on primary texts in moral and political thought, as well as seminars in American Studies including “Freedom and Citizenship in the United States.” He is also a Rene Plessner Lecturer in Freedom and Citizenship. The F&C program is sponsored by the Center for American Studies and the Double Discovery Center. He speaks and writes on the history, meaning, and future of liberal education and is writing a book for Princeton University Press about his experiences as a student and teacher.

David Reingold

David Reingold

Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology
Purdue University
Member, 2020-2022
David Reingold

David A. Reingold

David A. Reingold is the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. He serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the college and is responsible for the departments of History, English, Sociology, Political Science, Philosophy, and Anthropology, as well as the Brian Lamb School of Communication, the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Languages and Culture, and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Prior to his appointment at Purdue University, he was professor and Executive Associate Dean at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington.

His primary teaching and research areas include urban poverty, economic development, social welfare policy, low-income housing policy, civil society, and government performance. His research has appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and ManagementPublic Administration ReviewSocial Service Review, Urban Studies, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and Housing Studies, among other social science journals. His public service experience includes positions as director of research and policy development at the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service, a member of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth and chair of the Task Force’s research committee, housing commissioner and vice-chairman of the Bloomington Housing Authority Board, board president of the South Central Community Action Program, and chair of the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism.

He has served on expert panels for the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has served on editorial boards for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Service Review, Evaluation Reviewthe Journal of Urban Affairs, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education. He received his MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet

Professor of English
The United States Military Academy at West Point
Member, 2020-2022

Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Yale. She is Professor of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she directs the first-year core course in literature. Her books include Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest and was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by the New York Times; and No Man’s Land: Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America. Samet is also the editor of The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant and Leadership: Essential Writings by Our Greatest Thinkers, as well as of the forthcoming Library of America collection World War II Memoirs. Samet is the past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship to support research for Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness, which will be published in fall 2021. Her honors also include the Hiett Prize in the Humanities and a 2019-2020 NEH Public Scholar Grant for her current project, a biography of Alexander the Great.

Melinda Zook

Melinda Zook

Professor of History
Purdue University 
Member, 2020-2022
Melinda Zook

Melinda S. Zook

Melinda S. Zook received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. She is a specialist in the history of Tudor and Stuart England, political thought, and religion and women in early modern Europe. Professor Zook teaches courses on English and medieval history, as well as on such topics as Shakespeare’s Kings, great books and the search for meaning and the history of toleration. She has published articles on radical politics, martyrdom, women and religion, and teaching. Her book Radical Whigs and Conspiratorial Politics in late Stuart England was published by Penn State Press in 1999 and in paperback in 2009. In 2013, she published Protestantism, Politics and Women in Britain, 1660-1714 with Palgrave, awarded Best Book on Gender for 2013 by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She is the co-editor of Revolutionary Currents: Nation Building in the Transatlantic World (2004); Challenging Orthodoxies: The Social and Cultural World of Early Modern Women (2014); and Generations of Women Historians: Within and Beyond the Academy (2018). She is currently the Director of Cornerstone: Integrated Liberal Arts for the College of Liberal Arts.

News and Resources

01.04.2022 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Teach public school kids the classic books

Roosevelt Montás argues that low-income students deserve the same opportunities to read the classics.

Teach public school kids the classic books >
01.03.2022 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Rescuing Great Books from the Elites

An interview with Roosevelt Montás about his life and his book, Rescuing Socrates.

Rescuing Great Books from the Elites >
12.17.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Yes, the Great Books Make Us Better People

In The New York Times, John McWhorter agrees with Roosevelt Montás that reading a great books curriculum is democratizing and egalitarian; it can even make us better people.
Yes, the Great Books Make Us Better People >
12.15.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Do Great Books still matter? For Roosevelt Montás, they are essential.

Read more about Roosevelt Montás and his defense of a great books curriculum in his new book, Rescuing Socrates.
Do Great Books still matter? For Roosevelt Montás, they are essential. >
12.14.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Ep. 40 Roosevelt Montás, "Rescuing Socrates"

Roosevelt Montás joins the Booknotes+ podcast to discuss his latest book, Rescuing Socrates.

Ep. 40 Roosevelt Montás, "Rescuing Socrates" >
12.06.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

The Left Should Defend Classical Education

This review of Roosevelt Montás' Rescuing Socrates argues that a great books education should be available to working-class people.
The Left Should Defend Classical Education >
12.02.2021 | WEBINAR

Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 3)

Elizabeth Samet on how she teaches Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 3) >
11.16.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Why the Core Matters for a New Generation

Roosevelt Montás on how, if done right, required classes bring campuses together and are a boon to the humanities.

Why the Core Matters for a New Generation >
11.04.2021 | WEBINAR

Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 2)

Roosevelt Montás discusses his new book, Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation.
Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 2) >
11.04.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Finding Dignity and Excellence in the Great Books

An excerpt from Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation by Roosevelt Montás.

Finding Dignity and Excellence in the Great Books >
10.18.2021 | STAFF WRITINGS

Reviving the Humanities Through General Education

Teagle President Andrew Delbanco and Program Director Loni Bordoloi Pazich on recent successes of Cornerstone: Learning for Living Programs.
Reviving the Humanities Through General Education >
10.07.2021 | WEBINAR

Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 1)

Reginald Dwayne Betts in conversation wtih Major Jackson on why reading and writing matter.
Teaching with Transformative Texts (Session 1) >
08.15.2021 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

What Should Students Learn?

Roosevelt Montás, member of the advisory council for Cornerstone: Learning for Living, argues that the humanities can be reinvigorated through general education and transformative texts.
What Should Students Learn? >
08.13.2021 | VIDEO

Student Voices on the Great Questions Seminar at Austin Community College

First-year students who took at the Great Questions Seminar in AY2020-2021 reflect on their experiences.
Student Voices on the Great Questions Seminar at Austin Community College >
11.10.2020 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

Humanities for Everyone: A Plan

Andrew Delbanco and Jon Parrish Peede discuss Cornerstone: Learning for Living, the Foundation’s partnership with the NEH to reinvigorate the role of the humanities in general education.
Humanities for Everyone: A Plan >
10.15.2020 | VIDEO

Giant Leaps for the Liberal Arts

Melinda Zook describes how Purdue launched the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts certificate to reinvigorate the role of the humanities in general education.
Giant Leaps for the Liberal Arts >
06.04.2020 | TEAGLE IN THE NEWS

The End of College as We Knew It?

Frank Bruni of The New York Times highlights Purdue's Cornerstone program as a model in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The End of College as We Knew It? >