Campus & Community

Six named Harvard College Professors

3 min read

Six professors have been named this year’s Harvard College Professors in recognition of their outstanding performance as undergraduate teachers and their exceptional work in graduate education and research.

This year’s honorees are Leo Damrosch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature; Peter Galison, Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics; Robert Kiely, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English; Stuart Shieber, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science; Laurel Ulrich, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History; and Gregory Verdine, professor of chemical biology.

“Every year, it’s a pleasure to announce the names of those colleagues whose contributions to undergraduate education are outstanding, and to know that they will receive some tangible recognition for their commitment to our students,” said Jeremy R. Knowles, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The five-year chairs are endowed by a gift from John and Frances Loeb. Harvard College Professors also receive a semester of paid leave, commensurate summer salary, or funds to support scholarly work.

Damrosch, who has been teaching at Harvard since 1989 and chaired the English department from 1993 to 1998, has wide-ranging expertise in Restoration and 18th century literature, Romanticism, the Enlightenment, and Puritanism. His most recent book is “The Sorrows of the Quaker Jesus: James Nayler and the Puritan Crackdown on the Free Spirit.”

Galison, a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in 1997 and the Max Planck Prize in 1999, studies the interaction “between the three principal subcultures of 20th century physics – experimentation, instrumentation, and theory.” He also examines the relation between physics and other disciplines, and among science, art, film, and architecture.

Kiely, who was Master of Adams House from 1973 to 1999, specializes in 19th century, modern, and contemporary fiction; narrative theory; and Christian literature. His latest work, “Still Learning: Spiritual Sketches From a Professor’s Life,” recollects many of his experiences teaching in China as well as at Harvard.

Shieber began teaching at Harvard 12 years ago, and currently teaches hundreds of undergraduates introductory computer science and programming each year. His own research aims to improve communication with computers through both natural languages (e.g., English) and graphical languages (e.g., diagrams and maps), by advancing understanding of language systems and the engineering of language technology.

Ulrich, who is director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, specializes in early American social history, women’s history, and “the history of material life in America.” Her book “A Midwife’s Tale” won the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in 1991. She is currently completing a social and cultural history of New England’s “mythical age of homespun.”

Verdine, who has taught at Harvard since 1988, works in the growing field of chemical biology, which examines “the chemical workings of the biologic universe at atomic detail.” His research focuses on “how the cell disburses and protects the information contained within its genome.” He is a founding faculty member of the Harvard Institute for Chemistry and Cell Biology, and the recipient of many awards, including the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry and the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society.