Yale Alumni College: Faculty

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Kerr Houston
YACOL courses taught: Re-seeing Italian Renaissance Art; Nothing Will Be As Before: Art Since 1960; Faith, Wonder, and Power: Arts of the Islamic World; Revisiting Michelangelo; Controversies in Modern and Contemporary Art

Kerr Houston earned his Ph.D. from Yale in the history of art in 2001; he now lives in Baltimore and is a professor of art history at MICA, where he has taught since 2002. In his scholarship he focuses largely on late medieval and Renaissance visual culture, but he also writes regularly on contemporary art and art criticism. He's the author of two books, An Introduction to Art Criticism and The Place of the Viewer, and numerous articles, and is a regular contributor to BmoreArt. Over the past decade he has also co-directed a regular summer study intensive course in Venice and taught several courses in the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey and MLA programs; in his classrooms, he seeks to foster a spirit of shared inquiry and constructive critical analysis.

Burgwell Howard

YACOL courses taught: Facing the Challenge of a New Age: Understanding and Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination
Dean Burgwell “Burgie” Howard joined the Yale College Deans Office as the Dean of Student Engagement within Yale College and Associate Vice President of Student Life at the University. Dean Howard has made a career supporting students at colleges and universities, including those at Bowdoin College, Colgate University, Santa Clara University, Dartmouth College and, most recently, Northwestern University where he served as Asst. Vice President and Dean of Students. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University. He loves dogs, lacrosse, tennis, skiing and meeting and helping students, and he never ceases to be amazed at the creativity and capacity of students. He is looking forward to exploring and contributing to the Yale community.

John Hughes

YACOL courses taught: The Health Care Crisis: How it Rose, and what is to be Done
Dr. John Hughes is Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, where he has received several awards from medical students and medical residents for excellence in teaching both on the wards and in the classroom. He directs the first-year course on Professional Responsibility, which covers topics in medical ethics and the organization of the health care system. He has helped to develop patient classification systems that use computerized patient care data, as well as methods for detecting potentially preventable hospital complications and readmissions. His academic interests include the evaluation and comparisons of risk-adjustment mechanisms, health care finance, and cost containment strategies.

Wendy Hurwitz

YACOL courses taught: How to Use Your Mind to Enhance Your Health; Strategies to Promote Optimal Vitality
Dr. Wendy Hurwitz a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Hurwitz is a nationally recognized expert on stress. A former medical researcher for ABC News, Dr. Hurwitz is an expert in two fields: Mind/Body Medicine and Energy Medicine. She teaches both professionals and students in medicine, psychology, and the allied health professions, and has lectured at Harvard Medical School, Yale University School of Medicine, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, NYU, and Fordham University. Dr. Hurwitz is the author of the chapter "Energy Medicine" in the textbook Micozzi, M (ed): Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, Philadelphia, 2001.  She has a forthcoming book on stress.

Michael Jennings

YACOL courses taught: How to Read a Photograph
Michael Jennings, '76MA (Yale), (PhD, University of Virginia). Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages in the Department of German; Associated Professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology and the School of Architecture. Professor Jennings focuses his teaching and research on European culture in the twentieth century. In addition to literature, he teaches on topics in cultural theory and the visual arts, with special emphasis on photography. He approaches cultural material from a perspective informed by historicist interpretive strategies and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School. Jennings is an Associated Faculty Member of the Department of Art and Archaeology, the Department of French and Italian, and the School of Architecture; he is a Faculty Associate of the Center for the Study of Religion. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Ph.D. Program in Humanistic Studies. He is the author of two books on Walter Benjamin: Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Literary Criticism (Cornell University Press, 1987) and, with Howard Eiland, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (Harvard University Press, 2014). He also serves as the general editor of the standard English-language edition of Benjamin’s works, Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings (Harvard University Press, four volumes, 1996ff.) and the editor of a series of collections of Benjamin’s texts intended for classroom use, including The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire (2007); The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media (2008) ; and many others. His translation of Walter Benjamin's Origin of German Trauerspiel (with Howard Eiland) was published in 2016. His published work includes articles on the theory of art history (Alois Riegl, Wihelm Worringer), modernism in its relationship to capitalist modernity (Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, Uwe Johnson), Weimar culture (Berlin Dada, Alfred Döblin, Thomas Mann, forms of literary criticism), eighteenth-century aesthetics (Sturm und Drang, J.M.R. Lenz, Friedrich Hölderlin), modern media (print culture and modernism), and German photography (Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, August Sander, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Michael Schmidt). He is the editor, with Detlef Mertins, of a facsimile edition of the avantgarde journal G: Journal of Elemental Form-Creation, (Getty Research Institute, 2010); with Tobias Wilke, of a special issue of Grey Room on Walter Benjamin and the Theory of Media; and with Stanley Corngold, of a special issue of Monatshefte on Kafka's Late Style. He is currently at work on two book projects: a critical biography of Bertolt Brecht and a study of the German photo-essay in the twentieth century. Jennings serves as Director of the Alexander Kluge Research Collection at Princeton University along with too many other prestigious boards and committees to detail here.

Gregory Johnson

YACOL courses taught: It’s Business AND Personal: Journey through American Independent Film

Greg Johnson has had an eclectic business career that has ranged from investment banking and corporate finance to international film distribution, independent production, and higher education. Since 1995, Johnson has produced a dozen motion pictures that have appeared at leading festivals worldwide. From 1984 until 1991, he served in various capacities at Vestron Inc., the largest independent video distributor at that time where his roles included corporate development, film financing and international distribution. At Vestron, he arranged financing for such projects as Dirty Dancing, one of the most profitable independent releases of all time, as well as John Huston’s last film The Dead. After Vestron, he began a partnership with New York-based Peter Newman Productions. Their first films were Wayne Wang’s Smoke, the acclaimed winner of the Silver Bear at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival and its improvised sequel Blue in the Face. In 2005, he returned to Smoke’s Brooklyn neighborhood to produce Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. The film was a commercial and critical success, garnering top honors at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and later on, three Golden Globe nominations and an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. The Music Never Stopped was the opening night film of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later a Roadside Attractions release. Until COVID, he was in development of Janis, a feature biopic about Janis Joplin to star Michelle Williams in the title role. The picture is now expected to be produced in 2021. A graduate of Bowdoin College (B.A.) and Yale School of Management (M.B.A.), Johnson also worked at investment bank, Bear Stearns & Co. Since 2000, he has taught at both Yale and Quinnipiac University. He currently serves as a Lecturer and Associate Director of the Yale Summer Film Institute.

Brian Jordan

YACOL courses taught: Reconstruction and the Legacy of the Civil War; An Introduction to the Civil War Era
Brian Matthew Jordan is Lecturer of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College, where he teaches a variety of undergraduate courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction. He earned his B.A. in History and Civil War Era Studies from Gettysburg College, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History from Yale. His dissertation, “Embattled Memories: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War,” earned both the George Washington Egleston Historical Prize for Best U.S. History Dissertation and the University-wide John Addison Porter Literary Prize. Dr. Jordan’s articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Civil War History, The Civil War Monitor, Ohio Valley History, the Florida Historical Quarterly, and The Journal of the Civil War Era. In addition, he is the author of Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory, September 14, 1862.  His most recent book, based on his doctoral dissertation, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in November.

Robert Kagan

YACOL courses taught: America and the Collapse of World Order:  Reflections on Past and Present.

Robert Kagan is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His most recent book is "The Return of History and the End of Dreams" (Knopf 2008). His previous book, "Dangerous Nation: America’s Place in the World from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the 20th Century," (Knopf 2006) was the winner of the 2008 Lepgold Prize and a 2007 finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize. Other books include "Of Paradise and Power (Knopf, 2003), "A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990" (Free Press 1996), and is co-editor with William Kristol of "Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign Policy" (Encounter Books, June 2000. Kagan writes a monthly column on world affairs for The Washington Post and is a contributing editor at both The Weekly Standard and The New Republic. He is listed as one of the world’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines. He served in the State Department from 1984 to 1988 as a member of the Policy Planning Staff, as principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz and as deputy director for policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and holds a Ph.D. in American History from American University. 

Paul T. Kane

YACOL courses taught: Hearing Voices; Emerson’s Circle; Reading Australia; Understanding Today's Ecological Issues; The Art of Poetry: An Introduction to the Reading and Writing of Verse; Ekphrasis: Poetry & the Visual Arts; Reorienting Tradition - Asian Poetry and Poetics

Paul Kane (Yale `73 and `90) has published eight collections of poems and a dozen other books, most recently A Passing Bell: Ghazals for Tina and a collection of verse essays: Earth, Air, Water, Fire. His awards include a Fulbright grant; fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bogliasco Foundation; an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University; and The Order of Australia from the Australian government. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Vassar College. 

Chris Kelly

YACOL courses taught: Rousseau and the Paradoxes of Politics; Accidental Philosophy: Montaigne's Essay; Taking a Walk with Roussea; Rousseau on Philosophy, Morality, and Religion; What is the Enlightenment?; More Accidental Philosophy: Montaigne’s Essays
Christopher Kelly (PC 1972) received his PhD from the University of Toronto. He has taught at the University of Toronto, Yale University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, and Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sciences Sociales (Paris). At present he is a Professor in the Political Science Department at Boston College. He is co-editor of The Collected Writings of Rousseau and has authored two books and numerous essays on Rousseau.

Ilya Kliger

YACOL courses taught: Crime and Punishment and the Petersburg Myth
Ilya Kliger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. He specializes in 19th-century Russian novel, theory of the novel, literary theory, and the relationship between philosophy and literature. He is author of The Narrative Shape of Truth: Veridiction in Modern European Literature (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011) and co-editor, with Boris Maslov, of Persistent Forms: Practicing Historical Poetics (Fordham University Press, 2016). He is currently working on a book project, provisionally titled Untimely Community: The Tragic Imagination in the Age of Russian Realism.

Emily Kopley

YACOL courses taught: The Great American Jewish Novel
Emily Kopley received her BA in English from Yale (BR ’06) and her PhD in English from Stanford (2013). She is the author of Virginia Woolf and Poetry (OUP, 2021), a critical biography tracing Woolf's evolving response to poetry. Emily has also published essays on Woolf in the TLS, the Review of English Studies, English Literature in Transition, Teaching Modernist Women's Writing in English (MLA, 2021), Unpacking the Personal Library (Wilfred Laurier UP, 2022), and elsewhere. She is on the board of Woolf Studies Annual and has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She also writes on literature and art related to Jewish history and culture. She lives in Montreal and teaches at McGill University, in the Department of Jewish Studies.

Meir Kryger

YACOL courses taught: The Mystery of Sleep

Meir Kryger, MD, is a professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine who has been treating patients with sleep disorders for over 30 years. He is chief editor of the most widely used textbook used in sleep medicine, The Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, which is currently in its fifth edition. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He has written about sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, in women and was the author of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep Disorders. His latest eBook, The iGuide to Sleep contains extensive information about sleep problems. He has served as President of both the Canadian Sleep Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Sleep Foundation, having served as its chair. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Sleep Society in 2011, and the Mary Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award from the Sleep Research Society in 2013. 
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