July 9, 2014

Author Jhumpa Lahiri Is Among 17 New Princeton Faculty Appointments

Lahiri PicThe Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri will join Princeton’s creative writing faculty in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Prince-ton University, but not until September of 2015.

Ms. Lahiri has been appointed to the Lewis Center for the Arts where she will teach workshops in fiction and translation alongside an existing stellar faculty that includes Jeffrey Eugenides, Chang-rae Lee, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, and Edmund White.

“Jhumpa Lahiri is one of our era’s most distinguished writers,” commented Susan Wheeler, director of the Creative Writing Program. “She will be a tremendous teacher to our undergraduates.”

Born in London, England and raised in Rhode Island, Ms. Lahiri received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Barnard College and multiple degrees from Boston University. She has taught creative writing at Boston University, Baruch College, Barnard College, The New School, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Described as “one of the world’s great storytellers,” Ms. Lahiri garnered world-wide literary praise for her debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000, as well as the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year. She rose to popular attention with her 2003 first novel, The Namesake, which was adapted into a popular film of the same name. Her most recent novel, The Lowland, published last year, was short-listed for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. Her work has also appeared frequently in The New Yorker and has been translated into over 30 languages.

The University announced her appointment as one of four full professors and 13 assistant professors. In addition to Ms. Lahiri, the three new appointments at the professor level are Judith Hamera in dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts, Ilyana Kuziemko in economics, and Assaf Naor, in mathematics.

After serving as a professor at Texas A&M University since 2005, Ms. Hamera joined the University faculty on July 1. She is the author of three books including her 2007 Dancing Communities: Performance, Difference and Connection in the Global City.

Also new to the faculty on July 1, Ms. Kuziemko comes from Columbia University. She was an assistant professor at Princeton from 2007 to 2012, and took public service leave to serve as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the academic year 2009-2010. She studies public, labor and health economics with recent research on topics such as the redistribution of wealth, risk and health care costs, and demand for health insurance.

Mr. Naor will take up his position August 1, from New York University where he has taught since 2006. Previously, he worked at Microsoft Research and his research interests span a number of mathematical fields, including analysis, probability, quantitative geometry, and structure theory of metric spaces, as well as their applications to theoretical computer science, combinatorics and mathematical physics.

New Assistant Professors

The 13 new assistant professors are: Faisal Ahmed, a scholar of political science and international relations; José Avalos, who specializes in bioengineering and biofuels production; sociologist Ruha Benjamin, who joins the faculty in African American studies; Jonathan Gribetz, a scholar in Near Eastern studies and Judaic studies; Johannes Haushofer, who will join the faculty in psychology and public affairs; Katherine Hill Reischl, in Slavic languages and literatures; Casey Lew-Williams, a specialist in language acquisition, in psychology; historian and scholar of Asian American history, Elizabeth Lew-Williams; mathematicians Fabio Pusateri and Mykhaylo Shkolnikov; composer Ju Ri Seo; Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, in African American studies; and Carolyn Yerkes, in art and archaeology.