In small classes, all taught by tenured University of Chicago faculty, MLA students engage and wrestle with great ideas as they work towards developing their own ways of thinking and solving problems. Click the bios below to learn more about our faculty.
David Bevington is the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, and Chair of Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago. He teaches courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance and medieval drama, and the history and theory of drama from 5th century B.C. to the present day. Bevington received the 2010 Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award. Click here to read an interview with David Bevington on the intellectual excitement of the MLA Classroom.
Alida Bouris is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA). Her primary research focuses on the relationship between social context and adolescent health, with a particular emphasis on understanding how parents and families can help prevent HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancies among marginalized youth aged 10-24 years old. The overall goal of Dr. Bouris's research agenda is to develop effective interventions that capitalize on the strengths of families and other supportive persons in the lives of young people. In addition, she studies the social-contextual factors associated with poor mental health among LGBT youth of color, and how structural inequalities and co-occurring psychosocial problems are linked to health. At SSA, Professor Bouris teaches courses on social work practice and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In 2013, she was the recipient of the William Pollak Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2015, she received the Award for Excellence in Doctoral Student Mentoring. Click here to read about Alida Bouris's MLA Class on Our Shifting Definitions of Mental Health and Mental Illness.
Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor in the Divinity School, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, Committee on Social Thought, and the College. A prolific writer and world-renowned scholar, Doniger holds two doctorates, in Sanskrit and Indian Studies, from Harvard and Oxford. Doniger received the 2007 Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award. Click here to read about Wendy Doniger's sample class exploring cunning and trickery in Sanskrit Literature.
Sascha Ebeling is an Associate Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. His book Colonizing the Realm of Words: The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India was published by SUNY Press in 2010. He is working on two projects: a history of contemporary Tamil writing which will map the genealogies of Tamil literary production from a global perspective; and a monograph which will address the connections between Western imperialism, Asian modernities, and the global history of the novel.
Andreas Glaeser is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology. He is a sociologist of culture with a particular interest in the construction of identities and knowledges. His work interlaces substantive interests with efforts to build social theory. He is currently finishing a book aiming at the development of a political epistemology which asks how people come to understand the world of politics from within their particular biographical trajectories and social milieus. He also has begun work on a new project which studies the emergence of dominant understandings about Muslim immigrants in the interaction between contingent historical events, the cycles of electoral politics, everyday experiences and mass-mediated discourses in Germany, France and Britain.
Paola Iovene is an Associate Professor in Chinese Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her work focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Chinese literature and film. Areas of research include contemporary Chinese fiction and criticism; popular science; conceptions of Chinese realism, modernism, and avant-garde; the translation of foreign literature in socialist China; narrative temporality in fiction and film; late 1940s cinema; opera film; and post-1989 Chinese independent documentary film.
Edward W. Kolb is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He was the founding head of the NASA/Fermilab Astrophysics Group at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. In addition to more than 200 scientific papers, he is a coauthor of The Early Universe, the standard textbook on particle physics and cosmology. His book for the general public, Blind Watchers of the Sky (winner of the 1996 Emme Award from the AAS), is the story of the people and ideas that shaped our view of the universe. Kolb was awarded the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Robert Martin is an Emeritus Curator at the Field Museum of Natural History where he previously served as Provost for five years. He is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, The University of Illinois-Chicago, and the University of Chicago where he has taught in the College and is a member of the Committee of Evolutionary Biology. His research interests span the fields of anthropology, evolutionary biology and human reproductive biology. He has authored 300 publications, including peer-reviewed papers, books, book chapters, and book translations, and regularly maintains a blog on human evolution for Psychology Today.
Omar M. McRoberts is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and The College. McRoberts' scholarly and teaching interests include the sociology of religion, urban sociology, urban poverty, race, and collective action. His first book, Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood is based on an ethnographic study of religious life in Four Corners: a poor, predominantly black neighborhood in Boston containing twenty-nine congregations. It explains the high concentration, wide variety, and ambiguous social impact of religious activity in the neighborhood. It won the 2005 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. McRoberts currently is conducting a study of black religious responses to, and influences on, social welfare policy since the New Deal, culminating with George W. Bush's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives. He is also initiating an ethnographic project on cultures of death and dying among black congregations in low-income urban contexts. Click here to read an interview with Omar McRoberts on the Enriching Experience of Ethnography.
Stephen Meredith is a Professor in Pathology and the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago. Professor Meredith never abandoned his passion for literature during his academic training in the biological sciences. His familiarity with James Joyce, Thomas Aquinas, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky would later merge with his scientific teaching career at Chicago. Meredith developed an undergraduate course on literary and philosophical reflections on disease. Popular acclaim from his students brought an invitation to teach other courses. He received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 1994 and the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2005.
Mark Miller is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Chicago. He is in the early stages of a book project called The Drive of Psychoanalytic Theory: A Reintroduction to Freud and Lacan. He also teaches and writes about medieval literature and culture, especially Chaucer and other 14th century English writers. In 2004 he received the Mark B. Ashin Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Click here to read about Mark Miller's sample class on Some Versions of the Apocalypse.
Larry Rothfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Department of Comparative Literature, and is a Research Affiliate in the Cultural Policy Center. His research focuses on the way in which literature, criticism, and other cultural activites are caught up within epistemic and political struggles.
William Schweiker is Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chicago where he has taught since 1989. Professor Schweiker works in the field of theological ethics. His scholarship and teaching cross the disciplinary lines of ethics, systematic theology, and hermeneutical philosophy. He has published numerous books, articles and essays. An award winning essayist and popular lecturer, Professor Schweiker has lectured at universities around the world and as a Phi Beta Kappa lecturer in the USA. He has also been visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and the Uppsala University (Sweden). Schweiker holds an honorary Doctorate from the Uppsala University. Schweiker was elected to be President of the Society of Christian Ethics (2015-2016). Professor Schweiker’s recent work engages theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative ethics, and the possibilities of a renewed and robust religious humanism. Click here to read about William Schweiker and Günter Thomas's faculty lecture on enhancing the dimensions of life.
Amy Dru Stanley is an Associate Professor in UChicago’s History Department. Her research and teaching focus on US history, from the early Republic through the Progressive Era. She is especially interested in the history of capitalism, slavery, and emancipation, and the historical experience of moral problems. Methodologically, she works at the intersections of intellectual, social, and legal history. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, from institutions including the Center for Human Values at Princeton University, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Museum of American History, the American Bar Foundation, and the New York University Law School. She has also been awarded the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2009 and a Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring in 2005.
Theodore L. Steck, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Resolving the Environmental Crisis is taught by Theodore L. Steck, His work in environmental education includes founding and chairing the undergraduate Environmental Studies Program at the University of Chicago from 1993 to 2007.
William Veeder is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature and the College. He has taught courses on American and British Gothic literature of the 19th century, contemporary fiction, and on specific figures such as Henry James and Ambrose Bierce. He is the author or coauthor of various books such as Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: the Fate of Androgyny; Henry James, the Lessons of the Master: Popular Fiction and Personal Style in the Nineteenth Century; The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883; and Henry James: Lessons of the Master as well as essays on 19th and 20th-century Anglo- American gothic texts, psychoanalysis, gender issues, and popular culture.
David Wray is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the College. He is the author of Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge 2001), a coeditor of Seneca and the Self (Cambridge 2009), and is currently writing Ovid at the Tragic Core of Modernity. His research and teaching interests include Hellenistic and Roman poetry (especially Apollonius Rhodius, Catullus, Lucretius, Virgil, Tibullus, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, and Statius); Greek epic and tragedy; Roman philosophy; ancient and modern relations between literature and philosophy; gender; theory and practice of literary translation; and the reception of Greco-Roman thought and literature, from Shakespeare and Corneille to Pound and Zukofsky. He is a member of the Poetry and Poetics program.
It's wonderful to teach people who have been around the block. They bring a rich human experience to this process–and that's very important when you're discussing the great human questions. My MLA students have taught me about everything from the legal aspects of sexual fraud to The Simpsons. I've quoted them in my books and cited them in my footnotes. I love them for their desire to know, and their fierce commitment.