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Russ Family Professorship in the Humanities

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Established in 2007 by Philip and Melissa Russ

In 2000, PHILIP and MELISSA RUSS began the process of endowing a professorship in appreciation for the education that their son, Manuel Benjamin “Ben” Russ, received at the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Ben Russ, a member of the Class of 2000, majored in history and graduated with departmental honors. In bestowing upon the school a professorship in the humanities, the Russ family has demonstrated its belief in the fundamental importance of scholarship in the humanities and a shared vision with the School of Arts and Sciences to build upon its enduring strengths in these disciplines.

The humanities programs at Johns Hopkins reflect the characteristic qualities of an intellectual community. The coordinated study of Western civilization through its literature, art, philosophy, and history has been one of the oldest continuing concerns at Hopkins. Because it has remained by design and tradition the smallest of the major American universities and because of the interdisciplinary interests of some of its most distinguished faculty, Hopkins has fostered to a remarkable degree the free exchange between scholars and students across departmental boundaries. The Russ Professorship demonstrates the commitment of Arts and Sciences alumni to the continued excellence of the humanities at Johns Hopkins.

Held by Douglas Mao

DOUGLAS MAO received his PhD from Yale University in 1993 and taught in the English departments at Princeton, Harvard, and Cornell before coming to Johns Hopkins in 2007.

A specialist in modernist fiction and poetry, he is the author of Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production (Princeton, 1998) and Fateful Beauty: Aesthetic Environments, Juvenile Development, and Literature 1860-1960 (Princeton, 2008). He is also the co-editor, with Rebecca Walkowitz, of Bad Modernisms (Duke, 2006) and the editor of the Longman Cultural Edition of E. M. Forster’s Howards End (2009).

Professor Mao has been president of the Modernist Studies Association and held a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He currently serves on the Advisory Board and as Series Editor of Hopkins Studies in Modernism at the Johns Hopkins University Press, Senior Editor of ELH, and as a member of the editorial boards of Textual Practice, Modernism/modernity, English: the Journal of the English Association, and The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies.

His courses have treated a wide range of topics in late 19th- and early 20th-century literature, from gender in modern writing to the aftermath of literary naturalism, from narratives of utopia to social organization in poetic texts.