Visiting Scholar Maya Jasanoff 

Maya Jasanoff photo

The X.D. and Nancy Yang Professor and Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University, Maya Jasanoff is one of 13 preeminent professors in the liberal arts and sciences selected to serve as a ΦBK Visiting Scholar during the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Jasanoff (ΦBK, Harvard College) is a historian of the British Empire and global history. Her books Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850; Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World; and The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World have won numerous accolades, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Cundill Prize in History, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Nonfiction. She is currently writing a history of the human preoccupation with ancestry and genealogy, the topic of a popular undergraduate course she teaches in Harvard’s general education curriculum. She is also completing a short book on the craft of historical narrative, looking at ways to bring out the “story” in history. Jasanoff writes widely about history, literature, and world affairs for publications including The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. In 2021 she was chair of judges for the Booker Prize. 

As a ΦBK Visiting Scholar, Jasanoff will visit Wells College, George Mason University, Sewanee, Oregon State University, Catholic University, and University of New Hampshire over the course of the year. She will spend two days on each campus, meet with students and faculty, participate in discussions, and give a lecture that is free and open to the public.

“I’m thrilled to have the chance to connect with students around the country to discuss topics that are on my mind, and, more importantly, to learn about what issues are on theirs,” Jasanoff said. “After the years of pandemic lockdown, it feels especially meaningful and significant to have this chance to connect in person.”

Learn more about this year’s ΦBK Visiting Scholars at or email Hadley Kelly, director of the Visiting Scholar Program, at