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Catharine Stimpson

University Professor, NYU


Catharine R. Stimpson is University Professor and Dean Emerita of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. From January, 1994, to October, 1997, she served as Director of the Fellows Program at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. Simultaneously, she was on leave from her position as University Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick, where, from 1986-1992, she was also dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Before going to Rutgers, she taught at Barnard College, where she was also the first director of its Women’s Center. Now the editor of a book series for the University of Chicago Press, she was the founding editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society from 1974-80. The author of a novel, Class Notes (1979, 1980), the editor of seven books, she has also published over 150 monographs, essays, stories, and reviews in such places as Transatlantic Review, Nation, New York Times Book Review, Critical Inquiry, and Boundary 2. A selection of essays, Where The Meanings Are, appeared in 1988. Her book on Gertrude Stein is under contract to the University of Chicago Press. Professor Stimpson has lectured at approximately 350 institutions and events in the United States and abroad. Her public service has included the chairs of the New York State Council for the Humanities, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Ms. Magazine Board of Scholars. In 1990, she was the president of the Modern Language Association. She is now a member of the Board of Directors of several educational and cultural organizations, the chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, president of the Association of Graduate Schools, and a former member of the board of PBS. As a member of the editorial group of Change magazine from 1992 to 1994, she wrote a regular column about education and culture. Born in Bellingham, Washington, she was educated at Bryn Mawr College, Cambridge University, and Columbia University. She holds honorary degrees from Upsala College, Monmouth College, Bates College, Florida International University, the State University of New York at Albany, Hamilton College, the University of Arizona, Wheaton College, Hood College, Union College, Holy Cross College, and Santa Clara University. She has also won Fulbright and Rockefeller Humanities Fellowships. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Humanity in Action, Inc.


Updated May 2019