Professor Bios - Fall 2013


Professor Biographical Information for Alumni College Fall 2013


Professor Gordon Turnbull

General Editor of the Yale Boswell Editions, one of Yale's outstanding large-scale scholarly editorial enterprises, where he oversees a global editorial team bringing to publication selections of the vast archive of James Boswell's private papers.  Boswell had been best-known to literary history for his pioneering biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), but his personal papers — most of which had been suppressed by his descendants and were recovered only in the twentieth century and are now in Yale's Beinecke Library — have brought him renewed fame as a compelling confessional diarist.  Boswell's London Journal 1762-1763 became an international best-seller when in first appeared in 1950, edited by Yale's Frederick A. Pottle. Turnbull, born and raised in Sydney, is an honors graduate of the Australian National University, in Canberra, and came to Yale for doctoral study as a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar.  He taught in the Yale English Department and at Smith College before assuming directorship of the Yale Boswell Editions in 1997.  His specialty is the literature of the British eighteenth-century, in particular of the Samuel Johnson circle, and he is a former course director of The European Literary Tradition, one of the Yale English Department's main introductory survey courses for literature students. He is the author of numerous scholarly and critical essays on Boswell, Johnson, and their circle, has taught and lectured widely on these authors, and is a featured speaker at the annual Boswell Book Festival at Boswell's family estate in Auchinleck, Ayrshire.  He contributes a regular column, "Yale Boswell Editions Notes," to the twice-yearly Johnsonian News Letter.  His edition of Boswell's London Journal 1762-1763, the first re-editing of this famous diary since Pottle's worldwide bestseller of 1950, appeared in 2010 in Penguin Classics, and has just been re-issued in 2013 in a second printing.


Professor Alan Trachtenberg

Neil Gray, Jr. Professor Emeritus of English and Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Yale University, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians.  He received his PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota in 1962, taught at the Pennsylvania State University from 1961 to 1968, and has been a member of the Yale faculty since 1969 (retired in 2001). His books include Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol (1965), The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age (1982), Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (1989), winner of the Charles C. Eldredge Prize awarded by the National Museum of American Art for "outstanding scholarship in American art," and Shades of Hiawatha (2004), awarded the Frances Parkman Prize by the Society of American Historians. A volume of his essays, Lincoln’s Smile & Other Enigmas, appeared in 2007, along with the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Incorporation of America. Among his honors are fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Winner of the International Center of Photography's Writing Award on 1990, he has also been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science and of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and held the Times Mirror Foundation Distinguished Fellowship in American Studies at the Huntington Library. In 1992-1993 he served as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

Professor Michael Holquist

Received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1963, and his Ph. D. from Yale in 1968. He taught at Yale (where he was Chair of the Comparative Literature Department) for many years, becoming emeritus in 2005.  He is now a Senior Fellow in the Heyman Center at Columbia University.   He also taught at the University of Texas, Austin, and Indiana University, Bloomington.  He has published as author, co-author, or translator seven books and over ninety articles on topics as varied as utopian fiction, Lewis Carroll’s nonsense, detective stories, and several Russian writers.  He is best known for his work on the Russian thinker, Mikhail Bakhtin.  He has lectured in virtually every major research university in the United States and in several abroad, including China, Australia, Russia, Finland, Spain, Israel, etc.  His honors include several endowed lectureships (Christian Gauss, Princeton; Northrop Frye, Toronto, Wei Lun, Chinese University of Hong Kong), etc. For his work in Directed Studies, he won the Byrnes-Sewell Prize, Yale’s highest award for undergraduate teaching. He holds an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University (2001).  He served as President of the Modern language Association of America in 2007.

Professor Traugott Lawler

Is a specialist in Medieval English literature, and has broad teaching experience across English and European literature.  He studied at Holy Cross, the University of Wisconsin, and Harvard.  He taught at Yale 1966-72, at Northwestern 1972-81, and at Yale again 1981 until his retirement in 2005.  At Yale he taught Chaucer, Old English, History of the English Language, and various seminars in Middle English, and he regularly taught both English 125, Major English Poets, and English 129, European Masterpieces, as well.  Since retiring he has filled in several times in 125 and Old English, taught a freshman seminar in Austen and Dickens, and taught both Dante and English Religious Poetry in the Divinity School.  He is the author of The One and the Many in the Canterbury Tales (1981), one of the editors of the Riverside Chaucer, and editor of various other medieval English and Latin works.  In recent years he has written extensively on Piers Plowman, and is one of five scholars preparing The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman.  He was master of Ezra Stiles College 1986-95 and 2002-3.  He is an avid golfer and plays every summer in the Cape Cod Senior Softball League.

Professor Fred Robinson

Is the Douglas Tracy Smith Professor Emeritus of English at Yale. Besides Yale, he has taught at Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard, including courses in the English language, Old English, Middle English, and Modern Linguistics. He has published books, articles, and reviews on Old English language and literature, the English language, and modern American poetry, and is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, and of the Meddeleeuvereinigung van Suidlike Afrika, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences(President, 1983-84), and of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (President 1980-85).Professor Robinson received honorary doctoral degrees from Williams College and the University of North Carolina, and has earned degrees at the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. levels.

Dr. John Hughes

Is Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, where he has received several awards from medical students and medical residents for excellence in teaching both on the wards and in the classroom. He directs the first-year course on Professional Responsibility, which covers topics in medical ethics and the organization of the health care system. He has helped to develop patient classification systems that use computerized patient care data, as well as methods for detecting potentially preventable hospital complications and readmissions. His academic interests include the evaluation and comparisons of risk-adjustment mechanisms, health care finance, and cost containment strategies.

Professor Anders Winroth

Is Forst Family Professor of History at Yale University and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow. He specializes in the history of the Viking Age as well as in the legal and intellectual history of the Middle Ages. A native of Sweden, he earned a BA at Stockholm University and a PhD at Columbia University in the City of New York, and he has taught at Yale since 1998. Winroth’s books, including The Making of Gratian’s Decretum (2000) and The Conversion of Scandinavia (2012) have won numerous prizes. He is now at work on A New History of the Viking Age for Princeton University Press. His popular lecture class Vikings! has informed hundreds of Yale undergraduates about the history and culture of northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages.


Professor Judith Malafronte

Lecturer in the Yale School of Music, Yale Institute of Sacred Music and in the Department of Music, has an active career as a mezzo-soprano soloist in opera, oratorio, and recital. She has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl,
the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, and Mark Morris Dance Group, and has sung at the Tanglewood Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, and the Göttingen Handel Festival. Winner of several top international vocal competitions, Malafronte holds degrees with honors from Vassar College and Stanford University, and studied at the Eastman School of Music, in Paris and Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and with Giulietta Simionato in Milan as a Fulbright scholar. Malafronte has recorded for major labels in a broad range of repertoire, from medieval chant to contemporary music, and she writes regularly for Opera News, Stagebill, Early Music America Magazine, The Classical Review and Parterre Box.

B.A. Vassar College; M.A. Stanford University.