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From the Director

By Mrinalini Sinha

I feel privileged to be directing the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, the beating heart of our department. Over the years the Eisenberg Institute has brought us together as scholars, from the ancient to the contemporary world, and from Africa to the Americas and beyond, to share in the joys of intellectual exchange. The ideas incubated and debated at our events have gone on to shape scholarly conversations nationally and internationally. Our simultaneous commitment to public-facing scholarship and to critical pedagogy have also helped us forge a bridge between the academy and the larger community of those interested in history. Ultimately, however, the reputation of the Eisenberg Institute is sustained by the energy and enthusiasm of our faculty, graduate students, and staff. I hope to take these traditions of conceptual innovation and engagement forward even while renewing our work in response to the challenges of our times. I remain more convinced than ever that the communal intellectual life that we cultivate serves our commitment as scholars to creating futures that support justice, equality, and sustainability.

We have only a virtual presence for now. I invite you, until we can all return in person, to contact us via email ( with your comments, suggestions, and aspirations for the institute. These communications have never been more important than now when we are unable to stay connected through the chance meetings and casual conversations at our suite in Haven Hall.

Mrinalini Sinha Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History and director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies.