Professor John Carson

Professor John Carson has been selected by the Department of History as the eighth director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. He will begin service on July 1, 2022. 

“I feel honored, and also more than a little humbled, to be asked to assume a role that my predecessors have fulfilled so well," said Carson. "The Eisenberg Institute has been for many years a vibrant hub of intellectual activity where scholarship, teaching, and public engagement have been pursued rigorously and thoughtfully. I only hope that I can maintain and add to this tradition.”

Carson joined the U-M History Department in 1998. He has served on the Eisenberg Institute's Steering Committee and was awarded a Faculty Fellowship in 2012-13. He takes over for Professor Mrinalini Sinha, who concludes her two-year term in June.

"I had the good fortune of serving as the director for two eventful years," said Sinha. "With the solid foundation laid down by my predecessors and the excellent teamwork of the institute's community, we weathered the challenges of the pandemic years and managed to have fun. It takes a village to sustain an institution."

During his directorship, Carson plans to deepen the institute's core commitment to research, pedagogy, and community—and reinforce the value of in-person discussion and exchange of ideas.  

"At a time when the teaching of real history is under assault in many parts of the globe, the Eisenberg Institute must remain committed to the promotion of scholarship that embraces the complexity of the past and that seeks to throw light on the inequities of power, privilege, and authority," said Carson.

The institute will launch a new theme—"Against History"—this fall.

"In his new position as director, John brings immense experience, intellectual vision, and enthusiasm to the post," said Sinha. "I am really pleased to be leaving EIHS in his very capable hands."