Professor Mrinalini Sinha

The Department of History has selected Professor Mrinalini Sinha to serve as director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies beginning July 1, 2020. Sinha, the Eisenberg Institute’s sixth director, is Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity of directing what to my mind is the most exciting such institute in the country—or, indeed, anywhere,” said Sinha. “The credit is due to my predecessors who have steered the institute in ways that has allowed it to be always relevant, intellectually provocative, and collegial. I look forward to building on that tradition”

Sinha takes over for Helmut Puff, who concluded his three-year term in June.

“There are good reasons why the Eisenberg Institute is the envy of many departments on campus and elsewhere. Previous directors have helped make EIHS into the vibrant forum for intellectual exchange it is known to be,” said Puff, the Elizabeth L. Eisenstein Collegiate Professor of History and Germanic Languages.

“After three wonderful years at the helm, I am delighted to pass on the baton to my successor, whose leadership, vision, and theoretical acumen as a historian I greatly admire,” said Puff.

Sinha’s goal as director is to ensure the institute remains a place where scholars across fields and individual methodological preferences can find a robust arena for dialogue and exchange.

“We will need to make major changes in our functioning in response to the challenges of the present,” said Sinha. “But the pandemic-driven changes have also helped crystallize in my mind that the core mission of the institute—as an engine for intellectual creativity and for fostering community—must remain the same.”

The institute’s campus offices are currently closed, but the director, staff, and fellows are working from home. Remote programming will resume this fall.