Gregory Evans Dowd, the Helen Hornbeck Tanner Collegiate Professor of American culture and history, has been named associate dean for the humanities at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. Dowd succeeds Alexandra Minna Stern, who has served as associate dean since July 2019. Dowd’s term begins July 1, 2022.
“I am excited to welcome Professor Dowd as associate dean for the humanities,” said Anne Curzan, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. “The humanities are vital to understanding the world from perspectives different from our own, to reimagining our future, and to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. LSA’s humanities division is filled with outstanding scholars and teachers. Professor Dowd’s deep commitment to DEI, to teaching and mentoring, and to innovative research, as well as his extensive administrative experience, will be a true asset to the college and our mission.”
In his role as associate dean, Dowd will work with humanities chairs and directors in the division’s 20 units: Afroamerican and African Studies, American Culture, Asian Languages and Cultures, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, Digital Studies Institute, English Language Institute, English Language and Literature, Film, Television and Media, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History of Art, Institute for the Humanities, Humanities Collaboratory, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Middle East Studies, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Sweetland Center for Writing. Research in the humanities at U-M is centered on understanding the human experience through art, literature, language, and cultures around the world, and humanities scholars in LSA are studying everything from ancient cuneiform script to the evolving challenges of the modern workplace.
“The humanities, along with the natural and social sciences, extend what W.E.B. Du Bois once called ‘the growing knowledge of life.’ The humanities expand the range of the possible,” says Dowd. “I am keen to join the effort to enable the flourishing of learning and scholarship, and to bring that scholarship to the extraordinary needs of our moment. I look forward to working with the group Dean Anne Curzan has gathered to promote the research and teaching of faculty and learning opportunities for students.”
A historian of Indigenous relations during the early era of the United States and the British Empire, Dowd is also a member of the Native American Studies faculty. He has served as a historical expert for tribes in a major Michigan hunting and fishing rights case. His teaching encompasses Native American and U.S. Constitutional history; he has won numerous teaching awards at the University of Michigan and other institutions; and he has taught on a Fulbright fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dowd has published a score of scholarly articles, including recent and forthcoming pieces in the Journal of American History, the Journal of Early American Studies, and the William and Mary Quarterly. His several books have been reviewed by The New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Times Literary Supplement, as well as in scholarly journals.