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Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.” In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2003, he was named New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities, in 2006, he received the “Great Teacher Award” from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and in 2013 he was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society.
Professor Delbanco is the author of many books, including, most recently, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012), and The Abolitionist Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2012). Melville: His World and Work (2005) was published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, in Britain under the Picador imprint, and has appeared in German and Spanish translation. Melville was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and appeared on “best books” lists in the Washington Post, Independent (London), Dallas Morning News, and TLS. It was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award by Columbia University.
Other books include The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), and The Real American Dream (1999), which were named notable books by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. The Puritan Ordeal (1989) also won the Lionel Trilling Award. He has edited Writing New England (2001), The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992, 2009), volume two of The Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson (with Teresa Toulouse), and, with Alan Heimert, The Puritans in America (1985).
Andrew Delbanco’s essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, New Republic, New York Times Magazine, and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education.
Mr. Delbanco has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He is a trustee of the Library of America, and the Teagle Foundation, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center. He has served as Vice President of PEN American Center, and as a trustee of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.