School of Arts and Sciences


rmie targoff in rwanda

January 3, 2023

Professor Ramie Targoff found herself in an unexpected location last fall — teaching William Shakespeare to medical students in Rwanda at the University of Global Health Equity.

covid workers in china

December 14, 2022

After nearly three years of aiming to eliminate COVID-19 through mass lockdowns, contact tracing programs and travel bans, the Chinese government has announced it is rolling back the “zero-COVID” policies that helped suppress the spread of the coronavirus.

hospital chaplains

December 2, 2022

When Americans picture a chaplain, many of them likely think of someone like the Irish American priest who cared for soldiers in “M.A.S.H.” The reality is more complex.

donald trump

December 1, 2022

Assistant professor of politics Zachary Albert studies political campaigns, partisan polarization, and public policy-making. He took some time to talk with BrandeisNow about the midterms and what could lie ahead.


November 18, 2022

While modern witchcraft is inclusive of many different genders and identities, witches in ancient myth and literature were almost exclusively women. Their stories were in part about navigating gender roles and power in a patriarchal system.

mitsu salmon

November 16, 2022

Assistant professor of theater arts Mitsu Salmon creates original performance and visual works that fuse multiple disciplines, but she has a special connection to butoh.

patent illustration

November 9, 2022

Some inventors continue to be productive well into their later years, although the characteristics of inventions differ by the age of the inventor, according to new research on patent filings.

jane kondev

November 8, 2022

Jané Kondev, a physicist at Brandeis University, discusses his work using the tools of mathematics and theoretical physics to uncover laws that govern the inner workings of cells.

toni shapiro phim

October 24, 2022

Toni Shapiro-Phim has worked as a researcher, writer, curator, educator, film director, and activist following her earliest passion - dance.

brandeis statue

October 14, 2022

During the past five years, a primary focus for the School of Arts and Sciences has been the recruitment and retention of field-leading faculty of color.

a statue with a golden crown of laurels

October 7, 2022

Why does the honor of being a Nobel laureate persist as part of someone’s name or title, like a heroic epithet to recognize a life’s achievement?

house of dragons

September 19, 2022

"House of the Dragon," depicts a world spun of fantasy. But the noble Targaryan family depicted in the series face challenges similar to those of the medieval royalty who inspired their personas, according to Dorothy Kim.

sarah mead

September 1, 2022

Sarah Mead discovered her sound at a young age through a unique instrument — the viola da gamba. Familiarly known as the ‘viol,’ this instrument has six strings, frets, and is primarily featured in European music from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

summer arts

August 10, 2022

When Brandeis' creative arts faculty aren't working with students on campus, they can often be found in art galleries, museums, theaters, and performance halls. This summer, Brandeis arts faculty have had a full slate of activity.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine

July 31, 2022

Brandeis researchers are embarking on a five-year study to examine activity in a small nucleus in the brain that could identify Alzheimer's disease at earlier stages than ever before.

A 12th-century commentary on the Book of Job shows Satan transmitting a disease to him.

July 19, 2022

Professor Madadh Richey examines some of the Bible's most monstrous characters. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Sacha Nelson, Susan Birren, Eve Marder and Gina Turrigiano

July 14, 2022

A team of Brandeis scientists have been awarded $1 million in funding from the W.M. Keck Foundation to study how the human brain interfaces with the sympathetic nervous system.

assisted dying illustration

July 6, 2022

Several states around the U.S. are currently considering whether to legalize medical aid in dying for terminally ill patients. More than 20% of Americans already live in a state with access to a medically assisted death. Despite this rapidly changing legal climate, the language for describing this new way to die remains surprisingly antiquated.

retiring faculty

June 23, 2022

Their disciplines span astrophysics, international law, Chinese-language instruction, and music performance and composition. Collectively, they spent 471 years introducing generations of students to the liberal arts. 

jeremy swist

June 21, 2022

Jeremy Swist, a lecturer in the classical studies department, has combined two of his longstanding interests by resarching heavy metal music’s frequent use of the symbols and leaders of the ancient Roman Empire.

marta kauffman and chad williams

June 16, 2022

The co-creator of the hit sitcoms “Friends” and “Grace and Frankie” has pledged $4 million to establish the first endowed chair in the department’s 50-year history.

harriet tubman

June 14, 2022

Harriet Tubman was barely 5 feet tall and didn’t have a dime to her name. What she did have was a deep faith and powerful passion for justice that was fueled by a network of Black and white abolitionists determined to end slavery in America.

proud boy vest

June 13, 2022

Since 2006, professor Jytte Klausen has led the Western Jihadism Project, which studies and closely tracks the movements and behavior of individuals associated with terrorist groups.

painting of antigone and oedipus

June 6, 2022

The official count of Americans lost to COVID-19 has surpassed 1 million. It is the latest grim milestone that has marked the progression of deaths and infections since the virus took hold in the U.S. in March 2020.

anti semite poses with a flag

May 13, 2022

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 was a low point in the history of American antisemitism. The organization tallied 2,717 antisemitic incidents for that year, the most since it began collecting data in 1979.

professors who won teaching awards in 2022

May 6, 2022

Six Brandeis faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom with 2022 teaching, mentoring and service awards.

anita hannig

May 6, 2022

Professor Anita Hannig appears on WBUR to discuss the profound link between birth and death on Mother's Day.

Wangui Muigai

April 26, 2022

Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and History Wangui Muigai has been named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, becoming the second Brandeis faculty member to be chosen by the program.

green illustration

April 21, 2022

Across the Brandeis campus, community members are coming together to learn more, take action, and slow the effects of climate change.

elizabeth bradfield

April 4, 2022

Elizabeth Bradfield, professor of creative writing, is the author of five poetry books. When she isn’t publishing her stories or encouraging students to write their own, she can be found outside, leading whale watches or interpretive walks on Cape Cod (or not found at all).


March 30, 2022

As the pandemic surged in the spring of 2020, college students saw their lives disrupted by COVID-19’s sudden emergence. Their classes moved to Zoom, study abroad programs were canceled, and many summer internships fell through.

pauli murray

February 28, 2022

Sociology professor Karen V. Hansen introduces students to the lives of those who have pushed society to change, including late Brandeis professor Pauli Murray.

Students in a course on teaching literacy in elementary school practice reading to each other as if they are reading to an elementary school class

February 22, 2022

Faculty and staff across Brandeis are joining forces to expand access to inclusive children’s literature.

Harry Mairson poses with a violin

February 6, 2022

Computer Science Professor Harry Mairson’s focus outside the classroom is on building violins, violas, and violoncellos. And he’s brought his digital tools to this work.

tsunami warning sign

January 19, 2022

Writing for The Conversation, Assistant Professor of Climate Science Sally Warner explains the science behind tsunamis. 
Yellowstone National Park

January 14, 2022

Finding a direct connection between the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and its effectiveness in expanding conservation in the region has been an ever-elusive goal of environmental studies lecturer Charles Chester.

cascading lives collage

December 9, 2021

Brandeis sociologist Karen V. Hansen delves into the life histories of people working in the hospitality industry.

A rendering of Piedras Negras

November 29, 2021

New research shakes up what we know about the fall of ancient Maya kingdoms.

$100 bill with a medical mask over Benjamin Franklin's face

November 5, 2021

It’s unclear when the pandemic will come to an end and whether the U.S. will be prepared for the next one. The past year and a half suggests that the answer may be no.

colin powell

October 18, 2021

Chad Williams is the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Brandeis. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

texas monument

September 8, 2021

Professor Joel Christensen BA/MA '01 discusses how the trauma of 9/11 affected Americans’ vision of their shared history—a feedback loop that is reflected in the myths of ancient Greece.

sign on the appalachian trail

August 16, 2021

The Appalachian Trail, North America’s most famous hiking route, stretches over 2,189 mountainous miles (3,520 kilometers) from Georgia to Maine. 

woman at a rally speaks with a microphone

July 29, 2021

When the pandemic pulled so many students away from Brandeis last year, assistant professor of sociology Gowri Vijayakumar retooled her annual “Social Movements” class to reconnect them to the geography of campus through its history of protest.

a surfer rides a wave

July 26, 2021

For the first time, surfing is on the Olympic stage. The surfing event will last for three days and has to run within the dates from July 25 to August 1. The reason for this window? Organizers and surfers will wait for the best day full of the best waves to hold the competition.

collage of aapi americans demonstrating

July 21, 2021

The program was involved with a panel discussion on Asian Americans in the age of COVID-19, an Indigenous Peoples' Day teach-in, and a vigil in the aftermath of the Atlanta spa shootings.

This cryo-electron microphotograph shows a pre-assembled icosahedral shell fragment of DNA that has trapped a hepatitis B virus core particle of 30 nm diameter

July 19, 2021

The tragedy of the global COVID-19 pandemic presented Brandeis scientists with a moonshot idea: using those tiny geometric structures to act as an antiviral agent. And it worked.  

Ulka Anjaria stands in front of the Mandel Center for the Humanities

July 6, 2021

Brandeis professor Ulka Anjaria has taken the baton from professor Ramie Targoff and begun serving as the second Jehuda Reinharz Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for the Humanities.

benjamin netanyahu

June 15, 2021

Benjamin Netanyahu has been ousted as Israel’s Prime Minister after a no-confidence vote by the Knesset. With Naftali Bennett ascending to Prime Minister, Israel may be on the cusp of change.

illustration of woman stressed out in her office

June 4, 2021

The stress of the past year put unprecedented demands on college students all over the country, and thanks to assistant professor of psychology Hannah Snyder and her lab, we now understand more about that experience.

red theater curtains

June 1, 2021

Professor Joel Christensen argues that ritual practices from ancient Athens, particularly its plays and communal theatrical events, may have some answers to these questions.

jonathan sarna

May 25, 2021

The notion of a united Jewish American community bound together by common beliefs has been eroded by rising a growing divide between religious and nonreligious Jews.

illustration of a person's chest

May 5, 2021

Every year, more than six billion doses of flu (influenza) vaccine are administered to people around the world. But by the following year, the virus has mutated, and we need to create another vaccine to deal with the new strain. 

illustration of the odyssey

May 4, 2021

In the ancient Greek epic “The Odyssey,” Homer’s hero, Odysseus, describes the wild land of the Cyclops as a place where people don’t gather together in public, where each person makes decisions for their own family and “care nothing for one another.”

Susan Lovett

April 28, 2021

Susan Lovett, the Abraham S. and Gertrude Burg Professor of Microbiology, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences this week, one of the nation’s most prestigious scientific advisory societies.

Lucia Reyes de Deu; Sacha Nelson;  Wangui Muigai; Ulka Anjaria; Govind Sreenivasan

April 20, 2021

Students, faculty and alumni annually nominate faculty for these teaching and mentoring awards.

Carol Fierke

April 22, 2021

Fierke was admitted to the prestigious institution along with activist and scholar Angela Davis '65.

Decorative collage

March 15, 2021

In a upcoming Critical Conversation, faculty members will explore how our self-identity is challenged by works of art.

Ramie Targoff

March 5, 2021

Ramie Targoff, professor of English, co-chair of Italian studies, and the inaugural Jehuda Reinharz Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for the Humanities, will step down as director in June after leading the center since its inception 11 years ago.
Wendy Cage

March 1, 2021

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab receives a $1.5 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust for a three-year study and conversation about the demand for the work of chaplaincy and spiritual care across the United States.
Black Lives Matter Fist

February 19, 2021

Past winners of the Gittler Prize and Richman Fellowship look ahead.

Two types of cellular proteins — kinesin and microtubules — interacting to create a vortex under the microscope.

February 18, 2021

Researchers at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) are harnessing the power of swirling cellular proteins to create self-propelling fluids.

Pride mural

February 10, 2021

Professor Joe Wardwell's new installation at a public library in the Boston neighborhood lifts the voices of local poets.
2009 Presidential Inauguration

January 20, 2021

Professor Leah Wright Rigueur explains the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as part of a series of videos released by Joe Biden's inauguration committee ahead of his inauguration.
A supporter of US President Donald Trump wears a gas mask and holds a bust of him outside the Capitol building on January 6.

January 12, 2021

Janet McIntosh, professor of linguistic anthropology, discusses with BrandeisNow what Trump said to a crowd of thousands before they violently breached the U.S. Capital and why these words are important.
Protesters at the U.S. Capital

January 8, 2021

Politics professor and terrorism expert Jytte Klausen discusses the siege of the United States Capitol.

Odysseus aims an arrow at his wife's suitors

January 4, 2021

Joel Christensen, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, provides a perspective comparing ancient Greek societal conflict with modern communal chaos.

An artist's rendering of the likely kidnapping scenario from the New York Daily News, March 3, 1932.

December 18, 2020

For Professor of American Studies Tom Doherty, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case is the perfect story.
Gannit Ankori stands in front of an installation at The Rose

December 15, 2020

Brandeis University has named Gannit Ankori as the Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum, effective January 1, 2021.
African-American female holds a grey, doll-house sized house in her arms in front of several large red houses.

December 14, 2020

Sociologist Sarah Mayorga argues that even though well-intentioned, the pursuit of diversity can blind us to the underlying racism in society.

Photo of jazz artist Thelonious Monk and recording stars Lauryn Hill and Drake.

December 9, 2020

In his class Hip-hop History and Culture, Professor Chad Williams charts the trajectory of the musical genre from its roots in the African Diaspora to Cardi B.

illustration of an African American boy and a white girl in front of a school bus

December 7, 2020

When Derron Wallace learned about a survey taken by families and students in Boston Public Schools on remote learning and school reopening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw an opportunity to use his expertise to make a difference.

Bulbul Chakraborty

November 24, 2020

Brandeis physicist Bulbul Chakraborty has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

a robotic hand types on a laptop

November 19, 2020

James Pustejovsky is working towards a classroom where teachers are working alongside artificial intelligence partners to ensure no student gets left behind. The project is part of the new $20 million National Science Foundation-funded AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming.
covid vaccine

November 3, 2020

Disinformation about vaccines is on the rise on social media and leading to decreases in vaccination rates over time, according to a new study co-authored by Brandeis politics professor Steven Wilson.

eve marder

September 18, 2020

"I have always thought of theory in biology as disciplined dreaming," Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Biolog Eve Marder writes in a new essay in eLife.

brandeis new faculty banner

September 4, 2020

Brandeis is welcoming 34 new full-time faculty members and postdoctoral fellows to the university community this fall.

collage of WGS faculty and students

August 31, 2020

This summer it shed its interdepartmental program status, officially becoming an academic department, approved by the Board of Trustees and the faculty senate.

margie lachman

August 19, 2020

New research by psychology professor Margie Lachman's lab shows long-lasting effects on brain performance from child- and adulthood trauma.


August 10, 2020

With their new grant from the National Science Foundation, MRSEC scientists are seeking to build the next generation of nano-sized machines and materials.

judge pounds a gavel

July 1, 2020

Jonathan Touboul and his collaborators used artificial intelligence to predict monetary awards in employment disputes. They've now made their program available to the public.

African American boy holds up a protest sign

June 20, 2020

Read Carina Ray's New York Times opinion piece about a conversation she had with her son regarding racism and police violence in the United States. 

Hansen smiling

June 10, 2020

Hansen was awarded $100,000 grant for an 18-month poverty and economic mobility study and will partner with Boston University professor Nazli Kibria. 

the five awardees smiling

May 27, 2020

Antonella Di Lillo, Hannah Muller, Faith Smith, Timothy Streets, and Michael Willrich have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom with 2019-20 teaching awards.
illustration of the covid19 virus

April 27, 2020

Computational linguist James Pustejovsky developed an artificial intelligence program at Brandeis to help biologists find a coronavirus cure. 
Professor Sengupta smiling

November 26, 2019

Professor of biology Piali Sengupta has been selected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Amber Spry smiling

October 28, 2019

With the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump well underway, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Politics Amber Spry, offers up her expertise in political attitudes and polling.

Shapiro-Phim points camera at dancers

October 21, 2019

Dancer, anthropologist and human rights practitioner Toni Shapiro-Phim has joined the faculty of the Creativity, Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) minor, initiated and administered by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. She recently sat down with her colleague and fellow anthropologist Leigh Swigart to describe her longtime engagement in the field of human rights and the arts.

professor chad williams posing in front of large glass window

August 1, 2019

On NPR podcast, Chad Williams, the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Chair in History and chair of the African and African American studies department, discusses the series of violent attacks against African American soldiers upon their return from World War I between April and November 1919.

tory fair, left, discusses her work with podcast moderator Jen Mergel, right.

June 18, 2019

In Voices of Contemporary Art podcast, fine arts' Tory Fair (left) discusses how her research and interviews with artists, presented in a 1996 exhibition "More Than Minimal: Feminism and Abstraction," inspired her latest work.

Award winners, from left, elizabeth brainerd, naghmeh sohrabi and keith merrill.

May 6, 2019

Elizabeth Brainerd (left), the Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in Economics and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Naghmeh Sohrabi (center), the Charles (Corky) Goodman Chair in Middle East History; and Keith Merrill, assistant professor of mathematics were recognized for their excellence in the classroom.

“I am grateful to my colleagues at Brandeis and to the unusual environment here that allows researchers to explore without boundaries while also engaging students in the process of discovery. This is a very special — perhaps unique — university.”

Nobel Laureate Michael Rosbash

The Peter Gruber Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Biology