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Studying the liberal arts ... is crucial for democracy.

Author, Scholar, & Educator. 

As an educator, I stand firm in my belief that we must study literature, arts, and history in order to both be acutely aware of the state of our society while also doing what we can to reconnect divided communities. I am the Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at Johns Hopkins University. I write and teach on literature, philosophy, and the history of science. Some of my courses include: Poets, Physicists, Philosophers, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality; The Cosmic Imagination; Baroque Literature and Thought; Horror in Spanish Literature; and The Invention of Fiction.

I am the author of multiple books, including How the World Became a Stage (2003), Perversity and Ethics (2006), A Wrinkle in History (2007), The Philosopher’s Desire (2007), The Theater of Truth (2010), In Defense of Religious Moderation (2011), The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World (2016), The Splintering of the American Mind (2018) and, with David Castillo, Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media (Bloomsbury, 2018), What Would Cervantes Do? Navigating Post-Truth With Spanish Baroque Literature (McGill-Queens UP, 2022), The Rigor of Angels (Pantheon, 2023), and Jodorowsky (Bloomsbury, 2024). 

I am also the co-editor, with Mike Sandbothe, of The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy  (2004) and, with David E. Johnson, of Thinking With Borges (2009), as well as the translator of Lisa Block de Behar’s Borges, the Passion of an Endless Quotation (2003). 

Get in Touch.

 Office Phone:  (410) 516-7510   |    Email: 

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