2013 Mellon Professorships


Senior Mellon Professorship

cooleySince 2010, we have been able to use endowed funds from the Mellon foundation to recognize outstanding scholars in the humanities. Our first Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in the Humanities was held by Dennis Kehoe for the allotted term of three years. With the end of his term, we now appoint the second Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in the Humanities: Peter Cooley of the Department of English.

Peter Cooley is one of our most productive faculty members and admired teachers. He has published nine books of verse and hundreds of poems in both little magazines and esteemed trade publications such as the New Yorker and North American Review, for which he long served as poetry editor. His status in New Orleans was recognized this fall by his award of the Gold Medal in Poetry from the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. In addition, he is an outstanding teacher whose students have gone on to become successful writers. He is instrumental in making the Creative Writing program at Tulane the jewel it is.

The impact of Peter’s words was recently demonstrated at an alumni gathering in which Peter served as the guest speaker. Reading a dozen poems or so, he moved and enchanted the audience, and demonstrated the true power of the humanities to all in attendance.

Young Mellon Professorship

cohenA Young Mellon Professorship is awarded to Michael Cohen, an assistant professor in the department of Jewish Studies. Michael’s first book, The Birth of Conservative Judaism: Solomon Schechter’s Disciples and the Creation of an American Religious Movement, was recently published by Columbia University Press and has begun to receive outstanding reviews. He is now turning his attention to a new book-length project that will explore the role of Jewish bankers in the South during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. He has already published one journal article on this subject and will present his research at the World Congress of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Recently, he received a fellowship to the Center for Jewish History and will join a working group on Jewish Economic History.



Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225,