photo of annual faculty book celebration

Faculty Book Celebration

Recognizing the milestone of publication and the creative achievement of our faculty

Let Your Talent Be Your Guide

2022 Faculty Book Celebration

Charles Johnson, professor emeritus, University of Washington, author of novels, short stories, screen- and teleplays, and essays

4 pm | Thursday, March 3, 2022
This event is scheduled be held via Zoom and in person; follow the link below to the event page to register. 


Philosopher, novelist, screenwriter — Charles Johnson is the wildly prolific and widely acclaimed author of Middle Passage (National Book Award), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (PEN/Faulkner Award nominee), Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970, and the PBS drama Booker (Writers Guild Award).

In his keynote address for the Faculty Book Celebration, Charles Johnson describes the journey that took him from being a cartoonist and journalist in his late teens and early twenties to becoming a novelist, philosopher, literary scholar, essayist, short story and screen writer, and a college professor. The spirit of this journey is captured in a statement by John Muir: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

Washington University faculty speakers: Diana Montaño, assistant professor, Department of History (Electrifying Mexico: Technology and the Transformation of a Modern City); and Julia Walker, associate professor, Department of English; and associate professor and chair, Performing Arts Department (Performance and Modernity: Enacting Change on the Globalizing Stage)

Past Faculty Book Celebrations

“What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?” (2020)

Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Washington University faculty speakers: Douglas Flowe, assistant professor of history; and Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies


“Blackface Broken Records: On the Eve of the Blues Feminist Experiment” (2020)

Daphne Brooks, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, and Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

Washington University faculty speakers: William Acree, associate professor of Spanish, American culture studies (Affiliate) and performing arts (Affiliate), and associate Director, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity; and Jonathan Fenderson, assistant professor of African and African-American studies


“Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conservation” (2019)

Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell University

Washington University faculty speakers: John Hendrix, associate professor of art; and Michelle Purdy, assistant professor of education


“The Origins of Today’s Billionaire-Funded Radical Right and the Crisis of American Democracy” (2018)

Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University 

Washington University faculty speakers: Joanna Dee Das, assistant professor of dance; and Corinna Treitel, associate professor of history


“The Humanities After 2016: What Do We Want to Become?” (2017)

Sidonie Smith, the Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities, professor of English and women’s studies, director, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan

Washington University faculty speakers: Ron Mallon, associate professor of philosophy; and Sowande’ Mustakeem, assistant professor of history and of African and African-American studies

“The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions” (2015–16)

Christiane Gruber, associate professor, history of art, University of Michigan

Washington University faculty speakers: Catherine Keane, associate professor of classics; and Zhao Ma, assistant professor of modern Chinese history and culture

“From ‘Plessy’ to Ferguson: Why the Humanities Matter Now” (2014)

George Lipsitz, Professor of Black Studies and Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Washington University faculty speakers: Paige McGinley, assistant professor of performing arts; and Ignacio Sánchez Prado, associate professor of romance languages and literatures

“Books, Libraries, and the Digital Future” (2013)

Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard

Washington University faculty speakers: Shefali Chandra, associate professor of history; and Ignacio Infante, assistant professor of comparative literature and of Spanish

“The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen” (2012)

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University

Washington University faculty speakers: Mary Jo Bang, professor of English; and Nancy Reynolds, associate professor of history, of Jewish, Islamic and near Eastern languages and cultures, and of women, gender and sexuality studies

“Of Books and the Internet” and “An Evening with Roz Chast” (2011)

Douglas Brinkley, noted author and commentator, professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy; and Roz Chast, staff cartoonist for The New Yorker

Washington University faculty speakers: Peter Kastor, associate professor of history and of American culture studies; Jessica Rosenfeld, assistant professor of English; Akiko Tsuchiya, professor of Spanish and of women, gender, and sexuality studies; and Craig Monson, professor of music

“Academic Publishing in Transition” (2010)

 Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University

Washington University faculty speakers: Anca E. Parvulescu, assistant professor of English; and William E. Wallace, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History & Archaeology

Eighth Annual Faculty Book Celebration (2009)

Louis Menand, essayist, literary critic, journalist, and author

Washington University faculty speakers: William Lowry, professor of political; and Lori Watt, assistant professor of history and International & Area Studies

Faculty Book Celebration & International Humanities Prize Ceremony (2008)

Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California-Berkeley, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and author of five books

Washington University faculty speakers: Beata Grant, professor of modern Chinese language and literature, and Patrick Burke, assistant professor of music

“The Writer’s (Secret) Life: Woundedness, Rejection, and Inspiration” (2007)

Joyce Carol Oates, award-winning author

Washington University faculty speakers: Ahmet T. Karamustafa, professor of history, of religious studies and of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern studies; and Marina MacKay, assistant professor of English

Faculty Book Celebration & Inaugural International Humanities Prize Ceremony (2006)

Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize-winning novelist

Washington University faculty speakers: John R. Bowen, the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences; and Lingchei Letty Chen, assistant professor of modern Chinese language and literature