Interim Dean, Divinity School
Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
David Nirenberg is Interim Dean of the Divinity School and the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought.
Nirenberg holds an academic appointment in the College and six academic appointments across the Social Sciences and Humanities Divisions, as well as in the Divinity School, the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, the Department of History, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Center for Jewish Studies.
A prolific scholar, he has focused his research on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic societies have interacted with and thought about each other. He is the author of a number of books, including Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (1996), Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism (2011), Race and Blood in the Iberian World (2012), Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013), Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today (2014), and Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics (2015). Nirenberg is currently collaborating on a book exploring the relative claims of different forms of knowledge, in the hope of discovering new ways of understanding both the powers and the limits of the sciences and the humanities. He has written extensively on other subjects ranging from love to set theory. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, serves on many editorial boards and advisory panels, and has been a regular contributor to publications such as The Nation, The New Republic, and the London Review of Books.
Nirenberg earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1986 and his doctorate in history from Princeton University in 1992. He joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2006. He was the founding Director of the Neubauer Collegium and served as the Dean of the Division of Social Sciences from 2014 to 2018. He previously served on the faculties of Rice University and Johns Hopkins University and has developed a significant international presence as a scholar. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Haifa in 2016, has held visiting professorships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is an Associate of Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.