Louis Menand is a staff writer at the New Yorker and a professor of English at Harvard University.
Recent Event
Is History a Myth? The Meaning of The Family of Man
February 21, 2019
Miami University
Simpkins Family Professorship
Louis Menand named Lee Simpkins Family Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, July 1, 2018.


The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 7, Modernism and the New Criticism
Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000
The Rise of the Research University: A Sourcebook
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017
The Future of Academic Freedom
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996
Pragmatism: A Reader
New York: Vintage, 1997
Discovering Modernism: T. S. Eliot and His Context
New York: Oxford University Press, 1987
The Marketplace of Ideas
New York: W.W. Norton, 2010
The Metaphysical Club
New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001
American Studies
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002


2019 Value of the Humanities Lecture
Is History a Myth? The Meaning of The Family of Man
Competing accounts of what it means to be a human being in the Cold War and after.
February 21, 2019
Miami University
Harry Camp Memorial Lecture
Conditions for the Possibility of Rock’n’ Roll
An Exercise in Cultural History
The historical conditions that made Elvis Presley and the Beatles possible.
March 14, 2018
Stanford University
Keynote lecture
The University’s Responsibility to the Truth
Student activism, free speech, and academic freedom. What is at stake for liberal education? What can we learn from history? How should academics respond?
March 3, 2018
Pomona College Trustee-Faculty Retreat, San Diego


Louis Menand is the Lee Simpkins Family Professor or Arts and Sciences and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard, where he also holds the title Harvard College Professor, in recognition of his teaching. His books include The Metaphysical Club, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History, the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, and the Heartland Prize from the Chicago Tribune.

He has been associate editor of The New Republic (1986–1987), an editor at The New Yorker (1993–1994), and contributing editor of The New York Review of Books (1994–2001). Since 2001, he has been a staff writer at The New Yorker, which he began writing for in 1991. In 2016, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

He writes about nineteenth- and twentieth-century cultural history and about higher education, past, present, and future. He has taught at Princeton, Columbia, Queens College, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he was Distinguished Professor of English. He has been a vice president of PEN American Center and the Program Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and has served on the Board of  Supervisors of the English Institute and as a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Humanities Center.

At Harvard, he co-founded, with Stephen Greenblatt, Humanities 10: An Introductory Humanities Colloquium, a year-long team-taught course for freshmen, with readings in literature and philosophy from Homer to Gabriel García Márquez. He also teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on the history of literary theory and on postwar cultural history. He was co-chair, with Alison Simmons, of the Task Force on General Education, which produced a new general education curriculum at Harvard.

He is married to Alison Simmons, a professor of philosophy at  Harvard. They live in Cambridge.


Louis Menand

Harvard University
Department of English
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Cambridge, MA 02138
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