Andrew Delbanco

Andrew Delbanco, winner of the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates, is the author of Melville: His World and Work (2005), The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), The Real American Dream (1999), and The Puritan Ordeal(1989), among other books. Most recently, he wrote College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (2012)--student can read an essay from it here. His work has been translated into several languages, including German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Chinese.

Professor Delbanco's essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education. In 2001, he was named by Time Magazine as "America's Best Social Critic" and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, a trustee of the Teagle Foundation, the Library of America, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center.

In February 2012, President Barack Obama presented Professor Delbanco with the National Humanities Medal for his writings on higher education and the place classic authors hold in history and contemporary life.

Professor Delbanco's Courses

  • Foundations of American Literature. (Lecture). Introduction to American thought and expression from the first English settlements to the eve of the Civil War. Writers include the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville. Themes include the rise of an American national consciousness, the transformation of religion, ideas of nature and democracy, debates over immigration, race, and slavery. The course proceeds through a combination of lecture and discussion with the aim of deepening our understanding of the origins and development of literature and culture in the United States.