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Directors and Staff

Lori Lefkovitz, Director, Northeastern Humanities Center
Lori Hope Lefkovitz, a professor of English and director of the Jewish Studies Program, holds the Ruderman Chair in Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. Widely published in interdisciplinary fields within literary and Jewish studies, her books include The Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel; Textual Bodies:  Changing Boundaries of Literary Representation; Shaping Losses:  Cultural Memory and the Holocaust (edited with Julia Epstein), and In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identities, a finalist for the 2010 National Jewish Book Award in the category of women’s studies. She had been an associate professor at Kenyon College and held the Gottesman Chair at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, from which she was awarded an honorary doctorate, and where she had been the founding director of Kolot, the Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies. A graduate of Brandeis University with a PhD in English from Brown University, Lefkovitz was awarded a Woodrow Wilson dissertation fellowship in the Women’s Studies Division, has been a Fulbright Professor and a Golda Meir fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an associate fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and a post-doctoral fellow at the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis.


Sari Altschuler, Associate Director, Northeastern Humanities Center
Sari Altschuler’s research focuses primarily on American literature and culture before 1865, literature and medicine, disability studies, and the health humanities, broadly understood. Her book The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States is scheduled for publication in February 2018 with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her work has appeared in leading journals, including Early American Literature, American Literature, American Literary History, PMLA, and The Lancet, and she serves on the advisory board of American Quarterly. She won the Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic Dissertation Prize and the Society of Early Americanists Essay Prize. She is also the recipient of prizes and fellowships, including long-term awards from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She was an assistant professor of English and core faculty member of the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University before joining the Northeastern faculty.


Gabrielle Fiorenza, Events and Administrative Operations Manager, Northeastern Humanities Center
Gabrielle Fiorenza is the Events and Administrative Operations Manager for the CSSH Office of the Dean and Humanities Center at Northeastern University. She graduated from Simmons College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing with minors in Studio Art and Writing in Communications. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Project Management with a concentration in Project Business Analysis at Northeastern University. Her primary responsibilities at the Humanities Center include leading college-wide event logistics, managing all budgets and communications for the center, and providing administrative support to the Director and Associate Director.


Headshot of Carla Kaplan

Carla Kaplan, Founding Director, 2008-2011
Carla Kaplan, a professor of English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, holds the Davis Distinguished Professorship in American Literature and writes on modern, African-American, and women’s history and culture. She has published five books, including the award-winning Miss Anne in Harlem: the White Women of the Black Renaissance (HarperCollins) and Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (Doubleday/Anchor), both New York Times Notable Books, and writes occasionally for such publications as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times,and The Nation. Forthcoming books include Queen of the Muckrakers: the Life of Jessica Mitford, also with HarperCollins and a Norton Critical Edition of Nella Larsen’s Passing. Kaplan founded the Northeastern Humanities Center and has been a resident fellow at numerous humanities centers and institutes, including the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York City Public Library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. Kaplan has received teaching awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and elsewhere.  She is a recently elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians.