Professor Hilton Als Named Presidential Visiting Scholar at Princeton

BY Audrey Deng, June 18, 2020

Associate Professor Hilton Als will join Princeton University this 2020-2021 academic year as an inaugural Presidential Visiting Scholar. According to Princeton, the visiting scholars program “is intended to support visitors from academic or professional fields who can contribute to the University’s diversity, broadly defined.”


At Princeton, Als will teach the course “Yaas Queen: Gay Men, Straight Women, and the Literature, Art, Film of Hagdom.” The course will be cross-listed with the creative writing and theatre programs as well as the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Als will also mentor students in fiction, poetry and playwriting.


Princeton University’s Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni said, “We’re excited to be launching this program as a way to bring outstanding scholars to Princeton, and Hilton Als is a fantastic selection as our inaugural Presidential Visiting Scholar.” 


At Columbia University, Als has taught courses like “Poet’s Prose,” “Wright/Baldwin,” "Queer Criticism," and “Black Male.”

Recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in October 1994, and a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for “The Talk of the Town.” Before coming to The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. He has also written articles for The Nation and collaborated on film scripts for Swoon and Looking for Langston. Als edited the catalogue for the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition entitled Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art, which ran from November 1994 to March 1995. His first book, The Women, a meditation on gender, race, and personal identity, was published in 1996. His most recent book, White Girls, discusses various narratives around race and gender. In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for Creative Writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond on Cold Water, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. In 2010, he co-curated Self-Consciousness at the Veneklasen Werner Gallery in Berlin, and published Justin Bond/Jackie Curtis, his third book. Als has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.