CMS is both very sad and proud to announce that CMS Director Suzanne Akbari will become the new medievalist at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). Below is her letter announcing this news to us, at the Centre. If you want to read about her nomination (and great research), please click here. We hope to celebrate Prof. Akbari and thank her for her service as CMS Director in the early Fall.
“Dear CMS colleagues, both staff and faculty,
I’m writing to share some news, which some of you already are aware of (on a ‘need to know’ basis), but which only becomes public knowledge this week. I’ve been offered a faculty position in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, starting this fall. With the permission of the Dean, I will continue to be a regular faculty member at U of T in 2019-20, on an unpaid leave of absence; from 1 July 2020, I’ll be an associate member of the graduate faculty, able to continue to supervise doctoral students and sit on committees, and to take on new supervisions (jointly with a local U of T-based co-supervisor).
With regard to graduate supervision and research activity, I think that very little will change: I will be keeping my apartment in Toronto and continuing to work on some collaborative research projects, and therefore in town about once a month, at least for the first year. I’ll still be up frequently thereafter, not least because my daughter Sara is staying in Toronto. I’m eager to remain a member of the CMS community, as completely as you’ll still have me.
This appointment came as a great surprise to me, and I’m still not quite settled in my mind. I didn’t apply for the job, and must have been nominated; immediately after the tentative offer, at the end of January, I was just shocked, and then delighted. In the last few weeks, though, I’ve become preoccupied by mixed feelings: pleased at this new opportunity to build community in a very different environment, and hopefully to have new avenues for public humanities engagement (which, as many of you know, is important to me); but also sad at leaving familiar environments, dear friends, colleagues, and students.
Suzanne Conklin Akbari
Director, Centre for Medieval Studies (on leave, 2018-19)
Professor, English and Medieval Studies
University of Toronto”