Edward L. Ayers became president of the University of Richmond in 2007. Previously he served as Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is a spokesperson and advocate for the humanities who is known for his pioneering work in digital and public humanities. He was the Founding Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Digital History and co-founder of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Dr. Ayers also directed the prize-winning online history project, The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War. Since 2008, he has co-hosted a nationally syndicated public radio call-in show, BackStory with the American History Guys.
Dr. Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year and is a winner of both the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492. He teaches first-year students at the University of Richmond and collaborates with the University’s Digital Scholarship Lab.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Ayers serves on the boards of the American Council for Education, the National Humanities Center, and a range of historical and community organizations in Richmond, Virginia.
Stanley Fish is the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida International University in Miami, and Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Previously, he taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins and Duke University. A well-known public intellectual, he writes frequently on the politics of the university and maintains a New York Times blog where he comments regularly on the humanities, education, law and society.
Dr. Fish is the author of numerous books and articles, including How Milton Works, Is There a Text in This Class? Interpretive Communities and the Sources of Authority, The Trouble With Principle, Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change, There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech: And It’s a Good Thing, Too, and Save the World on Your Own Time. His essays and articles have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire and The Atlantic.