Faculty & Staff

Visiting Faculty

Every year, the Yale Journalism Initiative will bring to campus as visiting professors two highly regarded working journalists, one in the fall and one in the spring. The journalists will be selected for their wide-ranging professional experience, their reputations in the field, and their demonstrated eagerness to teach students and serve as mentors. Each semester, the Visiting Journalist will teach a section of English 467, Journalism.

Visiting Journalist for Fall 2015:

Steven Brill

Steven Brill, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, is the author of the bestselling The Teamsters. He founded The American Lawyer magazine in 1979, which expanded into a chain of legal publications. In 1991 he founded cable’s Court TV. After selling his interests in those businesses in 1997, he founded Brill’s Content, a magazine about the media, which closed in 2001. After September 11, 2001, Brill became a columnist for Newsweek and an analyst for NBC on issues related to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. For more information on Steven Brill, see the English Department Web site.

Visiting Journalist for Spring 2016:

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. Woodward won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2003. The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Albert Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”

Other Faculty Teaching Relevant Courses

Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is an essayist and reporter. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, her account of the crosscultural conflicts between a Hmong family and the American medical system, won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, is a book about books (buying them, writing in their margins, and arguing with her husband on how to shelve them). Her essays and articles have appeared in Harper’sThe New Yorker, and The New York Times, among other publications. She is the only writer to have won National Magazine Awards for both reporting (on elderly suicide) and essays (on the multiple and often contradictory meanings of the American flag). Fadiman has also edited a literary quarterly, The American Scholar, and two essay anthologies. As Francis Writer-in-Residence, she teaches nonfiction writing and serves as a mentor to students who are considering careers in writing or editing. For more information on Anne Fadiman, see the English Department Web site.

Fred Strebeigh

Fred Strebeigh has written for publications including American HeritageAtlantic MonthlyAudubon, E: The Environmental Magazine,Legal AffairsNew RepublicReader’s DigestRussian LifeSierraSmithsonian, and the New York Times Magazine. Topics on which he has published include the history and origins of nature writing, the arts and crafts movement in America, the role of the bicycle as a cultural force in China, educational exchange between China and the United States, the creation of a dictionary of American dialects, pressures on the Antarctic treaty system, natural and social conditions in the Falkland Islands, the race to create radar during World War II, traces of early man in southern Africa, the rise of feminist law, saving whales from fishing nets off the coast of Newfoundland, the impact of environmental issues on the presidential election in 2004, and defending the world’s largest system of scientific nature reserves in Russia. For W. W. Norton he is now completing a book, Equal: Women Reshape American Law, which began with an article he wrote for the New York Times Magazine. In a national student writing competition run since 1997 by the Atlantic Monthly, work written for Fred Strebeigh’s upper-level courses has received a fifth of all awards and a quarter of all prizes in nonfiction (including half of the nonfiction awards announced in the May 2005 Atlantic). His teaching in 2004 received Yale’s DeVane medal, presented each year by Phi Beta Kappa to one member of the university’s active faculty. For more information on Fred Strebeigh, visit his website or see the English Department Web site.

Cynthia Zarin

Cynthia Zarin joined The New Yorker in 1982, as an assistant to William Shawn. She was a staff writer from 1984 to 1994 and returned to the magazine as a staff writer in 2004. Her early work included pieces in On and Off the Avenue and The Talk of the Town, and profiles of the actress Linda Hunt and the publisher James Laughlin. Her recent articles include “An Enlarged Heart,” an autobiographical essay on a child’s sudden illness, which was selected for the Best American Essays 2004, and “Big Cheese,” about the reincarnation of Murray’s Cheese Shop, in Greenwich Village, which appeared in Best Food Writing 2005. Her profiles include “Not Nice: Maurice Sendak and the Perils of Childhood,” which won a 2006 Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York, and “Seeing Things: The Art of Olafur Eliasson.” “Green Dreams: A Queen, A Shipwreck, and the Mystery Behind a Rare Set of Jewels” won the 2006 Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Consumer National Reporting. For more information on Cynthia Zarin, see the English Department Web site.

Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer is the author of eight books and writes frequently about science for The New York TimesNational Geographic, Time, andScientific American. He received his B.A in English from Yale in 1987 and began writing about science at Discover. Zimmer served as a senior editor there from 1994 to 1999 and remains a contributing editor, writing a monthly column about the brain. His articles have been anthologized in both The Best American Science Writing series and The Best American Science and Nature Writing series. He is a two-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science Journalism Award, for his work for The New York Times and for his blog. In 2007 he was awarded the National Academies Science Communication Award. His books include At the Water’s Edge, Parasite Rex, Evolution: the Triumph of an Idea, and Soul Made Flesh. To pursue research on his books, he has won fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Zimmer has taught science writing to graduate and undergraduates at Yale since 2006, and in 2009 he was appointed the first Visiting Scholar at the Science, Health, and Environment Reporting Program at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. For more information on Carl Zimmer, visit his website.


Annie Murphy Paul

Annie Murphy Paul is a magazine journalist and book author whose writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Discover, and the Boston Globe Ideas section, among other publications. A former senior editor at Psychology Today magazine, she was awarded the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. She is also the author of The Cult of Personality, a cultural history and scientific critique of personality testing that was hailed by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker as “fascinating” and selected as an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times Book Review. Her book Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives is forthcoming from the Free Press this September. A New York Times Magazine article based on the book was selected for inclusion in The Best American Science Writing 2009.

John Stoehr

John Stoehr is a lecturer in political science at Yale. He has written about politics for USA TodayUS News & World Report, CNN, Reuters, and many others. He blogs for Washington Monthly. He was the 2016 Koeppel Journalism Fellow (spring) at Wesleyan. He continues to be a fellow at the Yale Journalism Initiative and an associate fellow of Yale’s Ezra Stiles College. From 2009-2012, he was the managing editor of the New Haven Advocate. He lives with his family in Westville.


Mark Oppenheimer, Director

Mark Oppenheimer directs the Yale Journalism Initiative. Oppenheimer received his B.A. in history from Yale in 1996 and received his Ph.D. in religious studies, also from Yale, in 2003. He is the author of three books: Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of CountercultureThirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America, and Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate. In 2003, he was the first Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes at Stanford University; he has also taught at Wesleyan, Hartford Seminary, and New York University, and in 2010-2011 he is teaching in Yale’s English and Political Science departments and as the Robert Garis Visiting Fellow in Writing at Wellesley College. In 2000 and 2001, Oppenheimer was religion writer for the Hartford Courant, and from 2004 to 2006 he was the editor of the New Haven Advocate, an alternative weekly paper. His freelance writing has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The American Scholar, Slate, Details, Salon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He now writes the Beliefs column every other week for The New York Times.