Faculty Deans

Tom Conley

Tom Conley

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House
Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and Visual and Environmental Studies

I came to Harvard in 1995 and to the Kirkland House in 2000. Trained in French literature at Columbia University (M.A.) and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.) in French and Art History, I taught at a number of institutions (Minnesota, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Miami of Ohio, the Graduate Center of CUNY) before joining Romance Languages and, soon after, Visual and Environmental Studies.  My research is devoted to literature, cinema, and cartography. In 2003-4, a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled me to complete Cartography and Cinema (2007) and to complete a translation and American edition of Marc Augé, Casablanca: Movies & Memory (2009). While on leave at Kirkland in 2007 I finished An Errant Eye: Topography and Poetry in Early Modern France (2011), a sequel to (and bookend for a new edition of) The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France (2011). In 2010 I led a seminar on film theory at the Ecole en Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), and in 2011-12 I was a fellow at the Radcliffe Center for Advanced Research where I began work on À fleur de page: Voir et lire le texte de la Renaissance (published 2015) In 2011 the Université Blaise-Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand) graciously awarded me an honorary doctorate. In 2014 saw publication of The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Cinema of Jean-Luc Godard, co-edited with friend and colleague Jeff Kline (of Boston University). In 2015-16, senior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. I spent sabbatical time researching garden and landscape in 16th century France.  In the spring of 2016 I was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A devotee of handball (“the perfect game”), I have play at the Boston Central YMCA, a home away from home. Verena and I are proud to serve as faculty advisors to the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team.  We are indelible Red Sox fans who love dogs and the great outdoors. Read more about Tom Conley

p: 617-495-2274
Verena Conley

Verena Conley

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House
Long-term Visiting Professor, Departments of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literature

I was born in Zurich, Switzerland and spent my childhood on the shores of Lake Geneva. Raised bilingually in a family that specialized in business in Southeast Asia, I quickly developed a liking for other languages and cultures. After an education in the liberal arts built around seven years of Latin!! A Fulbright fellowship allowed me to settle on American shores. I turned resolutely to contemporary studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning my Ph.D. in French and Comparative Literature. I have taught at several institutions, including Miami University, the University of Paris-VIII, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. At Harvard, I teach in Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literatures. During the academic year 2016-17 I will be on leave. I am working on two projects. The first, From the Colony to Ecology, focuses on French colonial gardens, especially the Jardin d’essai du hamma in Algiers. A second on Care: Ecology, Technology, Sensation, Worlds. I have written on post-World War II intellectual history, experimental women writers, ecology, technology as well as a couple of creative books. I like to swim, hike, attend varsity games or simply hang out. Read more about Verena Conley

p: 617-495-2274