David Nirenberg

Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought
1126 E. 59th Street, Suite 110
(773) 702-8799

David Nirenberg is the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought. Previously, he was the founding Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. He holds an academic appointment in the College and five academic appointments across the Social Sciences and Humanities Divisions: in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, Department of History, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for Jewish Studies. 


A prolific scholar, he has focused his research on the ways in which Jewish, Christian and Islamic societies have interacted with and thought about each other. He is the author of a number of books, including Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (1996), Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism (2011), Race and Blood in the Iberian World (2012) and Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013). His latest book, Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Medieval and Modern, will be released in September of 2014. Nirenberg is currently collaborating on a book exploring the relative claims of different forms of knowledge, in the hope of discovering new ways of understanding both the powers and the limits of the sciences and the humanities. He has written extensively on other subjects including love, set theory, poetry, painting and politics. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, serves on many editorial boards and advisory panels, and is a regular contributor to publications such as The NationThe New Republic, and the London Review of Books.


Nirenberg earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1986 and his doctorate in history from Princeton University in 1992. He joined the UChicago faculty in 2006. He previously served on the faculties of Rice University and Johns Hopkins University and has developed a significant international presence as a scholar. He has held visiting professorships at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and is an Associate of Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.