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Renowned Historian to Lead Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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Tyler Stovall, Ph.D., a seasoned administrator and lauded historian whose scholarship has focused on 20th-century France, issues of race and class, and transnational history, has been appointed dean of Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). He will start on July 1.

headshot ot Tyler Stovall

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Stovall is currently the dean of the Humanities Division and a distinguished professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before he joined UCSC in 2015, he was dean of the Undergraduate Division of Letters and Science at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2016 to 2017, he served as president of the American Historical Society, the oldest and largest society of historians and professors of history in the United States.

“I am thrilled to come to Fordham, a great university in a great city. I look forward to working with our graduate students in arts and sciences as well as the other deans of the university,” said Stovall.

“Most of all, I look forward to learning more about what makes this university so special; getting to know its faculty, staff, and students; and becoming a part of the Fordham community.”

Fordham Provost Dennis Jacobs, Ph.D., praised Stovall’s scholarship, leadership, and dedication to lifting up minority scholars and calling out injustice.

“In Dr. Stovall, Fordham has found a world-renowned scholar, an experienced administrator, and a public intellectual with a fierce commitment to social justice. A key theme in his professional life—as both a historian and an administrator—has been equity and inclusion,” Jacobs said in an announcement to the Fordham community. He noted that Stovall has challenged not only racial barriers but also those that separate academics from the broader society.

“Among the first African Americans in the U.S. to achieve prominence in European history, he has provided encouragement and mentorship for other minority scholars to follow in his stead,” Jacobs said.

Stovall earned a Ph.D. in modern European/French history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of 10 books and numerous articles in the field of modern French history, with a specialization in transnational history, labor, colonialism, and race. His latest book, White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea (Princeton University Press, 2021), is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. Others include Transnational France: The Modern History of a Universal Nation (Westview 2015) and Paris and the Spirit of 1919: Consumer Struggles, Transnationalism, and Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

In his new role as dean of GSAS, Stovall will serve as chief academic officer of a school that offers degrees in 29 different fields of study. He’ll work in close partnership with the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, and the dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

Stovall will succeed Melissa Labonte, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, who has served as interim dean of GSAS since January 2019. Former GSAS Dean Eva Badowska, Ph.D., now serves as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

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