Jill Abramson to Teach at Harvard

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson will teach narrative nonfiction to undergraduates.

Jill Abramson

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson ’76 will come to Harvard as a visiting lecturer for the 2014-2015 academic year, teaching undergraduate courses on narrative nonfiction in the Department of English. “I'm honored and excited to be teaching at Harvard in the coming academic year,” said Abramson, in Harvard’s announcement of her appointment. “Narrative nonfiction journalism is more important than ever. Its traditions and how it is changing in the digital transition are fascinating areas of study." Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities and Rothenberg professor of Romance languages and literatures and of comparative literature, said, “Harvard is delighted to welcome Jill Abramson to the English department, where her students in the Writing Program will profit enormously from her insights, experience and brilliance.” Abramson’s appointment received coverage in both the Boston Globe and New York Times.

In a highly publicized shakeup, Abramson—who had served as executive editor since September 2011—was dismissed by Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., B ’85, on May 14 due to “an issue with management in the newsroom.” During her tenure of less than three years , the newspaper won eight Pulitzer Prizes. When the Times announced her appointment in the summer of 2011, Harvard Magazine noted the Crimson milestone : Abramson was the first woman to fill that job.

From 1997 to 2014, Abramson worked as an investigative reporter, Washington bureau chief, managing editor, and executive editor of the Times . She had been an investigative reporter and deputy Washington bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal from 1988 to 1997 and editor of Legal Times from 1985 to 1988. During her years at the Times, she also taught journalism writing seminars at Yale (from 2007 to 2011) and Princeton (in 2000).

As a college senior, Abramson was arts editor of the Harvard Independent . She received the Signet Society Medal in 2010, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. Her books include Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas (with Jane Mayer), Where They Are Now: The Story of the Women of Harvard Law 1974, and The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout.

 

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