2022–2025 Presidential Professors
Karline McLain joined the Department of Religious Studies in 2005. She is chair of the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, co-chair of the University Review Committee, former associate dean of faculty for the Division of Arts & Humanities, and former chair of the Department of Religious Studies. The 2016 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, McLain has received numerous scholarly awards, including a grant and a chair funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. Her scholarship combines rigorous training in classical Sanskrit texts; linguistic skills in Urdu, Hindi and Marathi; familiarity with the visual canon of Indian art, mythology and popular media; detailed knowledge of modern Indian history and politics; and a broad range of methods relevant to the study of religion, media and popular culture in South Asia. McLain plans to use her award funding to continue research for her book in progress, Gandhi’s Ashrams: Residential Experiments in Universal Wellbeing.
Virginia Zimmerman is the chair of the Department of English, which she joined in 2002, as well as the director of the Literary Studies Program. She is both a critical and creative writer, with a focus on Victorian literature and special interest in the themes of time and childhood. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities chair, Zimmerman has chaired the Committee on Admissions & Financial Aid and served on numerous departmental and curricular review committees. She was named 2021 Faculty Member of the Year by the Bucknellian and was selected to direct the Bucknell in London program in fall 2023. In addition to studying encounters with deep time in 19th-century literature and the nexus of time and materiality in children’s literature, Zimmerman is the author of several young adult novels and children’s books. With her Presidential Professorship funding, she plans to pursue archival research for a book manuscript tentatively titled Making Time; and work on her newest novel for children, Weird Sisters.