Joy Connolly is the provost and senior vice president at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s chief academic officer, she ensures the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs. Her current priorities include opening up the Graduate Center to larger numbers of the public, including master’s students, who seek access to the Graduate Center’s intellectual strengths; developing creative non-degree programs; strengthening global partnerships; lifting the Graduate Center’s distinctive public-facing profile; and fostering innovation and experimentation in graduate education.
Before joining the Graduate Center in August 2016, Connolly was the dean for the humanities and professor of classics at New York University, where she was responsible for about 400 faculty in close to 30 departments, programs, centers, and institutes. Previously, as the director of NYU’s College Core Curriculum, she put in place a post-doctoral program that featured workshops for graduate students on pedagogy and practical preparation for the job market. Earlier in her career, she taught at the University of Washington and at Stanford.
Connolly’s research focuses on Roman ideas about aesthetics, communication, ethics, and political action, particularly as they relate to the 18th century and the contemporary world. Her first book, The State of Speech (Princeton, 2007), examined the role of communication in Roman ideals of citizenship. The Life of Roman Republicanism (Princeton, 2014) analyzed key themes in Roman thought: freedom, recognition, antagonism, self-knowledge, irony, and imagination. Connolly is also the author of Going on the Market, a handbook available online that helps students navigate graduate school as well as the job-application and post-doctoral fellowship processes. Along with scholarly articles and book chapters, she has written reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation and The New York Times Book Review.
Connolly earned her A.B. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She first studied classical literature and culture at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and is a member of the school’s board of trustees.