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Director and Staff

Portrait Image of Steven NadlerDirector
Steven Nadler
William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy

Room 215


Steven Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy, the Evjue-Bascom Professor in Humanities, and the Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies, as well as affiliate professor in the Department of Art History, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been teaching since 1988.  He has been a Senior Fellow at the IRH (2013-2017), and twice a Resident Fellow. He was the founding director of the Center for the Humanities and has served as director of the Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and chair of the Department of Philosophy.  He has held visiting appointments at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Amsterdam, the École Pratique des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), and the École Normal Supérieure (Paris). His main area of research is early modern philosophy, especially the seventeenth century.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist, his books include Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (Yale University Press, "Jewish Lives" series, 2018); The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton University Press, 2013); A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton University Press, 2011); Occasionalism: Causation Among the Cartesians (Oxford University Press, 2010); The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008; pb Princeton University Press, 2010); Spinoza’s Ethics: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2006); Rembrandt’s Jews (University of Chicago Press, 2003); Spinoza’s Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind (Oxford University Press, 2002); Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge University Press, 1999; second edition, 2018); Malebranche and Ideas (Oxford University Press, 1992); and Arnauld and the Cartesian Philosophy of Ideas (Princeton University Press, 1989). With Ben Nadler, he also produced the graphic book Heretics!: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy (Princeton, 2017).  From 1995-2000, he was the North American editor of the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie; and from 2009-2015 the editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy.  


Picture of Ann HarrisAssistant to the Director
Ann W. Harris
Room 221


Ann Wysor Harris joined the Institute for Research in the Humanities in July 2009. Before this she held positions in the Deans' office at UW-Extension, at the Small Business Development Center, and at the School for Workers. In May 2013 she was awarded the College of Letters and Science 2012-2013 Classified Staff Excellence Award in recognition of outstanding performance and professionalism in the Institute for Research in the Humanities.


Picture of Katie ApseyProject Assistant
Katie Elizabeth Apsey
Room 220



Katie Apsey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on Native American dance and performance art and the frameworks used to discuss indigenous performance within museum and gallery spaces. Most recently, she worked at the College Art Association as Manager of Programs where she helped run CAA's annual conference, award juries, and professional development programs. She also spent extensive time working at the Brooklyn Museum as an adult programs educator, a curatorial assistant for the Asian, African, and Islamic collections, and as part of the “Audience Engagement” team that developed the phone app “ASK.”


Picture of Hadis GhaedaEvents Support 
Hadis Ghaedi




Hadis Ghaedi is a Ph.D. student in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests involve applied linguistics, discourse analysis, academic writing and second language acquisition. She has been teaching Academic Writing in the ESL Program at UW-Madison since 2014. She has also experience teaching language learners of many different levels and cultural/linguistic backgrounds both in the U.S. and abroad.  She has helped organize academic/cultural events and conferences held at UW-Madison and other venues.