Prof. Michael E. Staub

Michael E. Staub

Phone: (646) 312-3944

Office: VC 7-282


Michael E. Staub is the author of The Mismeasure of Minds: Debating Race and Intelligence Between Brown and The Bell Curve (University of North Carolina Press, 2018). In tracing how psychological and neuroscientific research around such concepts as learned helplessness, deferred gratification, hyperactivity, and emotional intelligence migrated into popular culture and government policy, The Mismeasure of Minds documents the devastating consequences—above all for disadvantaged children of color—as efforts to undo educational discrimination and create enriched learning environments were recurrently repudiated and defunded. But the book reveals as well the long-denied and understudied phenomenon of repeated and widespread dissatisfaction—not least among white Americans—with the metric of IQ. By connecting the histories of experiments and policy in a single narrative, The Mismeasure of Minds offers new insights into the paradoxes of American racism. (For more, see "Ghosts of Bell Curves Past.") 

Staub’s other books include: Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis was Social, 1948-1980 (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America (Columbia University Press, 2002), and Voices of Persuasion: Politics of Representation in 1930s America (Cambridge University Press, 1994). His interdisciplinary research has appeared in such journals as History of PsychologyAmerican StudiesRepresentationsRadical History ReviewMELUSAmerican Quarterly, and Studies in American Fiction, as well as in anthologies on Holocaust memory, American Jewish studies, critical race studies, and the history of therapeutic culture in the United States. He also edited The Jewish 1960s: An American Sourcebook (University Press of New England, 2004), and wrote (with Kayla M. WilliamsLove My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army (W.W. Norton, 2005), an oral history that recounts the first-person experiences of Sergeant Williams, who served as an Arabic linguist in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, and that has appeared in Spanish, Dutch, and German translations.

His teaching and scholarly interests include modern and contemporary literature, psychology and literature, American cultural and intellectual history, documentary and nonfiction writing, American ethnic and minority literature, and Jewish and Holocaust studies. He holds a doctorate in American Civilization from Brown University, and was Professor of English and American Culture at Bowling Green State University before his appointment as Professor of English at Baruch in the fall of 2005. In addition, he has taught at the University of Michigan, Colby College, Rhode Island College, Michigan State University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. As a Fulbright Lecturer, he taught for a year in Germany at the Universities of Bremen and Frankfurt.  He has been a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Staub is the recipient of a Provost’s Award for Faculty Book Publication, an Outstanding Honors Teaching Award, as selected by the Honors Student Council, and several PSC-CUNY Research Awards. He is currently the Director of the Feit Interdisciplinary Seminar Program.  

The City University of New York