Gaudino Scholar appointment

To the Williams community,

I am pleased to report that Jason Josephson Storm, professor of religion, has agreed to serve as the college’s next Gaudino Scholar. His three-year appointment to this post will begin July 1, 2020.

Jason will be the 17th faculty member to hold this title. The position has been active since 1982 and is named for former political science professor Robert Gaudino. The Gaudino Scholar works with the Gaudino Trustees, a dedicated group of Williams alumni and current students, to promote opportunities for experiential education and uncomfortable learning.

At Williams since 2007, Jason’s three primary areas of teaching and research are Japanese religions, European intellectual history, and theory more broadly. The common thread in his work is an attempt to decenter received narratives in the study of religion and science. His most recent book is titled The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences. He has served as the chair of the religion department and also of the Science and Technology Studies program.

For his Gaudino project, titled Aspiring toward Utopia in a Dystopian Age, Jason will focus on theories of utopia, a particularly intriguing topic at a time when uncomfortable topics—climate change, political corruption, terrorism—dominate the headlines. He plans to sponsor reading groups, exhibits, courses, public speakers, dialogues and debates, all designed to envision a better world.

Jason will succeed Susan Engel, senior lecturer in psychology and the Class of 1959 Director of the Program in Teaching, who has served in this role since January 2018. My thanks go to Jason and Susan for their willingness to serve the college in this capacity.