Karin Wulf named director of Omohundro Institute

  • Director of Omohundro Institute
    Director of Omohundro Institute
    Karin Wulf, associate professor of history and American studies, and book review editor of The William & Mary Quarterly, has been named the next director of the Omohundro Institute.
    Photo by Megan Shearin

Karin Wulf, associate professor of history and American studies, and book review editor of The William & Mary Quarterly, one of the oldest scholarly journals in the U.S., has been named the next director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC). She replaces Ronald Hoffman, who is retiring after leading the Institute for the past 20 years. Wulf will officially begin as director on July 1, 2013.

“Unsurprisingly, the international search attracted many superb candidates, and Karin rose to the top in a very competitive field,” said Provost Michael R. Halleran. “The search committee, executive committee and I are all highly confident that Karin will do an excellent job in her new role and are delighted that she will continue to serve the Institute, now in a different position.

“I would also like to thank Ron for his extraordinary tenure as Director,” added Halleran, “and for his sustained dedicated excellence over the years in leading one of the world’s most respected historical organizations.”

Founded in 1943, the Omohundro Institute is jointly sponsored by the College of William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The institute’s full-time staff is responsible for producing multiple conferences a year, the William & Mary Quarterly, and book publications which embody the Institute’s dedication to the furthering excellent scholarship focused on the colonial, Revolutionary, and early national periods of American history, as well as the related histories of the British Isles, Europe, West Africa and the Caribbean.

“Karin Wulf is a first-rate scholar and administrator,” said James Horn, Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “I am delighted by her appointment and look forward to working with her to further strengthen the relationship between our two institutions.”

Since 2004 Wulf has served as book review editor of the Quarterly, a leading scholarly journal for the study of early American history and culture. Originating in 1892, the journal is published each January, April, July and October by the Omohundro Institute. Currently in its Third Series, the Quarterly is grounded in history, but welcomes works from all disciplines such as literature, law and political science, among others, bearing on the early American period.

 “I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Wulf. “As an international leader among humanities research and publication centers, the Omohundro Institute has a deep tradition of excellence and innovation that is exciting to contemplate. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Institute, at the College and Colonial Williamsburg, and around the country as we move into the Institute’s eighth decade.”

Wulf earned her Ph.D. in 1993 in history from Johns Hopkins University. In 1990, she earned her master’s in history also from Johns Hopkins and graduated with honors in 1985 from American University, where she received her bHachelor’s degree in history. Her scholarly interests include women's and family history; in addition to recent publications on the history of eighteenth-century family history practices, she authored Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia (2000) and has co-edited books including Sense and Sensibility in the Age of the American Revolution: The Diary of Hannah Callendar, 1758 – 1788 (2010)

 Wulf has served on the William & Mary faculty since 2004. From 2008 – 2011 she was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the American Studies program.  In 2011 she spearheaded the Neurodiversity Working Group, a collection of faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and community members who are working toward a better understanding and appreciation of brain differences, as well as support across campus for students on the Autism spectrum.  Prior to joining the College faculty, she taught at American University for 10 years.

Roy Ritchie, former director of research at the Huntington Library who led the search committee said the “executive board and the search committee have full confidence in Karin’s abilities to lead the Omohundro Institute. She will have a significant and positive impact on it’s future.”