Steven L. Isenberg

Macaulay Honors College Visiting Professor Steven L. Isenberg

New York, NY – (June 26, 2013).  Steven L. Isenberg, the professor, lawyer and former newspaper publisher who recently served as Executive Director of PEN American Center, has been named Visiting Professor at Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York, effective August 1, 2013. Widely recognized for his dedication to literature and freedom of expression, he has a long, distinguished career that spans the spheres of public policy, higher education and journalism, encompassing his current seat on the Advisory Board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and his service as Chief of Staff to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Isenberg led PEN American Center, the largest division of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization. He was the Chairman of the Board and Interim President of Adelphi University, the Executive Vice President of the Los Angeles Times and the Publisher of the newspapers New York Newsday, The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time. He has taught courses on British and American literature in the honors program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he won the teaching award in Liberal Arts, and at the University of California at Berkeley, Yale University and Davidson College, as well as courses on journalism and politics. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley; an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Worcester College, Oxford University, where he is an Honorary Fellow; a J.D. from Yale Law School and an honorary doctorate from Adelphi University. His publications include the essay “Lunching on Olympus,” which was chosen for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best Essays of 2010.


Mr. Isenberg will teach the Honors Thesis Colloquium, in which students produce a polished journal-length essay after in-depth research, and “Literary Journalism and the Violent World of War, Murder and Sport,” the first course to be offered both to Macaulay undergraduates and graduate students in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. The seminar delves into major works of literary journalism such as Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Dispatches by Michael Herr, Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, Homage to Catalonia and The Hanging by George Orwell and King of the World by David Remnick.


“It’s an honor to work with a keen educator who is devoted to both journalism and literature,” said University Dean Ann Kirschner. “He and his students will explore how nonfiction writers of great distinction blend the traditional tools of reportage with the style and tactics of literary writing. Raising critical questions that lie at the root of journalism, his course looks at the role of the author in shaping information and opinion.” His is the second faculty appointment to be announced by Macaulay Honors College, following that of David Petraeus, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


“Who can resist an honors program that stands for commitment and excellence?” said Mr. Isenberg on accepting the appointment. “As the product of public higher education, I have a deep commitment to it–having been an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley and having taught at both Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin. So many of the students at Macaulay Honors College are the first in their family to attend college, as was I.”


Contact:  Lisa Dierbeck  /  (917) 364-0755 /


About Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and New York City itself.   Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students receive a full-tuition scholarship, a laptop and technology support, and a $7,500 Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning and service opportunities.  A Cultural Passport provides access to museums, libraries, and other treasures around New York City. Macaulay students enroll in one of eight CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). For more information, see



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