Alexander is an assistant professor of history at Williams College, Massachusetts. He specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe (c1450 to 1800). His most recent book is The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment (2018).
Literary theorists of the past half-century—who now dominate the humanities—encourage us to assume ill-intentions of one another. This contrasts with the 'empathetic' humanities, which aim for more understanding and less judging in our daily lives.