Aliza Hapgood Watters

Aliza Hapgood Watters

Senior Lecturer, Assistant Dean, Director (First-Year Seminars)

Contact Information

Aliza Hapgood Watters is the Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate Curriculum, Director of First-Year Seminars, and a Senior Lecturer in the University Writing Program. She is currently working to implement the recommendations of the University’s Second Commission on Undergraduate Education (CUE2), which aims to reshape the Hopkins undergraduate academic experience.

As faculty in UWP, Watters’ work focuses on the intersection of the humanities and the sciences and considers how we can better communicate research and scholarship of all kinds, especially in the development of Writing across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines initiatives, with a focus on STEM. Recent courses include “Introduction to the Research Paper: Controversies in Adolescence” and “Family Matters.” Before joining UWP in 2013, Watters taught writing at Harvard. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, including Harvard’s Derek Bok Award for Distinction in Teaching and the Johns Hopkins Excellence in Teaching Award.

Watters’ own writing finds its home in the art world through her longstanding collaborative relationship with the American artist Taryn Simon with whom she has developed six exhibitions, including premiers at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Tate Modern, London, and most recently the 2022 Venice Biennale. Watters has written and edited five books with Simon: An Occupation of Loss (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2018), Paperwork and the Will of Capital (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2016), A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters (London: Mack Books, 2011), and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (London: Steidl, 2007)

Watters graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College in Vermont and did her masters and doctoral work in English Literature at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, concentrating on the work of D.H. Lawrence.