Name: Melissa Harris-Lacewell
Occupation on Campus: Associate Professor of Politics
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional? My uncle, Wesley Harris. He was the first black man to receive a PhD in engineering from Princeton. He’s been on faculty at MIT for decades and he is my dad’s twin brother. My dad is also a professor. When they are together they are like carbon copies of each other. They crack me up. Uncle Wes is the best.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure? I read trashy gossip magazine, but only on the elliptical machine. It is my motivation to go to the gym.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton? Only the food I make in my own kitchen. I make a pretty terrific, traditional, Southern Thanksgiving.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day? Play with ideas.
Best place on campus? The couch in my office.
Worst place on campus? The WWS cafe. Food is reasonable, but it is so sterile.
What are your favorite ways to relax? I travel all the time for work, but I still love to travel for pleasure.
What’s the last student performance you saw? I am departmental representative for the politics department. The students perform for me every week in office hours. Mostly it’s a lot of melodrama. Sometimes it’s pretty comedic.
What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed? My office is filled with Charles Bibb prints. Come to think of it, so is my home.
Where do you do your best thinking? July.
Do you know all the words to Old Nassau? Absolutely not.
If you could change something about Princeton, what would it be? It would be about 45 minutes closer to a major airport.
What’s your drink? Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
What’s your top vacation destination? New Orleans.
How often do you cook? Every week, but not every day.
What makes you laugh? My eight year old daughter, Parker. She is the light of my whole world.
Who is your mortal enemy? Tavis Smiley. Just kidding…no really, Tavis.
When’s the last time you used cash? Always. I am TERRIBLE with the debit card. I get overdrawn every month!
In 10 years, I will be… The mother of a high school graduate! How is that possible?