About Connie Hungerford

Connie Hungerford

Interim President Constance Cain Hungerford has developed a rich perspective on the College in her nearly 40 years as both an active and engaged faculty member and administrator. 

Hungerford is the Mari S. Michener Professor of Art History and an expert in 19th-century French painting. She first joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1975 as an instructor of art history and has taught classes and honors seminars on topics ranging from 19th-century European art, 20th-century art, American art, the history of photography, and modernism in Paris and New York; she also teaches a first-year seminar on Picasso. Hungerford is the author of Ernest Meissonier, Master in His Genre (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and curated a retrospective of the French “academic” painter’s work for the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyons. She is presently working on a further exhibition. 

In addition to her scholarship and teaching, Hungerford has held a number of key administrative roles at Swarthmore, including chair of the Art Department, chair of the Humanities Division, and College Marshal. She is also a curator of the College’s art collection. During her 10-year tenure as provost, Film and Media Studies expanded and Islamic Studies was established. The College also created the first-year seminar program. Most recently, Hungerford chaired two of the working groups in the strategic planning process, focusing on faculty excellence, teaching at Swarthmore, and the development of the curriculum.

Hungerford received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. She is the recipient of grants and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the American Association of University Women, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Hungerford lives in Swarthmore and is married to Hans Oberdiek, Henry C. and Charlotte Turner Emeritus Professor of Philosophy.