Professor of Psychology Emerita
A.B., Cornell University; M.A., Ph.D., Boston University


Nicole Barenbaum taught at Sewanee 1990–2015. Her research interests include the history of personality psychology and psychobiography.

Trained in personality psychology, she has always been fascinated by the great differences among personality theories and how these theories reflect the life experiences of their authors. Her research has focused on the history of personality psychology, and she has been especially interested in the work of Gordon Allport and Henry Murray, pioneers in personality psychology who promoted the study of individual lives.

She has served as President of the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association) and on the Review Committee of Cheiron (the International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences); she has also served on the Steering Committee of the Society for Personology and as Associate Editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences.

Her current project is a psychobiographical study of P. L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, who was also an avid student of fairy tales and myths.

In recent years she taught the experiential version of introductory psychology (G5E), a 200-level course the Psychology of Personality, and 400-level seminars in Psychology and Popular Culture in the U.S. (also American Studies) and Psychobiography.