Brown Traditions: Josiah S. Carberry

A man of mystery. A man for all seasons. A joke that went way too far.

Friday the 13th is Carberry Day, a truly Brunonian holiday. It's almost unreal how great Josiah Carberry is. Wait, who is he? Glad you asked, because here is everything you never wanted to know about Brown's most famous fictitious professor.

Josiah Stinkney Carberry

Professor of Psychoceramics

Curriculum Vitae

[N.B.: Professor Carberry's body of academic work cannot be exhumed at this time.]


Professor Carberry has chaired the Pyschoceramics Department since 1929, when he failed to deliver a lecture titled "Archaic Greek Architectural Revetments in Connection with Ionian Philology." In fact, his work on cracked pots ranges across disciplines and sense to include metapsychoceramics, Lacanian psychoceramics, and chiromancy. Once referred to as "the world's greatest authority on non-Pythagorean geometry," he has indeed developed a geometric system based on a four-dimensional theory that a triangle has two hypotenuses and only one leg to stand on. Described by the New York Times as "the Paul Bunyan of travel," his work has taken him far afield: to Constantinople, Neutral Moresnet, and certain Gallic places. Recently, Professor Carberry, whose digital footprint can be tracked through "jcarberr," is reported to have leapt inside the Matrix.


Brown Affiliations

Personal life

Keep Calm and Carberry OnProfessor Carberry was born on a bulletin board in 1929, the child of the brain of Professor John William Spaeth, Jr. He is married to the long-suffering Laura, and they have two daughters, Patricia and Lois, both poets. He also has a son, Zedidiah, whose existence wasn't noted until recent years, an oversight the Carberries attribute to the exigencies of raising their daughters. Often a target of the tabloids, the vagaries of Professor Carberry's existence have been well-documented up through the 1960s, when the highly ethical Providence Journal made what has become a longstanding policy to kill all copy containing the word "Carberry."



Second only to Barrett Hazeltine in belovedness, students attribute Professor Carberry's popularity to his attendance policy (required only on Friday the 13th and leap days) and to his teaching philosophy: Dulce et Decorum Est Desipere in Loco.*

* Translation: It is sweet and fitting to be foolish once in a while.

Josiah S. Carberry Documentary


"Made, Not Born: The Wife and Dimes of J.S. Carberry"

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