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Fostering multidisciplinary perspectives

Supporting collaboration

Exploring artifacts of the human experience

What is the Humanities Center?

As scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences at the University of Rochester, we examine human culture in its myriad forms: literature, language, media, philosophy, religion, history, anthropology, visual and performing arts, and much more. We are committed to critical thinking, reasoned discourse, inclusiveness, civility, empathy, and compassion—values that lie at the center of humanistic inquiry and that are essential for a thriving democratic citizenry.  The Humanities Center, located in Rush Rhees Library, is our home base for interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration.  We offer programs for faculty, students, and the public. To become an affiliate of the Center and receive emails about our events, contact

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News & Announcements

October 24, 2018

Internships prepare new generation of arts and humanities leaders

A new program, supported with a five-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, matches students interested in the arts and humanities with local nonprofit organizations. The paid, 30-hour-per-week internships help Rochester students explore how their skills can be engaged professionally, for the good of the community.

August 13, 2018

Committed to memory

How does memory shape our sense of who we are? Discover how Rochester scientists, doctors, musicians, historians, and philosophers are studying and working with memory.

March 9, 2018

Scholars examine memory through many lenses

Intellectual exchange is at the heart of the Humanities Center, with programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. The center’s fellowship programs—supported for their first three years by Jay ’51 and Deborah Last—are an important part of that exchange. The fellowships bring together scholars in a broad range of fields from within the University and without, to carry out research and engage with students and other scholars at the center.

November 8, 2017

What makes Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich curious?

In her first scholarly article -- on Puritan funeral sermons for “virtuous” women -- Laurel Ulrich Thatcher included a sentence that has become a fixture in our visual landscape: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Ulrich will speak about finding history in overlooked objects as part of the Humanities Center's public lecture series.

October 11, 2017

Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship

The University of Rochester Humanities Center and Humanities New York announce the call for applicants for the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship. Click here for more information. 

April 18, 2017

Mellon Foundation Awards Rochester $1 Million Grant for Humanities

The University has received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to increase undergraduates’ engagement with the humanities. Titled “Humanities for Life,” the five-year initiative is designed to engage students early in their academic careers, to create opportunities for experiences outside the classroom, and to foster community engagement.


We are very pleased to welcome our external, internal, and bridging fellows for the academic year 2018-19, all of whom are working on projects related to the theme of “Expertise and Evidence.”  Joining us for the entire year are Chris Haufe (Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University) and Christopher Rovee (English, Louisiana State University). Alison Frontier, professor of Chemistry, is our bridging fellow this fall.  The internal fellows are Lihong Liu (Art & Art History, University of Rochester, fall 2018), Kathryn Mariner (Anthropology, University of Rochester, fall 2018), Anna Rosensweig (Modern Languages & Cultures, University of Rochester, spring 2019) and William Miller (English, University of Rochester, spring 2019)

Study the Humanities Toolkit

The Humanities Center this fall is highlighting a new online toolkit under development by the National Humanities Alliance. The Study the Humanities Toolkit provides data, profiles, and articles on the value of studying the humanities as an undergraduate. Designed for advisors and faculty, the kit is in the first phase of its development, and the alliance is seeking feedback from potential users. Read more…

The Humanities Center

Fostering Interdisciplinary Collaboration

In the Humanities Center, faculty, fellows, students, affiliates, and the public gather to collaborate and create community. Seminars, workshops, lectures, digital projects and other forms of humanistic inquiry animate our beautiful new space in Rush Rhees Library. 

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Expertise & Evidence Lecture Series

Expertise & Evidence: A Psychiatrist's Perspective 

November 8, 5pm, Hawkins-Carlson Room

In 1992, the publication of Peter D. Kramer’s Listening to Prozac immersed its author in controversies over the efficacy of antidepressants. Since then, Kramer has written about the neuroscience and cultural meanings of depression (Against Depression, 2005), the place of Freud in modern thought, the nature of advice, and other reflections on the quest for happiness. He recently returned to the subject of antidepressants in Ordinarily Well (2016). In this lecture, accessible to anyone interested in the science and art of mental health, Kramer interweaves those themes to consider broadly the evolution of the  psychiatrist’s expertise and the challenges of interpreting evidence in a therapeutic context.

departments and programs

With majors and degree programs that incorporate dozens of disciplines.

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humanities clusters

Comprised of hundreds of courses based in Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

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Support the Center

Rochester is uniquely positioned to pursue research that spans the arts and humanities. If you would like more information about the humanities at Rochester or the Central New York Humanities Corridor, please contact us.

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