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Fostering multidisciplinary perspectives

Supporting collaboration

Exploring artifacts of the human experience

Using technology to advance humanistic studies

Linking past and present

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

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.


The 2018-2019 theme for the Humanities Center will be "Expertise and Evidence." Our fellows, lecture series speakers, and Rosenberger Work in Progress Seminars will all relate to this theme.  The theme can encompass many topics, including the various ways that humanists and scientists think about their work; multiple ways of knowing; the development of and challenges to the specialization of knowledge; the role of the university; the rise and fall of particular theories about society and human behavior; the status across and within cultures of such categories as intellect, emotions, and objectivity; and historical or contemporary dimensions of access to cultural authority.  Law, medicine, religion, visual arts, literary criticism, psychoanalysis, the digital environment, and such phenomena as “fake news” and amateur music-making all furnish connections to the theme.

Now accepting fellowship applications!

We are currently accepting fellowship applications for 2018-19. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2017. Click here for more information.

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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Orhan Pamuk


Artist Walid Raad to discuss war, art, and memory

Conceptual artist Walid Raad ’96 (PhD), an associate professor of art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, will be the third speaker in the Humanities Center’s annual public lecture series, devoted this year to the theme of memory and forgetting.

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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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