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A student browsing through books in the Humanities Center.

Fostering multidisciplinary perspectives

Professor Russell Peck with a student.

Supporting collaboration

A pile of Post family letters and photographs.

Exploring artifacts of the human experience

Peter Christensen in an outdoor setting looking over his should at the camera.


Peter Christensen named Humanities Center director

Christensen, professor of art and art history, has been named the new Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the Humanities Center, and begins his tenure on July 1, 2022. The internationally recognized scholar of architectural history and design succeeds Joan Shelley Rubin, the Dexter Perkins Professor of History, who has led the center since its inception in 2015.

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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

July 1, 2021

There’s hope for objective moral standards—but how can we better live up to them?

Rochester ethicist William FitzPatrick considers whether “’the better angels of our nature’ are robust enough to create and sustain a better world.”

New research project explores social and political nuances of migration in the Americas

Rochester scholars in the humanities and social sciences will study human migration as part of a “temporary research center” supported by a Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar grant.

October 27, 2020

Teaching the complexities of the Nobel Prize in Literature

English professor Bette London introduces students to Nobel-winning authors and the controversies surrounding the prize.

May 15, 2020

Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva Receives Inaugural President’s Ferrari Humanities Research Award

The assistant professor of history is the first recipient of the award, which will support research for his forthcoming book, In the Wake of the Raid: Piracy, Captivity and the 1683 Raid on Veracruz.

April 11, 2019

Gift Supports Faculty in the Humanities

A recent gift from University of Rochester Trustee Bernard T. Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD) and his wife, Linda, establishes the President’s Ferrari Humanities Award.

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Monday, November 21, 2022 5 p.m.

Rhythms of Trade and Siren Songs: Importation Practices in the Democratic Republic of the CongoA Shared Heritage of Knowledge: Postclassical Architecture and Transculturalism

The event poster.
Amitav Ghosh in front of a bookshelf.

Feature Story

Amitav Ghosh: geopolitics are key to understanding the climate crisis

This year’s Distinguished Visiting Humanist says humanists have a vital role in reframing the climate crisis as rooted in history and culture as much as technology and economics.

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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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24departments and programs

With majors and degree programs that incorporate dozens of disciplines.

115humanities clusters

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

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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We welcome all inquires about any of the Humanities Center programs and activities.
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