Skip to main content


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

Event Highlights

More Events

News & Announcements

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.

April 12, 2017

The Future of the Past

Textual scientist and Associate Professor of English Gregory Heyworth lights up the first drafts of history

March 22, 2017

Distinguished Visiting Humanist

Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, is this year’s Distinguished Visiting Humanist. Doniger, a scholar of Hinduism and mythology, will be in residence at the University from March 22 to 24.

March 6, 2017

Ferrari Humanities Symposia

Christopher Celenza, a professor of classics at Johns Hopkins University, will speak on “Machiavelli: Yesterday and Today” as the keynote speaker of this year’s Ferrari Humanities Symposia. He’ll deliver his lecture on Tuesday, March 7, at 5 p.m. in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library.

March 3, 2017

Smithsonian secretary addresses questions of arts and cities

David Skorton, the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and the former president of Cornell, visited the University on March 3 for a keynote address and panel discussion about the humanities, arts, and the future of the city, sponsored by the Humanities Center. 

February 7, 2017

Llerena Searle on BBC

Llerena Guiu Searle, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Spring 2017 Humanities Center Fellow will be a guest at 11 am ET tomorrow (Wed., Feb 8) on BBC's 'Thinking Allowed" program to discuss her book Landscapes of Accumulation. 

October 31, 2016

Landscapes of Accumulation: Real Estate and the Neoliberal Imagination

Congratulations to Llerena Guiu Searle, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Spring 2017 Humanities Center Fellow, on the recent publication of her book!


The Humanities Center Executive Committee is pleased to announce the Center's fellows for 2017-2018. Our internal fellows in fall, 2017, will be Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge (Art and Art History) and Steven Rozenski (English). The two fellows for spring, 2018 are Joel Burges (English) and Alison Peterman (Philosophy). Our external fellows, who will join the Center for the academic year, are Daniel Blim (Music, Denison University) and Benjamin Nienass (Political Science, Montclair State University).

We're on Facebook!

Like us on Facebook to view photos, articles, and event information. We're looking forward to building a great online community for faculty, staff, students, alumni and the general public.

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. 

Watch Video

Joan Shelley Rubin

Rubin Formally Installed

New Gabrellian Director Rubin steers humanities in fresh directions

Joan Shelley Rubin was formally installed as the inaugural Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the Humanities Center in May, in a ceremony at Rush Rhees Library. Rubin is the Dexter Perkins Professor in History and has directed the center since its creation in 2015.

Read More

departments and programs

With majors and degree programs that incorporate dozens of disciplines.

Learn more >

humanities clusters

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

Learn more >

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.

Learn More