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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

Event Highlights

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    News & Announcements

    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 announce our external and internal fellows for the academic year 2018-19, when our theme will be “Expertise and Evidence.” Joining us will be Chris Haufe (Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University), Christopher Rovee (English, Louisiana State University), 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)

    Humanities Center Lecture Series

    Daniela Schiller presents "Forgetting Fear" on Thursday, April 12. Schiller is a professor of neuroscience and psychiatry who leads the Schiller Lab for Affective Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 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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    Distinguished Visiting Humanist

    W.J.T. Mitchell joins us April 18-22, 2018

    W.J.T. Mitchell is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago. His scholarship pivots on the interplay of vision and language in art, literature, and media. He investigates broad theories of representation and often tackles specific issues in cultural politics and political culture. (Portrait of W.J.T. Mitchell by Luca del Baldo)

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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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