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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

grid of 6 fellows


2023-2024 Fellows Named

The Humanities Center is proud to announce our incoming fellows for the 2023-2024 academic year. For the first time ever, we will host two postdoctoral fellows who will join us for two years: Jonathon Catlin (“Thinking against Catastrophe: A Concept in Twentieth-Century European Thought") and Richard Fadok ("Animal House: Space, Species, and Subjectivity in the United States"). Congratulations also to internal fellows Thomas Gibson (Anthropology), Cona Marshall (Religion & Classics), Mizin Shin (Art & Art History), and Stewart Weaver (History).

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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

September 26, 2023

Missy Pfohl Smith Makes Rochester Ten List

City Newspaper annually salutes 10 Rochesterians doing great things in our community. Humanities Faculty and University of Rochester board representative to the Central New York Humanities Corridor, Missy Pfohl Smith, made the Rochester Ten list this year. She is the artistic director of BIODANCE and director of Program in Dance and Movement and the Institute for Performing Arts at the University of Rochester, where she also teaches a community engagement class. Read about her work in the community.

March 21, 2023

HC Fellow Wins Book Award

2022-23 external fellow Shanté Smalls' book, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, was awarded the New York Society Library’s New York City Book Award for 2022-2023. Established in 1995, the award honors books of literary quality or historical importance that, in the opinion of the selection committee, evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City.

December 19, 2022

HC Fellow receives Mellon grant

Congratulations to our current external fellow, Dr. Jennifer Musto, on securing an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant! This grant will support the creation of a new interdisciplinary hub - the Anti-Carceral Co-Laboratory (ACC) - at Wellesley College, her home institution. The hub's cutting edge intersectional approach will focus on the racial, gendered, and economic effects of carceral violence and utilize the expertise of humanities scholars and community partners, with a particular emphasis on engaging individuals and communities impacted by carceral systems. As a Humanities Center fellow, Jennifer is excited for the chance to collaborate and to be in active dialogue with University of Rochester faculty, students, and staff working on educational programming in prisons.

July 1, 2022

Peter Christensen named Humanities Center director

Peter Christensen, an internationally recognized scholar of architectural history and design, has been named the new Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the University of Rochester’s Humanities Center.

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.

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Peter Christensen to speak at MIT

Director Peter Christensen to deliver Aga Khan lecture at MIT on November 13 on the subject of architecture and its conferral of human dignity.

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Meliora Global Scholars

New award sends humanities graduate students abroad

Four University of Rochester graduate students—Jeffrey Baron, Bridget Fleming, Elif Karakaya, and Christian de Mouilpied Sancto—are inaugural recipients of Meliora Global Scholars grants. Offered by the Humanities Center, the grants provide doctoral candidates an opportunity to conduct thesis research in archives and communities abroad.

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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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