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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

Tanya Bakhmetyeva


Associate Director Named

On January 1, we welcomed Tanya Bakhmetyeva as Associate Director of the Humanities Center. Bakhmetyeva will work closely with the Director to set Center priorities, develop funding requests, and co-edit the “Humanities in the World” series we launched earlier this year with the University of Rochester Press. Bakhmetyeva is Professor of Instruction in the Department of History and is also currently the Associate Academic Director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, a position she will dually hold through the Spring semester of 2024. Bakhmetyeva is the author of Mother of the Church: Sophia Svechina and the Politics of Catholicism in 19th Century Russia and France (Northern Illinois University Press, 2016), which won her the Harry C. Koenig Book Award from the American Catholic Association. Her next book, The Politburo goes Hunting: Masculinity, Nature and Power among the Soviet Political Elite is under contract from Northern Illinois University Press, now an imprint of Cornell University Press. 

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

Upcoming Events

News & Announcements

March 5, 2024

Humanities Center Welcomes Inaugural Scholar in Exile

Poet, satirist, literary critic, novelist, and media personality Dmitry Bykov is one of Russia’s best-known public intellectuals. He has authored more than 70 books, including novels, poetry, biographies, and literary criticism. He is currently the inaugural Scholar in Exile in the Humanities Center and will be teaching courses in MLC on Russian culture, current events and world literature through the 2024-25 academic year. Click here to read the recent Q&A with Bykov on the death and legacy of Alexei Navalny.

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.

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.

More News

Humanities Center Remembers Ezra Tawil

Ezra Tawil, Professor of English, was a member of the Humanities Center Executive Committee and a mentor to our Meliora Scholars. He is remembered by all as an amazing colleague and a generous, caring mentor. We are devastated by the loss to our community.

Click here to read more

Annual Report

2022-2023 Annual Report Now Available

We are proud to feature the highlights and accomplishments of the Humanities Center in our new annual report.

View the Report

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.

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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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