Current Humanities Projects

Learn more about the projects that were selected this year and the exciting line-up of speakers, films, symposia, courses, conferences, panels and exhibitions.


img_0460.jpegAn Invitation to the Worldview of Hayao Miyazaki and Spirited Away (2001): A Zoom interview with voice actor Yoomi Tamai

Shizuka Hardy

February 19, 2024

The Modern Languages and Cultures Department’s Japanese Program presents an authentic language learning and cultural experience for UR students featuring an interview and discussion with Tokyo-based professional voice actor Yoomi Tamai. After Tamai graduated from anime director Hayao Miyazaki’s animation director training program, Miyazaki recruited her as the voice of the character Rin in his Academy award-winning film Spirited Away (2001). In this event, Ms. Tamai will talk about her experience as a voice actor for the role, backstory, and what Miyazaki wants to convey to his audience through his movies including his recently acclaimed The Boy and the Heron (2023). The talk will be in Japanese, but faculty in MLC’s Japanese program will be on hand to simultaneously translate the lecture and discussion.


Wild Man with the Arms of the Holzhausen FamilyDiaphany: Reflections in/on Glass

Michael Anderson

March 7, 2024

A program of chamber and choral music accompanying the Memorial Art Gallery’s new exhibit on stained glass. Prof. Michael Alan Anderson (Eastman School of Music) directs Chicago-based early music vocal ensemble Schola Antiqua in works resonating with the wide range of themes in the sixteenth-century glass. Eastman students from the instrumental group OSSIA New Music will interweave movements from Philip Glass’s Glassworks. Organist Naomi Gregory will contribute from the gallery’s Italian Baroque Organ.

Unknown German Workshop
Wild Man with the Arms of the Holzhausen Family, 1599
Glass with silver stain, vitreous paint, and lead
Bertha Buswell Bequest, 1942.28.2


The Climate of Critical Theory: Economies and Ecologies Today

Jonathon Catlin

March 29, 2024

2023 marked the centennial of the founding of the Institute for Social Research, also known as the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. This interdisciplinary day-long symposium will bring together scholars working across different traditions of critical theory, broadly conceived, to discuss topics ranging from the future of work to the politics of climate catastrophe. 


berlo.jpgConfluences: A Scholarly Celebration of the work of Janet Berlo

Allen Topolski

April 19, 2024

This project will introduce an accompanying digital festschrift centered on indigeneity and include scholars and artists in conversations around the expanse of research and curation generously Berlo has brought to the field.


42nd Annual International Conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies

Anna Rosensweig

Fall 2023

The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies (SE17) will hold its 42nd annual international conference at the University of Rochester from October 19-21, 2023. Scholars from around the world will present their work and discuss the current state of early modern French studies, broadly conceived. Since its first meeting in 1981, SE17 has been a vibrant space of intellectual exchange. The society is committed to a non-hierarchical organizational structure and mentoring junior scholars. Resolutely interdisciplinary, SE17 invites participation from those working in a wide range of fields and approaches including art history, history, Black studies, cultural studies, Indigenous studies, gender, sexuality and women’s studies, literature, philosophy, religion, and theater and performance studies. What unites these diverse approaches is a shared commitment to working beyond the frames of a French national tradition in order to situate early modern France within its many global contexts.