Humanities

The Center for the Humanities prepares for a robust year of live events and programming

By Jordan Rogers

The Center for the Humanities prepares for a robust year of live events and programming

By Jordan Rogers

The Center for the Humanities is emerging from its virtual interlude stronger than ever.

Known for organizing a vibrant array of arts, humanities, and social sciences events that transitioned to virtual programming during the pandemic, the Center for the Humanities has resumed its in-person events for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Although the demands of public health necessary to combat COVID-19 made it a challenging time to organize and engage with the community, the Center and its team faced these new realities by rethinking modes of engagement and shifting—as was common during this time—all programming to virtual platforms.

"Despite challenges from COVID-19, we managed to accomplish most of our goals," said Hugh Thomas, professor of history and the Center’s director. “Now, we are looking forward to hosting events with a live community. While virtual events work well for some things, the personal connections that build a sense of community with hosting people on campus and providing space for our faculty to connect and collaborate with major academics outside of UM is what we’re happy to get back to.”  

humanities
Assistant Director Dr. Christina Larson, Center's Director Dr. Hugh Thomas,
and Conference Coordinator Ony Dunnam

Based in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Center was established in 2009 with the goal of delivering an awareness of the importance of the humanities to the Miami community for a more informed understanding of our and other cultures—and the Center has remained steadfast to its mission.

“The Center is really a hub for the humanities not only at UM but in the community,” said Christina Larson, assistant director at the Center. “This includes digital and medical humanities, too, which seem apart from what the humanities is about, but are deeply connected. We also promote humanities events happening at UM and in the community via our newsletter, because we want to share what’s going on in the humanities and present events that allow the community to stay engaged and connected.”

The Center also provides special academic programming for graduate and undergraduate students at the University, as well as seminars and workshops that deliver student-centered academic learning and approaches to research in the humanities.

“Part of our undergraduate initiative is to let students know what humanities research is,” adds Thomas. “They think of research as labs and test tubes, but we show them how research in the humanities is not just about people gathering for a lecture. As academics in the humanities, we conduct research as scientists do, and it’s something undergraduates can do as well in certain circumstances.”

Now that the Center's operations are back with in-person events, the Center’s team is delighted to introduce new (and live!) book talks, academic workshops, faculty seminars, and public lecture series. Some of the Center’s most noteworthy and upcoming events include:

  • The Henry King Stanford Distinguished Professor Lecture Series: On October 20, the Center is hosting historian of early modern Europe and former chair of history at Duke University, John Jeffries Martin, for his lecture entitled, “Hope and History.”

  • On November 3, the Center is welcoming Devon Abbot Mihesuah, an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Cora Lee Beers Price Professor in the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas, for her lecture on “The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movement: Success and New Challenges.”

  • The Edith Bleich Lecture Series: On November 10, the Center welcomes Nicholas Terpstra, an historian of Renaissance and early modern social history, for his lecture, “On the Move: Finding Young People in the Early Modern World.”

For more information about the Center for the Humanities and its upcoming events and academic programming, please visit: https://humanities.as.miami.edu/index.html