Director's Welcome

The Humanities Center has been running for eight years.  Its vitality derives from the energy of Pitt’s faculty and students in the Humanities and associated departments.  My deepest thanks to all the hundreds of you whose scholarly and intellectual passions generate the proposals and fuel the participation that together make a flourishing Center.  We are here to serve you.
Following last year’s wonderful Year of the Humanities in the University initiative from Provost Beeson, we have expanded our scope.  Since January, Dan Kubis has served in the new position of Assistant Director, with special responsibility for programs that extend beyond the Dietrich School to the community and to Pitt’s professional schools.  

Our staff Administrator Julianna Murphy continues her tireless efforts to make possible everything that we do.  We are grateful to our Associate Director, Professor Brent Malin, who returns for a third year. The faculty Advisory Committee for the Center includes Professors Nancy Condee (Slavic and Film Studies), Todd Reeser (French and Italian), Kirk Savage (History of Art and Architecture), and Jennifer Whiting (Philosophy). Thanks to all for their generosity.  These colleagues play an indispensable role in helping select all our Fellows and allocating all major grants, as well as reviewing our current activities and suggesting fruitful new directions.

We welcome our Early-Career Fellow in residence, Gabriel Rosenberg, who comes to us from Duke University.  Three new Dietrich School Postdoctoral Fellows join our community as well as the units they teach in:  Michelle Maydanchik (History of Art and Architecture), Rostom Mesli (Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies), and Will Rhodes (English).  In addition to five short-term Visiting Fellows during the academic year, we also feature a weeklong intensive seminar the week after Commencement with John Durham Peters (Iowa), a scholar of Communication, whose work reaches across the humanities and their history.

The Humanities Center arose from the vision and commitment of Pitt’s higher administration, beginning from Dean N. John Cooper and Senior Associate Dean James F. Knapp of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and supported by then-Provost James V. Maher and then-Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.  Given this history, it is especially happy that in their Emeritus status Jim Maher and Mark Nordenberg have chosen to become our neighbors, with office suites in our entry lobby.


Jonathan Arac, PhD
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English
Director, Humanities Center​