In the Humanites Center
Director's Welcome

The Humanities Center has been running for seven 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.


Special excitement springs from Provost Patricia Beeson’s proclaiming this the “Year of the Humanities in the University.”  We are cooperating programmatically and financially with many projects that this initiative has produced.  Keep your eyes on our weekly newsletter for these events, as well as our own.


We welcome our new staff Administrator Julianna Murphy.  Our Associate Director, Professor Brent Malin, continues in his position and the faculty Advisory Committee for the Center includes Professors Todd Reeser (French and Italian), Kirk Savage (History of Art and Architecture), and Jennifer Whiting (Philosophy). Thanks to all for hard work that makes possible what we do.


We welcome our Early-Career Fellow in residence, Harris Feinsod, who comes to us from Northwestern University.  In addition to five short-term Visiting Fellows during the academic year, we also feature a weeklong intensive seminar the week after Commencement with Lydia Goehr (Columbia), a real critical polymath, whose important work addresses the history, philosophy, and practices of the arts in the West since the eighteenth century.


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​