are a sort of hawking and hunting, wherein the very pursuit makes a great part of the pleasure. Every step the mind takes in its progress towards Knowledge makes some discovery, which is not only new, but the best too, for the time at least.

—John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

James A. Winn


Center Director, Professor of English,
William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor

James A. Winn took his undergraduate degree at Princeton summa cum laude and received his PhD from Yale, where he wrote his dissertation under Maynard Mack. Before coming to Boston University, he taught at Yale (1974–1983) and the University of Michigan (1983–1998). At Michigan, he was the founding Director of the Institute for the Humanities, now one of the leading interdisciplinary institutes in the U.S., for which he raised over $13 million in endowment. After serving as chair of the Department of English from 1998 until 2007, Professor Winn became the Director of the Boston University Humanities Foundation in 2008. Under his leadership, the Foundation has altered its selection procedures, expanded its fellowship program, and changed its name. Professor Winn has devoted himself to making the activities of the Humanities Center more visible and welcoming to the humanities community.

725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 105