First Herald
    Newes, newes, newes.
Second Herald
    Bold, and brave news!
1 Her.
    Newe as the night they are borne in;
2 Her.
    Or the Phant’sie that begot ’hem.
1 Her.
    Excellent newes!

—Ben Jonson, Newes from the New World


A Sense of Inexhaustibility: A Colloquium on William T. Vollmann

October 28th, 2016


Vollman Participants


On October 7 2016, Professor Christopher Coffman hosted “A Sense of Inexhaustibility: A Colloquium on William T. Vollmann” to devote scholarly attention to a writer with a publication record and accolades rivaling many major authors of our time. Five speakers who have published on Vollmann’s books delivered prepared remarks. The presenters included Daniel Lukes, of Indiana University-Bloomington; Christopher Coffman, of Boston University; Michael K. Walonen, of St. Peter’s University; Bryan Santin, of the University of Notre Dame; and Priscilla Juvelis, a rare book dealer who serves as sales agent for Vollmann’s limited edition artist’s books. Robert Chodat, professor of contemporary American fiction, served as Moderator.

Following the presentations, there was a roundtable conversation and open discussion with the audience of BU faculty, library staff members, and local and non-local academics. Other campus bodies coordinated with the colloquium during the weeks before and after the event; the bookstore assembled an in-store display of books by and about Vollmann for their fiction section and the Mugar Memorial Library mounted an exhibition of Vollmann rarities from the Howard Gotlieb Archives.

Appointment of Professor Carrie Preston as the next Director of the Kilachand Honors College

September 27th, 2016

Preston_PPPSeptember 27, 2016 Announcement by Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

This past spring, Professor Charles Dellheim, who has served as Director of the Kilachand Honors College since its inception in 2011 and as the College’s inaugural Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Professor, announced his plans to step down from his administrative position at the end of 2016.

In the intervening months, we conducted an internal search for the next Director of the Kilachand Honors College. We sought candidates who would bring the intellectual leadership, strategic vision, and track record of excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship essential to map the future of this signature liberal arts program for some of Boston University’s highest achieving undergraduates. After a rigorous search that considered several strong candidates, and extensive consultation with our Search Advisory Committee, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Carrie Preston as the next Director of the Kilachand Honors College.

Professor Preston is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program in the College of Arts & Sciences. For nearly a decade, she has brought highly original, prize-winning scholarship on modernist literature, gender theory, and modern drama and performance into the classroom. She has likewise energetically led the growth of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies into a program of distinction as a producer of important scholarship and a diverse and wide-ranging catalog of dynamic programming and events.

The author of two acclaimed books and numerous widely cited articles on modernism and dance, Professor Preston is the past recipient of a Peter Paul Career Development Professorship, the College of Arts & Sciences’ Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the De La Torre Bueno Prize, one of the highest national honors for a book in the field of dance studies. She has served as a Provost’s Faculty Arts Fellow, and in 2015 was selected as Boston University’s United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year. Professor Preston holds a doctorate and Master’s degree in Literatures in English, with a Women’s Studies Certification, from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Dance from Michigan State University.

Through extensive conversations about her ambitions for Kilichand Honors College, it was immediately evident that Professor Preston’s scholarly credentials, enthusiastic and innovative record of leadership, and passion for the interdisciplinary programming at the heart of the College’s mission make her exceptionally well suited to serve as its Director. Moreover, Professor Preston has demonstrated her ability to work collaboratively with faculty and deans across schools and departments, connect well with students and their families, and project a bold, creative vision for the College and its continued pedagogical growth as a liberal arts living-learning community within a major research university.

Professor Preston will assume the directorship of the Kilachand Honors College on January 1, 2017. We hope that you will join us in congratulating her as she prepares to take on her new role. We hope you will also join us in thanking Professor Dellheim for his exemplary intellectual leadership and administrative service to the Kilachand Honors College and in wishing him well as he returns to his responsibilities as a member of the faculty.

Finally, we want to express our gratitude to the members of the Kilachand Honors College Director Search Advisory Committee, whose considerable efforts and unwavering standards were vital to the success of the search. We look forward to building on the accomplishments seen at the Kilachand Honors College over the last five years and to an exciting future that further advances its standing as a premier intellectual destination and living-learning community for Boston University’s finest faculty and for top students from around the world.



New Offices, New Initiative From The New Director

July 7th, 2016

© Bryce Vickmark. All rights reserved. www.vickmark.com 617.448.6758The Center for the Humanities  will be undergoing many exciting changes this academic year. I will be following James Winn as the new Director of BUCH, for a five-year term starting in July 2016. Christine Loken-Kim will be continuing as the head administrator, and we will be hiring a new halftime administrator to help with the many duties generated by our vibrant center.

The Center will also be moving to temporary quarters at the end of December 2016: a new office suite in CAS (BO1, BO2 and BO3 that formerly housed the CAS administrative staff during the renovation of their offices). While our current space, CAS 105, has been a significant improvement over our previous location, it remains inadequate to the needs of a major humanities institute. Our goal is to find a donor to underwrite the renovation of an existing BU building so that the Humanities Center will have a permanent home on campus that fulfills the requirements of a center with greater public visibility.

The New Initiative for BUCH is to build on the many achievements of Professor Winn’s directorship, by expanding outward into the community, and more nationally. Taking advantage of BU’s unique location in the center of Boston, in walking distance to the Longwood Medical Area and major municipal offices, we hope through our programming and partnerships over the coming years to make the humanities at BU more central to the civic, state, national, and global communities.

Susan Mizruchi




June 14th, 2016


Residential Fellowships 2017-18

The National Humanities Center invites applications for academic-year or one-semester residencies. Fellowship applicants must have a PhD or equivalent scholarly credentials. Mid-career as well as senior scholars from all areas of the humanities are welcome; emerging scholars with a strong record of peer-reviewed work are also invited to apply. The Center does not normally support the revision of a doctoral dissertation. Located in the progressive Triangle region of North Carolina, the Center affords access to the rich cultural and intellectual communities supported by the area’s research institutes, universities, and dynamic arts scene. Fellows have private studies; the library service delivers all research materials. Scholars from all parts of the globe are eligible; a stipend and travel expenses are provided. The deadline for applications is October 18, 2016. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/become-a-fellow/

The National Humanities Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, handicap, sexual orientation, or age. We are dedicated to fair treatment, diversity, and inclusion.

“Isn’t it Romantic?” – a Gift to Our Colleagues

April 22nd, 2016

The 5th annual Gift to Our Colleagues was held at the George Sherman Union on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The theme, “Isn’t it Romantic?” gave our four speakers the opportunity to talk about Romanticism in the arts and humanities. After an introduction by BUCH Director James Winn, Charles Rzepka, professor of English, spoke on romanticism in literature in his presentation, “The Universe of Things.” Johnathan Ribner, associate professor of art history, followed with a talk on “Romantic Mirrors” in European art. David Kopp, associate professor of music theory, explained why music is “The Most Romantic of All Arts,” and proved his pointed with excerpts from romantic composers played on the piano with accompaniment on flute by James Winn. Finally, Liah Greenfeld, professor of sociology, looked at social interactions in her talk on “What is ‘Romantic’ in Love?”   The presentations were followed by a  fabulous Italian themed reception in the Terrace Lounge featuring a towering table of Italian cheeses and a selection of fine Italian wines. More than 100 people attended and enjoyed the presentations, the reception, and the good company.

Winn.Kopp4.20.16 cheese.table4.20.16wpeople longtable4.20.16

In Memoriam: Ralph Cohen

February 29th, 2016

Dr Ralph Cohen

University of Virginia Professor Emeritus of English Ralph Cohen, founder of the internationally known scholarly journal New Literary History, died February 23rd in Charlottesville. It was his 99th birthday.

For more than 60 years, Cohen was a professor of English and considered himself first and foremost a teacher. Cohen joined the UVA faculty in 1967 and before that taught at the University of California, Los Angeles for 17 years. A fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1984) and the British Academy (since 1987), Cohen received numerous fellowships and scholarly awards and was visiting professor at universities across the United States and around the world.

Hailed as the father of criticism and theory in our time, he founded the revolutionary publication New Literary History in 1969 as a new type of academic journal devoted to the role of theory in exploring literary and cultural questions. The journal publishes essays that deal with the nature of literary theory, the aims of literature, the relation of linguistics to literature, literary change and value, the evolution of styles, conventions, and genres, as well as articles from other disciplines that help interpret or define the problems of literary history or literary study. New Literary History also played a vital role in expanding the concerns of literary criticism beyond the close reading of individual literary texts and in introducing British and American scholars to methodologies from Asia and continental Europe through offering often first-time translations into English. In turn, New Literary History became the first English-language literary journal to be translated into Chinese. Its impact has been felt all over the world and Cohen undoubtedly transformed the field with his innovative work.

Specializing in 18th-century British literature and philosophy – though his intellectual reach ranged well beyond British literary studies – Cohen developed an original theory of genre that connected literary theory with analysis of historical change across the disciplines. He was deeply dedicated to all aspects of education: in keeping with his scholarly interests, he created the Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change (1988 to 1995). This interdisciplinary research center, Cohen wrote, “had as its primary aim the study of change and continuity in individuals and institutions in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.”

Cohen is survived by his daughter, Ruth; and son-in-law, David B. Morris; and son David and daughter-in-law, Mary Cohen, all of Charlottesville and beyond.

A memorial event will be held on UVA’s Grounds later this year.

See more here: https://news.virginia.edu/content/memoriam-ralph-cohen-professor-who-transformed-literary-criticism-0

Professor Emerita Patricia Hills awarded Wyeth Foundation for American Art grant

February 24th, 2016

phillsProfessor of History of Art & Architecture emerita and former BUCH Fellow Patricia Hills has been awarded a grant by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art to support her digital humanities project, which focuses on a comprehensive database of the artistic works of Eastman Johnson.




Assistant Professor Phil Haberkern to Scotland, Spring 2017

February 24th, 2016

haberkernPhil Haberkern, assistant professor of history and former BUCH Fellow, recently received a Cameron Faculty Fellowship to the University of St. Andrews for Spring 2017. During this fellowship, Haberkern will work his second book, which involves the comparative study of five cities that underwent radical reformations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.



Transdisciplinary Book Award Nominations

January 19th, 2016

The Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University is currently accepting nominations for its Transdisciplinary Book Award. This award is presented for a non-fiction work that exemplifies transdisciplinary, socially engaged humanities-based scholarship. Faculty from around the US are eligible for nomination. The deadline is February 1, 2016 by 11:59 PM, and the nomination form can be accessed here.

The winning book will receive a cash award of $1500, advertisement in IHR materials, an award certificate, and an all-expense paid visit to the Arizona State University campus in fall of 2016 so the author(s) may make an informal presentation of the book.

Please note that each publisher may nominate one or two books only. Nominated books may have multiple authors, but edited collections are ineligible.

Anne Krook: Humanist in the Real World

October 29th, 2015

Anne Krook Headshot

On Thursday, October 29, the BU Center for the Humanities sponsored a workshop for graduate students and a lecture for undergraduate students on “Humanities in the Real World.” These events featured Anne Krook, a humanist who has made a successful transition from academia to the corporate world.

Former English Professor Anne Krook flew in from Seattle to talk to our humanities students about seeking and holding nonacademic jobs. Krook began her career as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After moving to Seattle, she joined Amazon.com, where she held various roles in US and international website development, program management, internal audit, and infrastructure. She then worked as Vice President of Operations at a startup, Mindbloom, and then as Vice President of Operations at Synapse, a design firm.

In her 3-hour workshop, “The graduate students’ and postdoc’s guide to the non-academic job market,” Krook spoke to graduate students and postdocs about how their PhD degrees are viewed on the non-academic job market. She also described how graduate students can prepare to enter that market while in graduate school, how they can identify their skills and write resumes, and how they can navigate a job search successfully. Participants were able to sign-up for one-on-one sessions with Dr. Krook the following day.

Our visitor addressed similar topics in her evening lecture, entitled “But what are you going to do with a humanities major? A guide for the perplexed.” This interactive talk covered how hiring managers view a humanities major’s skills, how students can identify and describe their skills when they are ready to enter the job market, and how they can talk to parents and relatives about their majors and their job prospects.

Krook, a shining example of a humanist in the real world, included materials in her presentations that will aid students as they enter the job market. These materials can be found below:


Graduate Students:

The graduate students’ guide to the non-academic job search

PhDs and candidates example template

PhDs and candidates template


Undergraduate Students:

“What are you going to do with a humanities major?” A guide for the perplexed

Undergraduate resume builder