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Humanities at Richmond

Embracing Complexity

In the humanities, knowledge is fluid rather than stable and absolute. Instead of being frustrated by this, humanists embrace it, developing a flexible mindset equipped to deal with the uncertainty of our world.

Humanities Fellows Program

An interdisciplinary seminar for sophomore students interested in humanities fields.Learn more.

2019-2020 Tucker-Boatwright Festival | Dancing Histories: This Ground

Performances, lectures, panel discussions, and residencies by artists whose works reflect a unique engagement with contemporary politics and the interplay between history and memory.Learn more.

2,000 Years of Cultural Tradition

Humanities students join a community of scholars whose work builds on 2,000 years of cultural tradition. However, they soon find that the deep questions debated throughout history are just as relevant and meaningful in today’s society.

“The ability to nurture a sense of community among humanities departments and to share in the intense experience of independent research altered my own academics as I incorporated new and different disciplines into not only my research but also my other

Taylor Baciocco, '16, 2015 Undergraduate Humanities Fellow

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An Examined Life

Living an examined life enables one to collaborate meaningfully with others and is a prerequisite to living courageously, selflessly, and in the service of the public good. At Richmond, the humanities are focused on developing the intellectual resources to put an examined life into practice.

Our scholarly community is comprised of over 100 faculty members in 15 departments and programs, all of whom are experts in their chosen field, as well as dedicated teachers and mentors. 

The Humanities in Arts & Sciences Advisory Board guides humanities-related activities across the School and our campus.

Religious studies professor Douglas Winiarski received the 2018 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for his book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England. The book examines how ordinary people in 18th century New England learn to experience religion differently than previous generations.

Humanities Scholarship Repository

Faculty Accomplishments

  • Sackley receives funding

    Nicole Sackley, associate professor of history and American Studies, received a $2,000 grant from the Friends of University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries for her new project, Co-op Capitalism: Cooperatives, International Development, and American Visions of Capitalism in the Twentieth Century.

  • Tilton, Arnold Grant

    Rhetoric professor Lauren Tilton and mathematics professor Taylor Arnold received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop software that will analyze how moving images such as film, television, and news broadcasts shape cultural norms.

  • Towns Article

    Rhetoric and communication studies professor Armond Towns published, "Black 'Matter' Lives," in Women's Studies in Communication.

  • Maurantonio Presentation

    Rhetoric and communication studies professor Nicole Maurantonio and colleagues presented "Confronting Pasts: Community Engagement and Empowerment," at the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance.

  • Mendez Grant

    LALIS professor Mariela Mendez has received a collaborative grant from the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) to further her research on the Brazilian press and on female contributions in Latin American and American magazines.

  • Feldman Translation Performed

    LALIS professor Sharon Feldman’s English translation of Liberto, an award-winning Catalan play by Gemma Brió, was given a professional staged reading in the performance space of the Instituto Cervantes in New York City. 

  • Vickery Article

    Rhetoric and communication studies professor Andrea Vickery published, "Everyday (imagined) talk: An exploration of everyday conversational topics and imagined interaction features," in Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.

  • Singh Talk

    English professor Julietta Singh will speak at The Center for Gender and Sexuality about her book, No Archive Will Restore You.

  • Mifsud Essay

    Rhetoric and communication studies professor Mari Lee Mifsud's essay "The Gift, The Market, and the Question of Living Well Together: Exploring Rhetorics of Allo-Liberalism as Antidote to NeoLiberalism," was publised in Society and Economy.

  • Zimmermann Damer Named Research Associate

    Classics and WGSS professor Erika Zimmermann Damer has been named an IES Abroad Research Associate in Rome for spring 2019.

Co-Creating Knowledge

Humanities faculty and students work closely together in the classroom and through student-designed, faculty-mentored research. They ask hard questions of each other, resulting in the co-creation of new knowledge. After experiencing that collaborative environment, students enter the world prepared to make a contribution in the workplace, or to society as a whole.

The Humanities Fellows Program is a selective, close-knit, and interdisciplinary community of students and scholars investigating critical questions about human experience from diverse perspectives. The program combines an interdisciplinary seminar and field experience in Washington, D.C. (Spring 2020) with the opportunity to apply for mentored summer research (Summer 2020) and continued professional mentorship, career development, and community.

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Upcoming Events

There are no events currently scheduled.

Humanities Conferences

Students—looking to present your research? Check out the following opportunities:

Notre Dame Undergraduate Scholars Conference- fall
Imagining America- October (opportunity for faculty-student collaboration)
Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies- December
Undegraduate Research Network for Research in the Humanities- February
Humanities Education and Research Association- March (opportunity for faculty-student collaboration)
National Council on Public History- March (opportunity for faculty-student collaboration)
Virginia Humanities Conference- March (opportunity for faculty-student collaboration)
Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship- June (opportunity for faculty-student collaboration)
Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention (history research)

From the Classroom to the Real World

There is a seamless transition between the abstract thinking done in the classroom and the real-life demands of the job market. Humanities students can analyze problems, develop solutions, and communicate effectively with others, while exhibiting empathy, adaptability, and independent thinking.

As a result, they enter the world and their chosen profession with a formidable set of skills and capabilities, and mindset of curiosity and inquiry. But humanities students do not merely bring training and a set of skills to their profession; they bring the full weight of their humanity.

of employers agree students should have experiences that teach them to solve problems with people who have differing viewpoints. Source: AAC&U
percent of employers agree college students should acquire civic knowledge and judgement essential for contributing to their community. Source: AAC&U
of employers that agree a candidate's ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her major. Source: AAC&U

Alumni Perspectives

Carmen Hermo

"Rather than define you at an early stage in your life, the liberal arts allows you to prepare and position yourself as a writer, researcher, thinker, and individual. I found that later internships and hands-on experience shaped my specialization, but that my liberal arts background from the University of Richmond was the ideal foundation for my eventual career."

Carmen Hermo, '07
Major: art history
Current Occupation: Assistant Curator, Collections, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York

Humanities in Practice

The most pressing global problems do not have simple, black and white solutions. The humanities prepare students to confront today's challenges with flexible habits of mind, a strong moral compass, and the ability to critically examine complicated and rapidly changing social realties. They are equipped to effectively negotiate a globally integrated world, as well as shape a life that is rich with meaning because they recognize the full range of human value and potential.

Additional partners in humanities practice include University Museums, the Modlin Center for the Arts, the Center for Civic Engagement, the Digital Scholarship Lab, Boatwright Memorial Library, and UR Downtown.

Documenting a Historically Black High School

Writing Richmond

“Our courses are not about who writes the most polished term paper with the most sophisticated argument. It’s all about being willing to take risks and put yourself in situations that may not be comfortable, challenge your beliefs, and try a lot of things that you’ve never tried before," said American Studies professor Laura Browder.

In Browder and Patricia Herrera's course Documenting a Historically Black High School, students wrote and performed a documentary drama about the history of Richmond's Armstrong High.


Have questions about the humanities at Richmond? Contact program coordinator Dr. Nicole Sackley.