Rehumanizing the university

This fall, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere concludes its 2011-12 distinguished guest speaker series examining contemporary and historical opportunities and challenges in higher education: Rehumanizing the University: New Perspectives on the Liberal Arts. Fall speaker topics include interdisciplinary collaboration, university architecture, discrimination in higher education, and pathways to institutional reform. In examining the intellectual responsibilities of universities to local communities and indeed the world, this series seeks to re-assert the vital role of the humanities in helping universities and their publics navigate this time of radical change and beyond. The Fall, 2012 events follow below. If a speaker topic overlaps with your own research or teaching interests, please let us know so that we can explore working this into the speaker’s visit to UF (

Sept. 13, 6 p.m. (Smathers Library 1A)

“The Biopolitics of the Posthumanities”

Cary Wolfe (Rice University) asks what separates humans from animals or society from nature, challenging humanists and scientists to collaborate on new directions for research on what it means to be human.

Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. (Smathers Library 1A)

“Civilizing Students, Civilizing Communities: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Plans for Colleges and Universities”

David Schuyler (Franklin & Marshall College) looks at what the architecture and landscape design of land-grant universities (such as UF) say about institutional inspirations and aspirations.

Oct. 22, 7 p.m. (Smathers Library 1A)

“From the Margins to the Mainstream: Jewish Students and Administrators at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton”

Marcia Synnott (University of South Carolina) examines Jewish admissions quotas from the 1920s to explore how education is used to discriminate or assimilate minorities.

Nov. 15, 7 p.m. (Ustler Hall Atrium)

“How Can We Rehumanize the University, Here and Now?”

Harry Brighouse (University of Wisconsin-Madison) focuses on what divides university faculty from their students and the public, suggesting opportunities for institutional reform and practical change.

All events are free and open to all. For more information on these and future talks in Rehumanizing the University, visit or email

Rehumanizing the University is co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program, the UF Honors Program, the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History at UF, the UF International Center, the UF Office of Research, UF  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,  the UF Center for Jewish Studies, the UF Libraries, the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, the UF France-Florida Research Institute, the  Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the UF Department of History, the UF Department of Classics, the UF Department of English, the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Chair, the Albert Brick Chair in English at UF, the UF African American Studies Program, the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, UF College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Alachua County Library District.