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News From the Center


National Humanities Center Announces Sites for Inaugural “Being Human” Festival

Inspired by and undertaken in partnership with the United Kingdom’s “Being Human” Festival, this inaugural US version will include community-focused events in nine locations across the country. Each will highlight the ways that the humanities add depth and meaning to our lives, help us understand ourselves and one another, and provide context for the complex world around us.


Joanna Brooks Will Develop an Emerging Humanities Toolkit

The NHC is developing an emerging humanities toolkit with Joanna Brooks, associate vice president of faculty advancement and professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, that features stories of faculty members and conversations around what counts in faculty career advancement.


National Humanities Center Board Welcomes New Member

At its recent meeting, the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center elected Daniela Bleichmar, professor of art history and history at the University of Southern California (USC), as the Center’s newest trustee. Bleichmar is also the founding director of the Levan Institute for the Humanities and director of the USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities.

photo of Robert D. Newman

Robert D. Newman, NHC President and Director, Announces Retirement

After nine years at the helm of the National Humanities Center, President and Director Robert D. Newman has announced his retirement. He will step down as director in July 2024. Newman assumed leadership of the Center in 2015 and has overseen an array of initiatives expanding opportunities for humanities scholars and teachers.

collage of four photo portraits

National Humanities Center Board Elects Chair, Other Officers

The board of trustees of the National Humanities Center has elected Porter Durham, who recently retired as managing partner of Global Endowment Management, as its new chairman. He succeeds Ben Vinson III, the newly appointed president of Howard University. Joining Durham as officers of the NHC's board are entrepreneur Rishi Jaitly, vice chairman; Karen Lawrence, president of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, secretary; and Raymond Wiacek, a partner at Jones Day, who was re-elected as treasurer.


Featured Research: Music and Its Uses

This month we highlight the research of 2023–24 Fellows whose projects consider the role that music plays in shaping lives. From churches in medieval Iberia to movie houses in the Soviet bloc to the streets and dancehalls of New Orleans and Nigeria, these scholars are examining music’s profound power to reveal and reimagine the world around us.

African American woman writing in a book

NHC Summer Institute on Teaching African American Studies Focuses on the Perspectives of Women

How does our understanding of American history and culture change when viewed through the eyes of Black women? How should we incorporate Black women’s voices in curriculums to ensure students can benefit from those perspectives? These and related questions will be the focus of (re)Centering the Narrative: Black Women’s Voices of the 19th and 20th Centuries which will be held July 10–14, 2023 at the National Humanities Center.


National Humanities Center Names 2023–24 Teacher Advisory Council

The National Humanities Center has announced the selection of twenty talented educators from across the country as members of its 2023–24 Teacher Advisory Council. These teachers, from schools in twelve states, will work with the Center’s staff in piloting, evaluating, and promoting NHC resources and professional development programs for collegiate and pre-collegiate educators.