Annual Report

The University Center for the Humanities




I became Director of the Center in 2019, just a few months before the global pandemic changed all of our lives. 

During that most unusual 2020-2021 academic year we provided a range of online events to keep our community informed and engaged. 


The humanities provide fundamental intellectual resources for exploring the issues of our day. Rooted in diverse perspectives, the humanities comprise the classics, languages, literature, philosophy, ethics, history, jurisprudence, religion, archaeology and cultural studies, as well as the social sciences, such as cultural anthropology, economics, geography, political science and sociology.

Lecture Series - Courage

Dana Nessel | October 28, 2021 

Lecture: "Courage"

Dana Nessel opened our 2021-22 speaker series with a personal, engaging and wide-ranging talk with insightful and inspiring anecdotes about the courage involved in the work she has done as a practicing lawyer and as the Attorney General for the state of Michigan.





Christina Wolbrecht & Kevin Corder | November 11, 2021

Lecture: "A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage"

In this talk,Christina Wolbrecht and Kevin Corder discussed the interesting discoveries, questions and revelations they encountered while co-writing their book "A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage." 


Deirdre Cooper Owens | March 24, 2022

Lecture: "Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology"

Deirdre Cooper Owens visit involed three events across three different schools with WMU. On March 24, Cooper Owens visited the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and talked about her book with students. That evening, and the WMU College of Health and Human Services, Cooper Owens delivered a lecture about her book to campus and community members. On March 25, Cooper Owens was participated in an interview to open the WMU College of Health and Human Services Diversity and Inclusion Conference.


Sarah Deer | April 7, 2022

Lecture: "The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America"

Sarah Deer's generous visit to WMU included an initmate book/author talk with a group of faculty and the 2021-22 undergraduate "Courage" fellows as well as a public presentation of her powerful and well-informed book "The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America" 



Denise Frohman | April 14, 2022

Lecture: "Courage"

At the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, Denice Frohman performed a stunning and provocative set of old and new poems for students from Kalamazoo College and WMU, faculty, staff and community members.




Grants - Awards and Proposals

NEH Connections Grant - Infusing the Humanities into Climate Change Curriculum

NEH Innovations Grant-A Shared Intellectual Experience Through Humanities Literature Courses: Building a New Liberal Arts Certificate Program for Justice-Involved Individuals