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Hodges Endowment to Humanities Center

The Humanities Center recently received a major gift from the John C. Hodges Trustees.  The John C. Hodges Humanities Endowment will help support a variety of initiatives in the Humanities Center focused on research, teaching and outreach. 

New Initiative to Engage Undergraduates in Humanities Research

This semester the center launched a new initiative for encouraging and supporting undergraduate research in the humanities under the leadership of Virginia Murphy. As Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, Murphy will promote undergraduate research in the humanities on campus and nationally, including hosting a conference at UT, and advocate for both research opportunities and funding for undergraduate research in the humanities. She will also be responsible for creating mentoring programs sponsored by the center for students interested in pursuing higher degrees in the humanities and will work with individual undergraduates to help them initiate research projects.  A scholar of the drama of the Elizabethan stage, Murphy completed a doctoral degree in UT's Department of English where she currently serves as lecturer and has garnered an excellent teaching record.

UTHC Fundraising Off to a Good Start

Public and private universities alike now depend increasingly on the generosity of alumni, benefactors and friends for support. Such support allows one to shape the future through an educational gift. Fundraising efforts are well underway to help secure the long-term future of the University of Tennessee Humanities Center.  Start-up funds from the University and the College of Arts & Sciences enabled the Center to begin full-time operations in 2012. 
A goal of between $7M - $10M has been identified as the size endowment needed to fully cover operational and programming needs for the Center and allow it to be self-sustaining. Our supporters have been very generous. With fundraising efforts beginning in fiscal year 2013, roughly $500,000 has been secured to date.  While gifts of any size are appreciated, donors can take advantage of recognition opportunities available to be named beginning at $10,000.

For more information on how you can support UTHC, please contact Holly Jackson-Sullivan, Director of Development at or call 865-974-2557.

University Among the Top with NEH Grants

The number of National Endowment for the Humanities grants awarded to the University of Tennessee has risen since early 2000, placing the university among the few research universities in the nation in high ranking.  Read more in the Chancellor's website.

Heffernan MLA Prize Recipient

Dr. Thomas Heffernan, director of the Humanities Center, was recognized for his edition of The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity, published by Oxford University Press.  The Award was recently presented to him by the Modern Language Association of America.

Martin Wins Medieval Academy of America Grant

Geoffrey Martin, 2013-2014 Humanities Center Graduate Fellow and doctoral student in history, has won several fellowships and awards during the academic year.  They comprise the Hill Monastic Library Stipend for research, a short-term research fellowship at the Vatican Film Library at St. Louis University, the Alan Deyermond Fellowship at the University of London's Warburg Institute ­– an award for scholars of Iberian topics, and most recently, the 2014 John Boswell Dissertation Grant from the Medieval Academy of America for manuscript research in Spain.

McConnell Awarded Guggenheim Foundation Grant

Michael McConnell, doctoral student in German history, has received a dissertation-writing award from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation for the 2014-2015 academic year.  This grant is to fund his completion of the dissertation writing during the award year.  McConnell's dissertation is entitled "Home to the Reich: The Nazi Occupation of Europe's Influence on Life Inside Germany, 1941-1945."  His research in German historical archives was funded by previous fellowships from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Center for Advanced Research.  McConnell is an active participant in the AfterWars Faculty Research Seminar, and a student of former fellow (class of 2012-13) Dr. Vejas Liulevicius.

Professional Journal at the Center

Professor Amy Elias, 2013-14 Fellow, has created a new scholarly journal for the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, an international contemporary arts society.  ASAP/Journal, co-edited by Amy J. Elias and Jonathan D. Eburne, will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press Board and Journals Division.  The journal will be housed in the Humanities Center; and the first issue is scheduled for January 2016.

Board of Trustees Meeting

Dr. Thomas Heffernan, director of the Humanities Center, was invited to speak before the Board of Trustees at the luncheon meeting on Friday, October 18, 2013.  Faculty and graduate student fellows of the Humanities Center, as well as graduate students in various humanities departments were also present and engaged with the Trustees over lunch.  Heffernan spoke about the crucial role of the humanities in a public university.

Chancellor's Visit

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek spent time at the Center with the director and fellows in January 2014.

Spring Luncheon

The Center's annual Spring Luncheon was held In April 2014.  Dean Theresa Lee; Vice Chancellor John Zomchick; Dr. William "Stuart" Riggsby, professor emeritus of microbiology, and kind supporter of the Humanities Center; the Humanities Center Steering Committee, along with Director Dr. Thomas Heffernan; and current and incoming fellows partook of the fare and were involved in stimulating conversations about their work and about the Center.

Chandler Demonstrates Interest in More Ways Than One

Atlanta attorney John Chandler, an alumnus of the University of Tennessee and generous contributor to the Humanities Center, visited the Center on Friday, October 4, 2013.  He sat in on the interdisciplinary  research seminar, "The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity," comprising faculty and graduate students.

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