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UCI School of Humanities


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We Welcome Your Support

There is a wide range of giving opportunities in the School of Humanities to allow you, your family, and/or your company or organization to become an important part of the School's future.

For more information, contact Nicole Balsamo, Director of Development at 949-824-2923 or nbalsamo@uci.edu.



School of Humanities Events

Humanities Headlines


2014-2015 Author Series


Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. New events are added regularly. Visit the School of Humanities event page for an up-to-date list of all events.

School of Humanities News

In creating ‘Martyrs’ Day,’ China promotes a vision of the past

Ngugi to be feted on 50th anniversary of first novel

UC President's Public Partnerships in the Humanities awarded to two School of Humanities Faculty

The Jordan Center for Persian studies launches DABIR, an online peer reviewed journal dedicated to the study of Iran and related material

USA Today/College Factual Study Ranks UCI Literary Journalism Among Top Ten US Journalism Programs for Undergraduates

UC Irvine News

UC Regents approve Howard Gillman as UCI chancellor

UC Irvine Leaps Ahead Seven Spots in Newly Released 2015 U.S. News & World Report Rankings


Dean's Message

Van Den Abbeele

As the campus returns to life after the quiet of summer, I am once again reminded that a university is about its people, and this is a fortiori the case for the School of Humanities, as its very name suggests. We are about the people who make us what we are: the prestigious and inspiring faculty whose research, teaching, and service make us a globally preeminent hub of learning; the incomparably dedicated and resourceful staff whose greatest success is paradoxically their very invisibility as both our daily and our long-term operations appear to happen seamlessly; and most importantly our students, both undergraduate and graduate, whose aspirations and needs not only justify our very existence as an institution of higher learning but also challenge us every day to rethink what we can do better in order to help them achieve their academic goals and realize their dreams.

The Humanities used to be called the artes humaniores, or the ways to become more human, "to become a better person," as Jack Nicholson once said, translating the Renaissance into contemporary California-speak. More commonly, we speak today of the "liberal arts," as if they existed in a vacuum. Classically, the so-called liberal arts were opposed to the "servile" or "mechanical" arts, which trained people for a single, practical skill. Just as the servile arts were thought to enslave you (to a single craft, a single job, a single career), the liberal arts were supposed to set you free (to pursue a variety of callings, including the call to being an active citizen and leader in one's society). Of course, in premodern times, this distinction was fundamentally an elitist one, limiting liberal arts education to the ruling classes alone. But the modern public university, of which UC Irvine is an exemplum, is dedicated to extending access to the liberal arts to all members of our society, to providing all of our students with the critical skills, learning and resourcefulness to set themselves "free," to be the better persons who can in turn make the world a better place, to help and support others who are not as free, and in turn instruct us more truly in what being free means, most especially that all-important freedom of thought and speech that remains perpetually threatened, even today. Our mission is to meet the challenge of liberally educating our students, our peers, and yes, ourselves as well. No challenge is greater, and I welcome you back to campus with my full encouragement and support to help you meet this challenge, the ongoing and greatest challenge of our times.

Jim Herbert

Georges Van Den Abbeele
Dean, School of Humanities

The School of Humanities Welcomes
New Associate Deans

James D. Herbert, Associate Dean, Associate Dean of Curriculum and Student Services
Jim HerbertJames D. Herbert is Professor of Art History, and co-founder of the Ph.D Program in Visual Studies. He has been a member of the faculty at UCI since 1993. He writes on European art and music from the 16th century to the present, with a special focus on French painting of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His has published three books: Fauve Painting: The Making of Cultural Politics (1992); Paris 1937: Worlds on Exhibition (1998); and Our Distance from God: Studies of the Divine and the Mundane in Western Art and Music (2008). A fourth book, entitled Brushstroke & Emergence: Courbet, Impressionism, Picasso, is scheduled for publication in 2015.

More >>

Julia R. LuptonLupton, Associate Dean for Research
Julia Reinhard Lupton is the author or co-author of four books on Shakespeare, including Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life and Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and ACLA Fellowships, and she is a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America. She serves on editorial boards for several academic presses, including MLQ, Exemplaria, Literature and Theology, and Renaissance Drama. She is an award-winning teacher who contributes frequently to community events. In addition to Shakespeare, she works on design and design theory and has published two trade books with her sister, graphic designer Ellen Lupton. In the School of Humanities, she has previously served as Director of Humanities Core, Director of Jewish Studies, and Director of Humanities Out There. She has taught at UCI since 1989.

More >>

And returning for his second year,
Andrzej Warminski, Associate Dean for Academic Personnel
Warminski Professor of English Andrzej Warminski works on literary theory and its history, British romantic literature, German 19th and 20th century philosophy, and its reception in French thought. Most recently he has published two volumes of essays: Material Inscriptions: Rhetorical Reading in Practice and Theory (2013) and Ideology, Rhetoric, Aesthetics: For De Man (2013). At present, he is writing a book on crucial moments in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and their implications for current theoretical debates. Before coming to UCI, he taught at Northwestern University and Yale University. Born in Gdańsk, Poland, Warminski arned his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Yale University.

The School of Humanities is happy to introduce our newest faculty members -

Roland Betancourt, Assistant Professor, Art History
Aglaya Glebova, Assistant Professor, Art History and Film and Media Studies
Adria Imada, Associate Professor, History
Susan Morrissey, Professor, History
Julio Torres, Assistant Professor, Spanish, and Director of the Spanish Language Program
Catherine Sameh, Assistant Professor, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Emily Thuma, Assistant Professor, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Jerry Lee, Assistant Professor, English
A. Braxton Sodermann, Assistant Professor, Film & Media Studies

Welcome to UC Irvine!

Peter the Anteater

Opening of La Casa Nuestra - an innovative and immersive Spanish language residence

La Casa Nuestra

Article by Professor Armin Schwegler

La Casa Nuestra welcomed its first 18 residents this weekend. These undergraduate Anteaters will be the pioneering class of an on-campus living-learning residential experience - they have all signed language pledges to speak in Spanish ONLY, as long as they are at home at La Casa Nuestra, and are looking forward to a year full of fun, learning, community, and newfound fluency en español!


Announcing the Humanities Commons

Humanities Commons Article by Professor Julia Lupton
The Humanities Commons will support scholarship and creative activity that addresses human action, meaning making and thought in its historical variety and contemporary range. The staff at the Commons can’t wait to help faculty and students tackle enduring problems, identify emerging questions, and share their findings with different audiences.


Success of the New Swan Noontime Seminars

Photo: UCI LibrariesThis summer, the New Swan Shakespeare Festival delivered an extraordinary burst of wit and wonder for students, faculty, staff, and community. The world of Shakespeare was brought to life with special pre-show talks, noontime seminars at Langson Library, and audience engagement.




Alumni Spotlight: David Benioff

Photo by Amanda Peet
Once a struggling writer, alumnus David Benioff is now Hollywood royalty as the co-creator of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, and a 2014 Emmy nominee for outstanding writing for a drama series. Benioff is a graduate of UC Irvine's MFA program in Fiction.

Donor Spotlight: The Meghrouni Family

The Meghrouni Family's trip to Armenia in 2007

For Armine and me the university experience profoundly shaped our lives. It revealed vistas of knowledge unknown to us. With an agenda of rigorous study and learning, it gave us proficiency for acquiring an education, and it allowed epiphanies not to be had by any other means.

A university provides an arena where truth is the ideal and bias is anathema. The Humanities are particularly suited to provide just such a forum.

Being in an imperfect world, we, born in America of Armenian parents, in our formal education never could find or learn anything about our heritage, that of a people with a continuous history for three millennia!!

Thus, we are indebted to Dean Van Dan Abbeele and the School of Humanities of UC Irvine for their vision for a comprehensive course in Armenian Studies, and we are honored to have the privilege to secure its establishment by lending our philanthropic support to the program.

-Dr. Vahe Meghrouni

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