Jean Allman has had a busy year.
Last spring, Allman, PhD, the J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, took on additional duties as director of the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences. This fall, under her watch, the center has overhauled its website; hosted the Faculty Books Celebration and the James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education; announced the 2014 Washington University International Humanities Medal; launched the new Humanities Broadsheet; and added a pair of in-residence fellowship opportunities.
With the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the center also has established The Divided City, a four-year project exploring segregation in St. Louis. We sat down with Allman to discuss some of these activities as well as the health — and nature — of the humanities themselves.
You were appointed director of the Center for the Humanities last spring. Tell us a little about your hopes for the program.
I work in African studies and was trained as a historian, but I’m profoundly interdisciplinary in the ways that I approach the past. I like igniting and mobilizing faculty interests across disciplinary boundaries and bringing people into new kinds of conversations.
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