Meet the Staff: Deborah Blumenthal

Meet the Staff: Deborah Blumenthal

More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.

Deborah Blumenthal
Program Assistant, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Office: Wieboldt Hall 205

What do you like most about your job?
Our students and faculty are great, and I love being able to support the work they do. I’m surrounded by bright, curious minds every day! I was a MAPH student several years ago, and we had an amazing administrative support system that was such an important part of why I loved the program – it’s rewarding to be able to pay that forward, in a way. It’s also fun to plan departmental events and in doing so, get to learn about all sorts of things I don’t think I’d run into anywhere else.

What was the last good book you read?
I just finished The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, which I had been meaning to read since it came out a few years ago. It’s about a group of friends who meet as teenagers at a summer camp for the arts, and it spans from the 1970s to the 2000s. So it’s this kind of panoramic view of friendship, and how the talents and passions we discover in our young selves fit – or don’t fit – into our lives as adults. The characters are so well-crafted, and the story hits on a lot of things that are often on my mind as an artist.

I tend to juggle a lot of books at a time, and I listen to audiobooks on my commute. Currently listening to two: Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil and Another Person’s Poison: A History of Food Allergy, both on subjects close to my heart. 

You might work with me if you need..
… help cross-listing a course, reserving Wieboldt 207, booking travel for a visitor, organizing a lecture or conference, reimbursement for any one of a long list of things, information about studying a Romance language at UChicago, etc.

Are you currently working on any creative projects?
I’m not currently working on anything specific, no. I’m a dramaturg, and for those of us who are freelancers, work can kind of ebb and flow – there are super busy times, and then periods of down time each year. I’m using my summer to get to know some young playwrights, help them develop their scripts, talk to them about their goals and ideas, etc., and I’m looking for my next project. It’s always fun to get to know new, driven, curious, creative people and explore opportunities to collaborate in the future. 

July 31, 2017