Humanities Division Honors Graduate Students and Faculty at the 537th Convocation

Humanities Division 2023 Convocation Ceremony

Division of the Humanities graduates, faculty members, and the graduating students’ families and friends celebrated the 537th Convocation ceremony in Rockefeller Chapel from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on June 2, 2023. This is the last year that Anne Walters Robertson is serving as Dean of the Division of the Humanities, and the first year for the new Stuart Tave Course Design Awards honoring graduate students for exemplary course design in teaching undergraduate students.

“At every convocation, we are proud to celebrate the achievements in scholarship and teaching of our faculty and students,” said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities and the Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music. “I am so pleased that at this, my final convocation as dean, we are launching a new award for excellence in course creation by graduate students: the Stuart Tave Course Design Award.”

Experimental UChicago Course Compares Maya, European Stories of Creation

EdgarEdgar Garcia discusses the Popol Vuh with UChicago students. Photo by Jason Smith Garcia discusses the Popol Vuh with UChicago students in the classroom

During the pandemic, English professors Edgar Garcia and Timothy Harrison began to notice connections between two seemingly different texts also written in moments of crisis.

John Milton’s epic “Paradise Lost” was written after the English Civil War once the poet had lost his vision. The “Popol Vuh”—sometimes called “the Mayan Bible”—was written by Maya scholars while living under Spanish colonization and forced religious conversion.

Both tell creation stories, narratives about how the world and its inhabitants formed. And both were written within the same historical moment—though on either side of the Atlantic.

Deborah Nelson Appointed Dean of UChicago's Division of the Humanities

Deborah Nelson

Prof. Deborah L. Nelson has been appointed dean of the University of Chicago Division of the Humanities, President Paul Alivisatos and Provost Katherine Baicker announced[MOU1] . Her tenure will begin July 1.

Nelson is a renowned scholar whose research focuses on late 20th-century U.S. culture and politics. The Helen B. and Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in the Department of English and the College, she currently serves as chair of the Department of English Language and Literature.

“Debbie is a highly regarded scholar who has made important academic contributions and who has contributed in numerous ways to the vitality of our University community,” Alivisatos said. “She is an experienced, collaborative and energetic leader. I am grateful that she has committed to service as Dean of the Humanities Division. Hers will be a powerful voice for the humanities at UChicago and beyond.”

Cornell Fleischer, Historian Who Revolutionized Study of Ottoman Empire, 1950-2023

Cornell Fleischer

Prof. Cornell H. Fleischer, a world-renowned expert of Ottoman history and scholar of the greater Islamic world, passed away in Chicago on April 21. He was 72.

Known for his prowess with languages and as an attentive mentor to his students, Fleischer was the Kanuni Süleyman Professor in the Departments of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and History. He was an expert in the Age of Süleyman the Lawgiver—the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire—for which his professorship was named.