About | Mission | 2014 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival Events | Theory & Society JournalAdvisory Boards


The Center for the Humanities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis was the first center of its kind in the bi-state region and in the state of Missouri.

The Center for the Humanities has two central objectives:

  1. to provide visibility and focus for humanities activities at UM-St. Louis, and
  2. to attract and channel resources for the support of interdisciplinary humanistic inquiry.

To this end the Center has sponsored a variety of conferences, symposiums, and lectures. Over the last several years, the Center has sponsored a conference entitled "What is a City?", which examines the structure and social environment of cities and their effects on social and cultural diversity.

The Center for the Humanities also coordinates:

  • Monday Noon Cultural Series, featuring a variety of performances and lectures in the arts and humanities on Mondays at 12:15 p.m. during the academic year
  • Poetry & Reading Series, presenting fiction writers and poets reading and discussing their works

The University of Missouri-St. Louis, along with Webster University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, support Theory and Society, a refereed, interdisciplinary journal of social theory and practices, housed in The Center for the Humanities.

Administration:

  • Diane Touliatos, Director
  • Karen Lucas, Associate Director
  • Margaret Blackmon, Communication Intern

Mission

The Center for the Humanities has two central objectives: to provide visibility and focus for humanities activities at UMSL and to attract and channel resources for the support of interdisciplinary humanistic inquiry.

To this end the Center has sponsored a variety of conferences, symposiums, and lectures. Over the last several years, the Center has sponsored a conference entitled "What is a City?", which examines the structure and social environment of cities and their effects on social and cultural diversity. The Center for the Humanities also sponsors the Monday Noon Cultural Series throughout the academic year, which features a variety of humanistic lectures and musical performances every Monday at 12:00 noon. The Center also supports and coordinates the Poetry and Reading Series, which features original contemporary authors reading their works. In addition, the Center houses and funds the journal Theory and Society, a refereed, interdisciplinary journal of social theory and practices, published by Kluwer Academic in The Netherlands. The Center disseminates information on the humanities on their web site and promotes the development of interdisciplinary outreach courses.

The Center for Humanities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis was launched in 1992 and is the only Center for Humanities in the University of Missouri four-campus system, the region, and the state of Missouri. Serving a diverse, urban population of predominantly older students, the Center for Humanities has as its mission to emphasize the humanities in an urban area that otherwise would not be well served by humanities programs.

In a Civic Progress (local corporate leaders) Higher Education Study of St. Louis made in 1990, important area employers voiced concern about the lack of global awareness and understanding of other cultures and humanities that characterized most graduates. In response to this concern, the Center for Humanities was conceived and has as its goal to promote the humanities that have been afflicted by a general loss of funding for humanistic research, lectureships, and conferences leading students to confine their humanistic inquiries only to required university courses.

The Center for Humanities offers a wide range of humanistic interdisciplinary events and functions to students, faculty, community, and even worldwide with our informational web site at a time when Humanities majors constitute only 9-10% of the total student body of most universities. Consequently, the Center offers opportunities and advantages in the humanities that otherwise would not be available. In an era of technology and science dominance, the Center for Humanities is a phenomenon of people, society, and cultures that should not be overlooked nor neglected.


2014 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival: Immigration & Mobility


The University of Missouri–St. Louis Center for the Humanities presents an opening event in the 2014 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival.

  • When: Tuesday, April 1 | 7 PM
  • Where: J.C. Penney Conference Center | Room 202
  • FREE & Open to the Public | No Registration Required
  • Park in Lots A and B near J.C. Penney Center | See Map
  • Call (314) 516-5698 for more information

Geddes WALKING WOUNDED: Migration, Displacement, and the Long Road Home
Gary Geddes, internationally acclaimed and prize-winning Canadian author and editor of 40 books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, and criticism, has travelled around the world to places where war, conflict, violence, prejudice, and resource competition have torn people, families, and countries apart. Geddes will read from his books and poetry expressing his reflections on such calamities. His Festival presentation will emphasize the individual, human dimension, telling us stories of people he met in Africa and elsewhere who have endured hardships as refugees or internally displaced persons, developing unusual strength as human beings. Geddes will challenge the audience to think about migration issues closer to home, using anecdotes from his work on First Nations in Canada. He will close by describing survival mechanisms he has witnessed, including work, fellowship, humor, forgiveness, and the arts. Billy Collins, USA Poet Laureate emeritus, says of Geddes: “It comes as a relief to read work by a poet … at least as interested in the world as he is in himself. Here, we are … conducted … out of the glass dome of the ego and into a wider, more capacious world of culture, history, and even erudition.” Books will be available for signing.

The 2014 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival runs Tuesday, April 1, through Sunday, April 6, at venues around the bi-state area. For a full Festival schedule, please visit: mohumanities.org/festival.

Support provided by the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council.

Events

The Center for the Humanities produces these events and series:

  • Monday Noon Series
    • This free cultural series presents interdisciplinary lectures and performances by artists, dancers, musicians, historian, fiction writers, social and political analysts, and cultural leaders. No registration is required. Light refreshments are served.
  • Poetry & Short Story Reading Series
    • The Poetry & Short Story Reading Series is cosponsored with the University of Missouri-St. Louis Department of English. The series is organized by the Department of English faculty members Mary Troy, John Dalton, and Steve Schreiner.
    • The Series features contemporary poets and short story writers who read from their original works. The Series gives our faculty, students, and community the chance to hear the original works of writers from throughout the United States.
    • All of the readings are free; no registration is needed. For the current schedule, call (314) 516-6845.
  • What Is a City? Conference

Theory & Society Journal

The University of Missouri-St. Louis, along with Webster University and Southern Illinios University Edwardsville, is proud to sponsor Theory and Society, a refereed, interdisciplinary journal of social theory and practices, published by Springer in The Netherlands.

Considered by many to be the premier journal of social theory in English, Theory and Society is subscribed to by most major research libraries in the world. The journal has been published for nearly four decades with six issues a year. The journal's editors and authors are distinguished scholars with major international reputations in Sociology, History, Education, Anthropology, Art History, Political Science, Communication, and Gender Studies.

Karen Lucas, associate director of the Center, has served as managing editor and corresponding editor for Theory and Society since 1982. In addition to sponsorship by the Center, journal activities are supported by UMSL's College of Fine Arts & Communication, College of Education, Center for International Studies, and Office of Research Administration. We appreciate generous support from Webster University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The UMSL editorial associates are an important part of the journal's life. UMSL, Webster, and SIUE faculty who serve in this capacity are interested in social theory in an interdisciplinary context. The editorial associates read manuscript submissions related to their research interests and meet twice a month for lively discussions of papers and issues. Thus each manuscript is well known by the editorial collective, leading to wise choices of reviewers and useful editorial suggestions for authors. This gives the editorial associates access to very current work in their areas of expertise and to the latest debates and concerns of a more general, interdisciplinary nature. The associates praise the group as a major opportunity for scholarly interactions with colleagues from other departments and exposure to other disciplines. The participation of faculty members from Webster and SIUE promotes academic interchange. Reading and discussing submissions, reviews, and editorial recommendations, as well as seeing how authors respond to requests for revisions, gives these faculty members an "insider" view of academic publishing, and a more sophisticated understanding of what is needed to develop a successful publication record.

We look forward to the continued partnership of Theory and Society with The Center for the Humanities and are pleased to be able to enhance faculty opportunities and the university's scholarly reputation by providing the journal a home in St. Louis.

Advisory & Community Boards

These UMSL faculty members provide the center with advice on programming, presenters, and audience building. Member terms are open-ended.

Advisory Board

  • Robert Bliss, Dean, Pierre LaClede Honors College
  • John Brunero, Philosophy Dept., College of Arts & Sciences
  • Rita Csapo-Sweet, Theater, Dance & Media StudiesDept., College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • John Crane, College of Optometry
  • Patrick Mitchell Downey, UMSL student
  • Kathleen Nigro, Assistant director, Institute of Women’s & Gender Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Frank Grady, English Dept., College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jim Henry, Music Dept., College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • John Hoover, Director, Mercantile Library, UM-St. Louis
  • Terry Jones, Political Science Dept., College of Arts & Sciences
  • Min Soo Kang, History Dept., College of Arts & Sciences
  • Louis Lankford, Art Education Des Lee Professor, College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris, Anthropology Dept. & School of Education
  • Pamela Stuerke, College of Business Administration
  • Terry Suhre, Director, Gallery 210, Art & Art History Dept., College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • Sheridan Wigginton, Foreign Languages and Literature Dept., College of Arts & Sciences 

Community Board

  • Nancy Kranzberg, President
  • Dorothy Doyle
  • Kay Drey
  • Sue Engelhardt
  • Melanie Fathman
  • Renee Franklin
  • Barbara Gervais
  • Tullia Hamilton
  • Cheryl Johnson
  • Audrey Jones
  • Nick Karakas
  • Joan Markow
  • Bill Odell
  • Bob Orchard
  • Jill Petzall
  • Paul Reuter
  • Rosemary Rosenthal

Funding & Contributions

The Center for Humanities is a unit of the office for Academic Affairs of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. While most of the Center's funding comes from Academic Affairs, the Center for Humanities constantly pursues additional financial support and grants to enhance current programs and to establish new ones.

Contributions in support of the Center for Humanities may be made payable to the University of Missouri-St. Louis for the Center for Humanities.

Also, contributions can be sent directly to the Center for Humanities for the Center's Gift Account to Center for Humanities, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 406 Lucas Hall, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4499.

Thank you for your continuing interest in the Center for Humanities.