We’ve had an exciting start to a year that is already buzzing with energy. Just two weeks ago, we launched the annual Humanities theme Food for Thought and welcomed over 150 students and faculty to sample the goods of local farmers, restaurants, and businesses. After a dynamic talk by Cherie Scott of Mumbai to Maine, we made our way to the Colby Green for festivities under the big tent. Stocked with food from Winterberry Farm, Proper Pig, 18 Below, the students of the South Asian Society, and other local samplings, it was a thrilling start to the semester and to the theme!
And we have much more in store. Over the academic year, sixteen courses will address the theme with a range of methodologies, offering students a way to study food from anthropological perspectives, literary narratives, historical events, and beyond. The theme co-sponsors of Food for Thought have created a stellar lecture series with a lineup of speakers who explore the politics and pleasures of the food we enjoy.
At the same time, our Environmental Humanities initiative has spun into gear after another transformative Summer Institute in the Environmental Humanities. The EH Faculty Seminar is already meeting for workshops from past participants of the Summer Institute and other field-defining thinkers, while our EH Student Advisory Board is coming up with a full calendar of events for our students. We’re also delighted to welcome the New England Medieval Consortium to campus this weekend, who will gather around the theme of Medieval Ecologies.
This partial list is just the start. It’s been invigorating to hear your stories and ideas for the future, and to work in collaboration with cross-campus colleagues in the arts and humanities to bring them to fruition. The students, faculty, and campus and community partners truly help make the Center the institution that it is. I look forward to seeing you at events, catching up over receptions, and learning with you all this year.
Director, Center for the Arts and Humanities | Chair & Associate Professor of Spanish