Message from the President & Director

A Look Back at 2019–20

Talking about the challenges of the past year, NHC President and Director Robert D. Newman notes how “…we have been reminded again and again of the importance of shared purpose and community.” Watch this video for an overview of the Center and its work throughout 2019–20.

Supporting Scholarship

Nurturing Intellectual Community

When Fellows arrive at the Center each year, they discover not only an ideal space in which to pursue their research but a community where their work is transformed in unexpected ways. Working alongside passionate scholars from other disciplines, sharing meals, taking part in seminars and writing groups, Fellows form bonds both personal and professional that enrich their lives long after their fellowship experience.

Fellows form bonds both personal and professional that enrich their lives long after their fellowship experience.

In March of 2020, though, the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated the closing of the Center’s facilities, abruptly upending the peaceful, productive status quo that Fellows typically enjoy. Recognizing the burden this placed on its Fellows, the Center’s staff improvised a host of ways to help scholars continue their research, including remote library and technical assistance. Of nearly equal importance, the Center employed digital tools, including the now ubiquitous Zoom meeting platform, to allow Fellows to stay connected with one another and nurture their intellectual community remotely. In the difficult weeks that followed, the esprit and productivity of these scholars spoke volumes about their resilience, commitment to their work, and the importance they placed on supporting one another.

Humanities in Class

Connecting Scholarship with Teaching

Last year nearly 3.5 million educators accessed digital resources from the National Humanities Center—lesson plans, primary source materials, media-based tutorials, and scholarly essays. These resources, along with the Center’s popular webinars and growing slate of online courses allow teachers at all levels to engage with scholarly work, design research-to-practice curricula, and directly interact with experts on complex themes and topics that arise in their classrooms.

Humanities in Class allows teachers at all levels to engage with scholarly work, design research-to-practice curricula, and directly interact with experts.

In June 2020, the Center launched the Humanities in Class Digital Library (HICDL), an Open Education Resource (OER) platform that allows users to not only access all of the Center’s extensive educational offerings but high-quality pedagogical materials from more than 40 content-providing partners. Through the OER platform, scholars can share research in a variety of digital forms, including video lectures, primary source collections, essays, and articles and users can readily search for resources on a common theme (for instance Voting and Why It Matters or Teaching About Race, Place, and Social Justice) and adapt them to meet specific curricular goals. The platform also makes it easy for users to publish lessons, activities, assessments, essays, and syllabi that integrate scholarly content and research for others to discover. The Humanities in Class Digital Library is quickly becoming a space for humanities education innovation with new members and resources being added daily.

In (The Midst) of Crisis

Calling on Humanities Insights

The Center is devoted to advancing the work of humanities scholars and to making their insights and discoveries available to others, both inside and outside the academic world. Through a variety of public programs and digital initiatives, the Center offers audiences opportunities to engage with scholars and their work, consider pressing topics through a humanistic lens, and to reflect on the importance of the humanities in their lives and the world around them.

In the wake of cascading crises in 2020…the pressing need for humanistic perspectives was readily evident.

In 2019–20 the Center continued to build on these efforts by updating and enhancing the Center’s website to provide greater access to the work and thought of NHC Fellows and highlight the ways that humanistic thought supports a vibrant, pluralistic society.

In the wake of cascading crises in 2020—a deadly pandemic, widespread protests over racial injustice, and increasingly polarized political discourse—the pressing need for humanistic perspectives was readily evident. The Center, in response, produced its first series of “virtual” book club events, roughly organized around the theme of “Loss and Upheaval,” exploring how the humanities provide comfort, meaning, and human connection in the midst of tragedy and inspire us to transcend ourselves. Based on the success of this series, which drew lively participation from viewers across the United States, plans were made to continue the series, exploring other pressing themes into 2020–21.

By the Numbers


fourteen US states, as well as Singapore, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

Fellows’ Books

published or added to the Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Collection, bringing the total to 1,652 books in the collection.

unique page views for the suite of education pages


Live, Interactive Webinars

with 7,800 individuals registered in 50 states earning 39,000 professional development hours.


University Sponsors

including Duke, North Carolina State, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.



of webinars, livestreamed events, podcasts, and other media resources were produced for national distribution on a wide variety of important subjects.


Social Media Impressions

across Center social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.



The Fellows

The Center hosted thirty-seven Fellows from fourteen US states, as well as Singapore, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Their projects spanned geographies, time periods, and disciplines.

Click on each Fellow’s name below to learn more about the work they completed during their Fellowship at the Center.

Candace Bailey
North Carolina Central University
John Levi Barnard
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jill C. Bender
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Ian Burney
University of Manchester
Marianne Constable
University of California, Berkeley
Sonja Drimmer
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Olga Dror
Texas A&M University
Xiaoping Fang
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Harris Feinsod
Northwestern University
Giuseppe Gerbino
Columbia University
Víctor Goldgel-Carballo
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Marsha Gordon
North Carolina State University
Mohsen Kadivar
Duke University
Agnès Kefeli
Arizona State University
Mary Katrina Krizan
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Michele Lamprakos
University of Maryland, College Park
Seung-joon Lee
National University of Singapore
Daniel Livesay
Claremont McKenna College
Pamela Lothspeich
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Emily Lutenski
Saint Louis University
Katherine Mellen Charron
North Carolina State University
Simon Middleton
College of William & Mary
Melissa Mueller
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Gibson Ncube
University of Zimbabwe
Chérie Ndaliko
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ann Wierda Rowland
University of Kansas
Martha Rust
New York University
Imani Sanga
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Shuang Shen
The Pennsylvania State University
Christina Snyder
The Pennsylvania State University
Angela Stuesse
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dennis Trout
University of Missouri
James A. van Dyke
University of Missouri
C. J. W.-L. Wee
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Jennifer D. Williams
Howard University
Yolonda Y. Wilson
Howard University
Alexia Yates
University of Manchester
Alexia Yates
University of Manchester

Resident Associates

In addition to Fellows, these scholars were also in residence at the Center during the 2019–20 academic year.

Egbert J. Bakker

Yale University

Jacob F. Lee

The Pennsylvania State University

Leslie Diane Myrick

Independent Scholar

Neşe Özgen

Duke University

Michael Pettit

York University

Books by Fellows

New Additions to the Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Collection

Freedom Roots: Histories from the Caribbean
Laurent Dubois and Richard Lee Turits



Staff & Trustees

Staff of the Center (as of June 30, 2020)

Brooke Andrade

Director of the Library

Matthew Booker

Vice President for Scholarly Programs

Heidi N. Camp

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Joel Elliott

Information Technology Coordinator

Margo Francis

Accounting Manager

Olympia Friday

Digital Engagement and Marketing Coordinator

James Getkin

Dining Room Manager

Sarah Harris

Associate Librarian

Martha Johnson

Executive Assistant for Institutional Advancement

Jacqueline Kellish

Curator, Humanities Moments Project

Jason King

Online Resources Manager

Nollie McDonald

Staff Accountant

Joe Milillo

Assistant Librarian

Lynn Miller

Scholarly Programs Manager

Andy Mink

Vice President for Education Programs

Karen Mudd

Administrative Support

Robert D. Newman

President and Director

Tom Reed

Dining Room Staff

Don Solomon

Director of Communications

Jodie St. Laurent

Executive Assistant to the President and Director

Elizabeth G. Taylor

Education Programs Coordinator

Stephanie Tucker

Vice President for Operations/Chief Financial Officer

Michael Williams

Education Projects Manager


The Center is governed by a distinguished board of trustees from academic, professional, and public life.

Elizabeth Birkelund

Author, New York, NY

David Blackbourn

Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Chair of History, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

David Bromwich

Sterling Professor of English, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Ric Burns

Filmmaker, Steeplechase Films, Inc., New York, NY

Dennis M. Campbell

Former Professor of Theology and Dean of Duke Divinity School, Duke University; J. Carter Walker Chair and Headmaster Emeritus, Woodberry Forest School, Durham, NC

Willo Carey

Former Broadcast Executive, WHYY, St. Davids, PA

William D. Cohan

Author and Journalist, Special Correspondent, Vanity Fair, New York, NY

Joy Connolly

President, American Council of Learned Societies, New York, NY

J. Porter Durham Jr.

Managing Partner and General Counsel, Global Endowment Management, LP, Charlotte, NC

Annette Gordon-Reed

Professor, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Pamela Hendrickson

COO and Vice Chairman, Strategic Initiatives, The Riverside Company, New York, NY

William C. Jordan

Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Karen R. Lawrence

President, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA

Richard Levy

President, H.B.D., Inc., Greensboro, NC

Jane O. Newman*

Professor, Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA

Robert D. Newman

(NHC President), Director, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC

John C. O’Hara Jr.

Former Managing Director, Rockefeller Capital Management, Boston, MA

Vincent E. Price

President, Duke University, Durham, NC

Carol Quillen

President, Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Harriet Ritvo*

Arthur J. Conner Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Cara W. Robertson*

Independent Scholar and Attorney, Santa Monica, CA

Joshua Ruch

(Board Vice Chair), Managing Partner, Rho Capital Partners, New York, NY

Thomas J. Scherer

(Board Secretary), General Counsel, Aegon Asset Management, Chicago, IL

Lisa Schroeder

President, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

Joan Hinde Stewart*

President Emerita, Hamilton College, Durham, NC

Mark E. Thierfelder

Partner and Chair, Global Corporate and Securities Practice, Dechert, LLP, New York, NY

Ben Vinson III

(Chair), Provost and Executive Vice President, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Bruce D. VonCannon

Managing Director/Responsible Officer, Vanheel Management Ltd, Hong Kong

Jonathan G. Weiss

Senior Vice President and Head, Wealth and Investment Management, Wells Fargo & Company, New York, NY

Raymond J. Wiacek

(Board Treasurer), Partner, Jones Day, Washington, DC

A. Morris Williams Jr.

President, Williams & Company, West Conshohocken, PA

Susan Wolf*

Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Trustees Emeriti

The Center is governed by a distinguished board of trustees from academic, professional, and public life.

John F. Adams
James H. Averill
Peter A. Benoliel
Caroline Walker Bynum
W. Robert Connor
Andrew Delbanco*
Blair Effron
Frances Ferguson*
Frances Daly Fergusson
Catherine Gallagher*
Catherine Gallagher
Merril Halpern
Geoffrey Harpham
Gertrude Himmelfarb†
Robert Hollander
Michael Ann Holly
Philip S. Khoury
Shepard Krech III*
Thomas W. Laqueur*
William Leuchtenburg*
Martin E. Marty
Assad Meymandi, MD, PHD, DLFAPA
William M. (Bill) Moore Jr.
Patricia R. Morton
Francis Oakley*
Carl Pforzheimer III
Lawrence R. Ricciardi
Sally Dalton Robinson
Benno Schmidt Jr.
John Searle
Isaac Shapiro, Esq.
Patricia Meyer Spacks*
Robert Strassler
Herbert Winokur Jr.
Pauline R. Yu

* Fellow † Deceased