Improving the Humanities

Improving the Humanities

New faculty and a new institute to promote the humanities in Baltimore and beyond.

While published reports indicate that the humanities at other colleges and universities are struggling with funding cuts and declining enrollments, Johns Hopkins is placing a greater emphasis on the importance of these disciplines by increasing its support for humanities students and faculty.

The number of tenure track professors in the humanities at Hopkins has been growing steadily. Between FY 2009 and FY 2016, a period when hiring for humanities faculty positions was decreasing nationally, Hopkins increased humanities hiring by 22 percent. Furthermore, university leadership recently secured the largest gift ever to Johns Hopkins exclusively for the advancement of the humanities. The $10 million gift from philanthropist Elizabeth Grass Weese and her brother, Roger Grass, established the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, which serves as a focal point and important sponsor of programming for 10 humanities departments in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, other departments in humanistic social sciences, and related centers and programs.

The goal of these efforts is to promote literature, art, philosophy, history, and other cultural studies at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, and eventually throughout the world.

Photo: William Egginton, vice dean for graduate education, an Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and chair of the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.