Our Mission

Humanists engage in unique practices of worldmaking. Using interdisciplinary methods of inquiry and diverse objects of study, humanities researchers examine shared aspects of humanity - how language, cultural production, technologies, and institutions shape and reflect cultural identities, collective belonging, and societies in a global world.  

 In doing so, the humanities have always foregrounded vital questions: What is the nature and meaning of human life? Why did life unfold this way? And what if things were otherwise?  

 At the University of Missouri, the Center for the Humanities nurtures the work of humanists by supporting novel interdisciplinary research and teaching and undertaking public outreach at the local and state level. 

Center for the Humanities Director

Julie Passanante Elman

Professor Elman is the founding director of the Center for the Humanities and the B.A. program in health humanities. Working with the College of Arts and Science and the center’s executive committee and advisory board, she promotes and supports humanities research by emphasizing its integral role in all endeavors to understand and improve our world.

More About Professor Elman
Julie Passanante Elman
Executive Committee


Christina Carney

Christina Carney

Assistant Professor
​​ Women's & Gender Studies
​​ View Bio

Seth Howes

Seth Howes

Associate Professor
​​ Associate Chair
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
​​ View Bio

Phong Nguyễn

Phong Nguyen

​​ English
​​ View Bio

Catherine Rymph

Catherine Rymph

Dean of the Honors College
​​ Professor
​​ View Bio

Advisory Board


Katina Bitsicas

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Digital Storytelling in the School of Visual Studies

David Crespy

Professor of Playwriting, Acting, Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, Department of Theatre

Frances Dickey

Associate Professor of English

Sara Diem

Professor, PK-12 Leadership and Policy, Department Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, College of Education and Human Development

Robert Fletcher

Professor of History and Kinder Professor of British History

Rachel Hernandez

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Affiliated Faculty, College of Health Sciences

Amanda Hinnant

Associate Professor of Journalism Studies, Wallace Turner Memorial Faculty Fellow, School of Journalism

Michael Jirik

Assistant Professor of Black Studies

Dennis Kelley

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Classics, Archaeology, and Religion

Soren Larsen

Professor of Geography

Kerri McBee-Black

Assistant Professor, Textile and Apparel Management

Jordan Pellerito

PhD Candidate, History

Christopher Simonson

PhD Candidate, Arts & Humanities

Anne Stanton

Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Visual Studies

Kyle Stegall

Assistant Professor of Voice, School of Music

Faculty & Graduate Students:

Join the Advisory Board

Members of the Advisory Board represent the breadth of humanities research and teaching at Mizzou and shape the Center's future.

Apply to Serve on the Board
professor speaking to students

On Our Homepage


The artwork at the top of our homepage is Cecelia by Katina Bitsicas, Assistant Professor of Digital Storytelling in the College of Arts & Science. Cecelia combines transposed recordings of Bitsicas’ great-grandmother playing the zither, with Super 8 film of her grandmother exploring Germany, with iPhone footage of her and her mother taking a similar journey through Germany.  Snippets of the film footage flash, like a fleeting memory.  A sculptural form juts from the floor, adorned with the iconic Cologne Cathedral, captured by two generations.  The zither slips in and out of distortion, much like the familial memories of those we loved. 

Cecelia by Katina Bitsicas