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Center Announces New Director, Dr. Barbara Mennel

The Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere is excited to announce that Dr. Barbara Mennel has agreed to an appointment as our new Rothman Chair and Director of the Center.

Dr. Mennel is an accomplished scholar and teacher whose work bridges multiple disciplines in the humanities, from film studies to women’s studies, from German to English literature.  In 2016-17 she was a Marie Sklodowska Curie Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. She also holds Waldo W. Neikirk and UFRF Professorships.  Her book Women at Work in Twenty-First Century European Cinema is forthcoming in January 2019.

Founded in 2005 and launched in 2009, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere was directed by Dr. Bonnie Effros from 2009-2017. Dr. Mennel served as Interim Director over the past academic year (2017-2018). 

Already, she has furthered the work of the Center in its efforts to facilitate and promote the research programs of humanities scholars at UF, provide intellectual space for critical and collaborative discussions of the humanities that reach across and beyond individual disciplines, and provide a place for outreach to the community in which we live and teach.   

David E. Richardson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor in the department of chemistry said, “During Dr. Mennel’s appointment over the last year as interim director of the center, she has provided excellent leadership.” 

“I am confident that under her direction the center will play a pivotal role in pursuing our goals for the humanities in its work across campus and in the public sphere,” he remarked.

For her part, Dr. Mennel is excited to continue to collaborate with individual departments and other centers at UF to engage in critical discussions about the humanities in various contexts. 

“As the Director of the Center for the Humanities and Public Sphere, I look forward to continuing and enhancing the programs that engage the humanities at the University of Florida,” Dr. Mennel said. 

She continued, “The Center is entering an important year, celebrating its tenth anniversary. I am excited about building on the strong foundation of its first decade.”

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