Humanities Center

About the Humanities Center

Founded in 1999, the Humanities Center is a subsidiary of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CSU, Chico. The Humanities Center creates and nurtures an interdisciplinary culture of ideas. Each year a theme is selected, and prominent scholars and artists are invited to give presentations on campus. In addition to talks by outside speakers, the Center regularly hosts informal talks, debates and panel discussions. It also sponsors the University Film Series. Since its creation, the Humanities Center, unique in the CSU system, has become an important and indispensable part of the intellectual life of CSU, Chico.

Board Members


Rachel Middleman, Art and Art History, E-mail: in new window)


Nathaniel Heggins Bryant, English, Phone: 530-898-3843, Email: in new window)

Hannah Burdette, International Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Phone: 530-898-4063, E-mail: in new window)

Rob Davidson, English, Phone: 530-898-6372, E-mail: in new window)

Chiara Ferrari, Media Arts, Design, and Technology, Phone: 530-898-4647, E-mail: in new window)

Erin K Kelly, English, Phone: 530-898-6277, E-mail: in new window)

William Nitzky, Anthropology, Phone: 530-898-4953, E-mail: in new window)

Hope Smith, Music and Theatre, Phone: 530-898-6128, Email: in new window) 

Corey Sparks, English and Humanities, Phone: 530-898-3843, E-mail: in new window)

Daniel Veidlinger, Religious Studies, Phone: 530-898-4637, E-mail: in new window)

Alisa Wade, History, E-mail: in new window)


Joseph Alexander, Associate Dean, Phone: 530-898-5334, E-mail:

Tracy Butts, Dean, Phone: 530-898-5146, E-mail:


The chief purposes of the Humanities Center are to nurture an intellectual community within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; to stimulate and enrich the discussion of important ideas and themes among HFA faculty, encouraging their professional development; and to reach out to the larger campus and Chico community, promoting an intellectual engagement with the humanities. To that end the Humanities Center will:

  • Invite prominent scholars to campus both to give public lectures on their work and to lead symposia for interested faculty, students, staff, and community members.
  • Sponsor regular reading groups, some centered around the work of a recognized seminal thinker and others around an interdisciplinary theme of broad interest.
  • Establish a schedule of faculty research presentations and talks whereby both junior and senior faculty can speak on their current research interests and receive feedback from their colleagues.
  • Sponsor the University Film Series, a year-long film series based on the Humanities Center theme.
  • Promote the values of the humanities and foster an intellectual climate of discussion, appreciation, and investigation among fellow faculty, students, staff, and community members. Seek meaningful partnerships with a wide range of campus entities, including faculty in colleges other than HFA, and campus stakeholders who share our values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.
Undertake other activities designed to encourage and support the intellectual missions of both the college and the university.


The 2022-2023 Humanities Center theme, Soundscapes, explores perceptions and interpretations of acoustic environments in their respective cultural, political, and spatial contexts.  Ranging from the sounds of nature to a multitude of expressive forms such as music, poetry, dance, and storytelling, every culture has created distinctive soundscapes that shape our daily experiences and mediate our relationships to the world.  Events will highlight interdisciplinary humanities research and creative activity on this year’s theme.