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Lambert appointed founding director of Humanities Center at Syracuse University

June 17, 2008

Judy Holmes

Judy Holmes

Gregg Lambert, Dean's Professor of the Humanities in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the founding director of the Humanities Center at Syracuse University. The appointment was effective June 1. The Humanities Center will support disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship and research in the arts, languages, literature, philosophy, religion and other fields within the SU community. The center will also develop new connections and collaborative research opportunities with scholars and community-based cultural organizations at the local, regional, national and global levels.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce Gregg Lambert's appointment as the founding director for this vibrant new center that will energize and deepen scholarship, research and teaching in the Humanities," says Dean Cathryn R. Newton. "The charge of the center is intentionally quite broad, spanning both the canonical and the emerging branches of the humanities."

The new Humanities Center will be located in the Tolley Building, which was given to The College of Arts and Sciences three years ago by SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor as home for the humanities at SU. The Tolley Building, which also houses Imagining America, the Humanities Post-Doctoral Program and several of the college's interdisciplinary programs, gave physical form to an idea that had been percolating in the college for several years.

The idea gained momentum in 2003 when Newton secured summer funding for college faculty to investigate humanities centers at other institutions and make recommendations for establishing one at SU. Plans for the center took flight as groups of faculty developed the center's mission, goals and organizational structure. Newton was also a key figure in securing a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish the Central New York Humanities Corridor, a large-scale partnership involving SU, Cornell University and the University of Rochester. The Humanities Center will complement and support all of these initiatives on campus and beyond.

The Humanities Center will support and provide physical space for fellows to carry out their research and share their work with the larger community through lectures, symposia, seminars, performances or other types of presentations. Humanities Center Fellows will include SU faculty members and graduate students as well as scholars from outside the University or other figures of importance in the humanities. The center's organizational structure will include a Faculty Advisory Board, consisting of members from each of the college's humanities departments, the chair of the Humanities Council and representatives from the University's interdisciplinary programs; a Fellows Selection Committee, which will award fellowships to candidates from inside and outside of the University; and the Humanities Center Associates, a broad group of individuals that will assist with the center's development and outreach activities.

"As founding director, I plan to work closely with people within The College of Arts and Sciences to develop and build the structures that are outlined in the Humanities Center planning document," Lambert says. "Beyond the nuts and bolts, however, I envision the center as a nexus where SU faculty and graduate students can collaborate with each other and with scholars from outside the University. The center will play a crucial role in enhancing research in the Humanities at SU by creating new fellowship opportunities for faculty and graduate students to engage in more sustained projects and, more immediately, by building on relationships that have already been established through the Mellon initiative."

Lambert began his career at SU in 1996 as an assistant professor of English and was promoted to full professor in 2007. Most recently, he completed a three-year appointment as chair of the English department. He earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature in 1995 at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of eight books and critical editions, including "The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture" (2004 U.K./2005 U.S. Continuum International Publishing Group), "Who's Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari?" (2006 U.K./2007 U.S. Continuum International Publishing Group) and the forthcoming "On the (New) Baroque," a revised edition of "The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture."

Lambert has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker for symposia and lectures across the country and internationally, including China, and most recently, the University of Tasmania, where he conducted an honor's seminar in philosophy.

He is the recipient of several academic honors, grants and fellowships, including the 2008 Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Pacific University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in English in 1983; SU's 1999-2000 Undergraduate Teaching Award; invited faculty at Emory University, Department of Comparative Literature; invited fellow to the 1998 session of the International School of Theory in the Humanities at Santiago de Compostela, Spain; a 1996 fellow, NEH Summer Seminar in Critical Theory at the University of California; and two nominations to the Harvard Society of Fellows (1995 and 1999).

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