Welcome to Northeastern University’s Humanities Center! My name is Dr. Angel David Nieves and I am Dean’s Professor of Public and Digital Humanities. I am beginning my fourth year as Director of the M.A. Concentration in Public History. I am a Professor of Africana Studies, and History with appointments in the Departments of History; Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies (CSGS); and English. I am also an Affiliate of the NULab for Texts, Maps & Networks, the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ). I am also leading the College’s Public Humanities efforts.
I want to thank Dr. Lori Lefkovitz, the Center’s previous Director for her vision and leadership. I also want to thank Dean Uta Poiger for providing me with this unique opportunity to help strengthen the Center’s work in the public humanities and to broaden its interdisciplinary mission over the next few years. Her departure as Dean at the end of June 2023, and a move into the Provost’s Office allows us to continue our collaboration on the Reckonings Project. I am especially excited about strengthening four key areas of research and applied scholarship already underway at the Center in public humanities; environmental humanities; health humanities; and information justice (with a focus on libraries and archives). I am currently working with faculty colleagues who as research directors will help to shape these focus areas with content from guest speakers, workshops, lunch-time talks, and seminars. It will take time to focus on and implement these areas and I look forward to building on these knowledge-making efforts with my faculty colleagues, staff, students, and nearby community members from across New England. Graduate and undergraduate students will also become an integral part of the Center’s work, although it will still retain its emphasis on faculty research and development. Dr. Tim Brown (History) as Research Director in Environmental Humanities at the Center has held two events (one in Boston and another in Oakland) that have spearheaded our important recasting of collaborative and community-based interdisciplinary research.
This is an exciting time in Northeastern’s history and in the humanities with our continued growth across our Global Network of campuses now including London, Oakland, Northern Virginia, and Miami. The Humanities Center is best poised to expand the University’s commitment to social justice, providing our faculty, staff, and students here in Boston and elsewhere with the sorts of opportunities that push the boundaries of the experiential liberal arts in significant ways. The Humanities Center is the perfect platform for faculty, staff, and students across the Global Network to experiment in the ways that the humanities can directly impact our lived experiences and especially on our nearby BIPOC and queer communities when truly working together. On a personal note, the illness and loss of my husband to brain cancer, Paul Richard Foote III, has kept me away from the day to day at the Humanities Center. I could not have been his caretaker without the generous support of my faculty colleagues, students, and staff. I am especially thankful for Tania Munguia, our newest staff member, who joined us in October 2022, (Administrative Manager of the Humanities Center) and in her ability to learn quickly how to keep this complex work moving forward during my times away to care for my husband. After almost a 30 year partnership, his passing has left an immensely profound void in my life, but the Humanities Center is a space of refuge.
Please reach out should you want to discuss any of these exciting plans or future events the Humanities Center might be able to support in some way.
Peace – Angel David Nieves, Ph.D.