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Humanities Center Becomes Department of Comparative Thought and Literature

As of January 1, 2018, the name of the Humanities Center will be the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature. The new name recognizes the department’s ongoing commitment to serious interdisciplinary study, with a focus on questions at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and aesthetics.


What Was Literary Impressionism?

What Was Literary Impressionism?

“My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel―it is, before all, to make you see. That―and no more, and it is every-thing.” So wrote Joseph Conrad in the best-known account of literary impressionism, the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century movement […]


Hent de Vries Appointed to the Chaire de Métaphysique Etienne Gilson

Hent de Vries

Hent de Vries has been appointed as the 2018 Titulaire de la Chaire de Métaphysique Etienne Gilson at the Institut Catholique in Paris. In that capacity, he will present six public lectures in March 2018, which will be published by the Presses Universitaires de France.


Michael Fried Decorated in France

Michael Fried

The Humanities Center congratulates Michael Fried on his being honored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Professor Fried has been named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his significant contributions to furthering the arts and literature in France and throughout the world.


The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique

The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique

In recent years, emotions have become a major, vibrant topic of research not merely in the biological and psychological sciences but throughout a wide swath of the humanities and social sciences as well. Yet, surprisingly, there is still no consensus on their basic nature or workings. Ruth Leys’s brilliant, much anticipated history, therefore, is a […]


Promesse du Bonheur

Promesse du Bonheur

Michael Fried (born 1939) is as much a poet as he is a critic. His experiences among artworks and art-world luminaries have resulted in a canonized body of criticism, but they have also provided the raw material for many of the poems in his newest collection, Promesse du Bonheur. Fried’s passion, lyricism and humor–lauded by authors […]


After Caravaggio

After Caravaggio

During the twenty years following Caravaggio’s death, his revolutionary precedent inspired the creation of a remarkable body of paintings. Drawing together works by Bartolomeo Manfredi, Valentin de Boulogne, Nicolas Tournier, Nicolas Régnier, Cecco del Caravaggio, and the young Jusepe de Ribera, Michael Fried examines the nature of this later generation’s engagement with Caravaggio. The magnitude […]


Another Light: Jacques-Louis David to Thomas Demand

Another Light: Jacques-Louis David to Thomas Demand

In this richly illustrated book, Michael Fried—one of the most esteemed and influential art critics and art historians working today—has gathered eight major essays written between 1993 and 2013, on topics ranging from Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, and Caspar David Friedrich through Gustave Caillebotte and Roger Fry to recent films by Douglas Gordon and Thomas […]


Love and Forgiveness for a More Just World (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

Love and Forgiveness for a More Just World

One can love and not forgive or out of love decide not to forgive. Or one can forgive but not love, or choose to forgive but not love the ones forgiven. Love and forgiveness follow parallel and largely independent paths, a truth we fail to acknowledge when we pressure others to both love and forgive. […]