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This issue of Tableau marks an exciting year for the Humanities Division and for me personally as well. Throughout my tenure as Dean I have continued my research project in the Oriental Institute, and this past June those efforts came to fruition when the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary was completed. A project 90 years in the making, the dictionary is a major contribution to understanding the civilizations of the ancient Near East. I am immensely proud to have been part of its creation and gratified by the worldwide interest it has garnered.
Another source of professional pride is the appointment of two new University Professors in the Humanities. We are thrilled to have Augusta Read Thomas and Haun Saussy joining our faculty in the autumn of 2011. These distinguished scholars are two of the seventeen new members of our community in eleven different departments.
Our ability to expand and enhance the humanities at Chicago depends on the generosity of our dedicated supporters. The faculty members of the Division of the Humanities are grateful for such new and important initiatives as the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry and the architecturally stunning Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. Just as we benefit from the committed generosity of our community of allies and advocates, we remain aware of our own responsibility to engage the humanities with the world beyond our campus. Two examples featured in this issue are the Civic Knowledge Project, which has moved to a new home at 6030 South Ellis Avenue, and our annual Humanities Day. On Saturday, October 22, Humanities Day will provide an opportunity for alumni, students, staff, and friends to engage with some of our most dynamic instructors and to witness exciting new research in action. Among this year’s presenters are two professors who helped to create the Soviet Arts Experience, a showcase of art, music, dance, and theater.
As we look toward the opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in the spring, there has surely never been a better time to be an artist at the University of Chicago. We showcase the vibrant young professors in our Department of Visual Arts, led by incoming chair and renowned artist Jessica Stockholder. And in a fascinating interview, Anne Walters Robertson, the Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Music, reveals the spirit of thoughtful dedication that infuses the Department of Music.
In this issue we also celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. The program offers intensive and rigorous training in the humanistic disciplines. MAPH has graduated more than 1,500 alumni who have taken this training and the University of Chicago’s distinctive style of inquiry with them to a variety of rich and fulfilling academic and nonacademic careers.
As Dean of the Division of the Humanities, I am fortunate to work with talented and dedicated staff and faculty who keep our various departments, centers, and programs working smoothly to fulfill our education and research goals. Throughout this issue of Tableau you will read highlights of their many accomplishments. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Humanities Division and above all for your participation in our community. As always, we are grateful for your support and welcome your feedback.
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Martha T. Roth
Dean of the Division of the Humanities