Dear Alumni and Friends,

At UChicago, we understand that discovery and creativity are born of interdisciplinary thought and inquiry, and that future directions for the humanities include its integration with science and technology. For example, Patrick Jagoda, associate professor in English Language and Literature and Cinema and Media Studies, does research on alternate reality gaming while helping to create games that use digital storytelling to address topics including financial literacy and climate change.

At the same time, we recognize the importance of the humanities for helping us learn from our past and negotiate the present. One of our finest scholars, David Bevington, the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, passed away on August 2 at the age of 88. His command of Shakespeare’s works was encyclopedic and legendary. For 50 years he taught and mentored UChicago students like David Kastan, AM’68, PhD’75, now an English professor at Yale. “David gave my generation and subsequent generations of students the confidence to add to the 400-year conversation about Shakespeare,” Kastan said. “He gave us the plausible encouragement to believe that what we did mattered.” David’s accomplishments have deeply influenced our community and the world at large.

Just as our faculty continually expand the corpus of humanistic learning, so we sincerely thank our supporters for their belief in the humanities at UChicago and their commitment to help current and future scholars. Melvin Berlin (March 23, 1929–July 26, 2019) and his wife, Randy, have long exemplified this spirit of generosity with their support for the humanities through many gifts. Melvin’s legacy continues in the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lecture series, which brings well-known humanists to our campus every year, and in the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Professorship in the Development of the Novel in English. Melvin will be deeply missed for his kindness, his wonderful sense of humor, and his passion for literature, history, and classical music.

The greatest achievements in the humanities deliver fresh insight and interpretation for every generation and era. We enjoy sharing our successes with you in Tableau, and we are pleased to note that it has received a grand gold award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s Circle of Excellence competition, in the category of External Audience Newsletters. Since your support makes this, too, possible, we hope you enjoy reading.

Anne Walters Robertson
Dean, Division of the Humanities
Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Music