New director of Humanities Institute named

February 28, 2017 | News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Ashley Diel

Dr. Mysoon Rizk, UT associate professor of art history, has been named the new director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters.

Rizk has a long history of involvement with the Humanities Institute, according to Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean and professor of the College of Arts and Letters, and interim vice provost for faculty affairs.


“Her work with the Humanities Institute inspired her participation in the Humanities Center at Wayne State University in Michigan, where she presented at the 2003 Humanities and Social Change Conference, delivered numerous brown-bag talks, and served on its steering committee,” Barlowe said.

Rizk also has participated in the Humanities 2000 initiative, giving presentations to local high school teachers and mentoring high school students.

The Humanities Institute was started in 1986 by Dr. Roger Ray, professor emeritus of history. Most recently, Dr. Christina Fitzgerald, associate professor of English, served as director of the institute.

“Going forward, I would like to maintain the vitality Dr. Fitzgerald brought to the Humanities Institute with her lively program of happy hours by mostly junior faculty at Libbey Hall; a series of annual keynote talks by nationally recognized speakers; and a fellowship granting program by which tenured faculty could apply and receive funding for research,” Rizk said.

Rizk said she looks forward to cultivating collaborations between the institute and the Toledo Museum of Art, as well as local high schools.

“I am excited to explore the potential for any collaboration that increases public appreciation for the many roles that the arts and humanities play in society,” she said.

Rizk joined the Department of Art at UT in 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art from Oberlin College and a PhD in art history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completing a dissertation on the contemporary American artist David Wojnarowicz.

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