Signature Events

James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education

James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education honors the esteemed vice chancellor of students, who died in 2011. The lecture series addresses the role of the liberal arts in higher education, a subject especially meaningful to Dean McLeod. Recent past speakers include George Sanchez, professor of American studies and ethnicity and of history, and director of the Center for Democracy and Diversity, University of Southern California (2019); Cathy Davidson, co-founding director of HASTAC, distinguished professor of English and founding director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY (2018); and Sara Ahmed, scholar of feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and postcolonialism (2017).

Faculty Book Celebration

The publication of a monograph or significant creative work is a milestone in the career of an academic. The Center for the Humanities commemorates this achievement annually during the Faculty Book Celebration. The event recognizes Washington University faculty from across campus by displaying their recently published works and large-scale creative projects and inviting two campus authors and a guest lecturer to speak at a public gathering. Recent past speakers include Daphne Brooks, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, and professor of theater studies, American studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality Studies, Yale University (2020); Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell University (2019); and Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University (2018).

International Humanities Prize

The Washington University International Humanities Prize is awarded biennially to a person who has contributed significantly to the humanities through a body of work that has dramatically impacted how we understand the human condition. Recent recipients include Sir David Adjaye, OBE, internationally renowned architect, designer of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (2018); Bill T. Jones, internationally recognized choreographer and artistic director (2016); and Marjorie Perloff, one of the foremost critics of contemporary, modern, and avant-garde poetry and poetics.