The Mandel Center for the Humanities sponsors projects that offer faculty and students the opportunity to explore the humanities from a range of disciplines and perspectives. These projects encourage the Brandeis community to consider intersections between different topics in the humanities and to explore how the humanities can enhance our understanding of current events and issues. 

A group of students sit around a circular table inside a classroom.


The Center sponsors several interdisciplinary courses each year, including first-year and advanced seminars. For the Fall 2021 semester, the Center is sponsoring two courses that are a part of the Humanities Fellowship: "Nobel Laureates in Literature" and "Knowing Yourself: Thinking About Identity From Ancient Greece to Modern Times." In the past, the Center has sponsored courses in a range of academic departments, including Anthropology, History, and Theatre Arts, and the courses have spanned a range of topics, such as Athenian tragic theatre, the history of photography, and religions in the Boston area.

Several people sit at a table, each holding a reading packet.

Reading Groups

The Center sponsors several reading groups every year and we are currently accepting proposals for reading groups for the 2021-22 academic year on a rolling deadline! We welcome proposals for new reading groups from faculty and graduate students in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and creative arts on a topic, theme, theoretical debate or author of shared interest. Reading groups generally meet at least four times a year and combine discussions of shared readings with visits by guest speakers, film screenings or other events. Topics that are public facing or that consider the potential social impact of the humanities and humanistic social sciences beyond the academy are particularly encouraged. Funds up to $1,000 can be used for refreshments, speaker fees, books, or other expenses. An additional $500 is available for groups to offer stipends to graduate student organizers/participants. Contact Ulka Anjaria with any questions. 

Apply here!



Other Projects

GSAS Mandel poster

GSAS/Mandel Career Diversity Skills Grants for PhD Students

Fall 2021

In Fall 2021 the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Mandel Center for the Humanities piloted a new program that funded 10 PhD students from a range of departments to take a 10-week transferrable skills course at the Rabb School of Continuing Studies. The course is intended to complement PhD training and widen career options. As part of the funding, students will meet together as a cohort and write a short essay about how the course contributed to their professional goals.
Recall This Book poster

Recall This Book Podcast

Recall this Book is a podcast hosted by John Plotz and Elizabeth Ferry that seeks to shed light on pressing contemporary topics with a backwards or sometimes sideways look: each episode draws on a book or books from the past or an unexpected quarter to look at a current topic in a new way. Featuring interviews with writers talking about their own books, or scholars talking about the books that are helping them navigate best the world in which we live, these lively discussions hash out difficult present-day issues.

New from Recall this Book

October 7, 2021

Peter Godfrey-Smith knows his cephalopods. Once of CUNY and now a professor of history and philosophy of science at University of Sydney, his truly capacious career includes books such as Theory and Reality (2003; 2nd edition in 2020), Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (2009) and most recently Metazoa. RtB–including two Brandeis undergraduates as guest hosts, … Continue reading "65 Octopus World: Other Minds with Peter Godfrey-Smith (EF, JP)"

October 6, 2021

What changes about this podcast tomorrow? Depending on your vantage, absolutely nothing or quite a lot. If you crave clarity in your life, read on. Tomorrow we will release RtB 65, a conversation with Peter Godfrey-Smith about octopus intelligence and the limitations of an anthropocentric view of conscious experience. Starting with 65, each and every … Continue reading "Everything Changes, Nothing Changes…RtB joins up with NBN"

September 25, 2021

Starting with October’s episode, which features Peter Godfrey-Smith, philosopher of science and author of Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Origins of Deep Consciousness, we are launching a new schedule for RTB content. Our main episode of the month will drop on the first Thursday of the month; on the second Thursday we’ll … Continue reading "Recall this Book’s new monthly schedule, week by week"

September 23, 2021

by Miranda Peery Recall this Book’s recent summer series on the Brahmin Left began with Jacobin’s Matt Karp arguing that “class dealignments” have arisen due to the failure of Left politics to address or understand the needs of the working class. This and subsequent discussions with Jan-Werner Müller (What is Populism?) and Arlie Hochschild (Strangers … Continue reading "The Return of Sprezzatura: a 16th-Century Perspective on the Brahmin Left"