Guest Speaker Roxanna Sabari

Welcome to the Office of the Alumni Chair in Humanities

The Alumni Chair in Humanities provides leadership in establishing the humanities in the curriculum and in the broader intellectual life of the community; assists other humanities faculty in developing interdisciplinary courses; organizes humanities symposia; conducts research in the humanities; manages the humanities library fund; and maintains a visible presence for the humanities on campus.

The current chair is Professor Ellen L. Fleischmann (History). The previous five chairs are Professor Eugene August (English), Professor Michael Barnes (Religious Studies), Professor Richard Benedum (Music), and Professor John Heitmann (History), and Professor Patricia A. Johnson (Philosophy).

Each chair has traditionally chosen to focus a large part of her or his endeavors on a broad-ranging theme that is of critical interest to the university community. Dr. Fleischmann, whose research specialty is Middle East history, is strongly supportive of internationalization and diversity at UD and will build upon that commitment as Alumni Chair. In particular she aims to deepen student and faculty engagement with the curriculum and with new currents in scholarship in ways that foster informed and responsible citizenship in intercultural and transnational contexts. Working collaboratively with faculty and students, she plans to draw upon the resources of the humanities in ways that will make all in our community 'at home in the world.' Dr. Fleischmann is dedicated to working with the university community in multiple areas of interest that promote and deepen understanding of the values of the humanities.

Further information on the work, programs, resources, and support that the Office can provide to UD faculty, students, and the public are located on this site.

Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Ellen L. Fleischmann
Associate Professor of History
Alumni Chair in Humanities


Alumni Chairs

Eugene R. August 

Michael H. Barnes

Richard P. Benedum

John A. Heitmann

Patricia A. Johnson

Ellen L. Fleischmann

Roxanna Sabari speaks to class

Programs & Events

Each Alumni Chair in Humanities organizes symposia, programs and events that promote the centrality of the Humanities on the UD campus. Current and upcoming programs and events include:

Humanities Research Happy Hours

The Alumni Chair hosts once-a-month small, informal gatherings for humanities faculty to discuss their research. For information on specific dates and sign-up to attend, contact Heidi Haas.

Guest Speakers

"Let's Go to Guantanamo!"
Professor Lisa Hajjar
8:00 pm on Thursday, March 27, 2014
Sears Recital Hall

Download flyer (pdf) >>
Hajjar Flyer

"Iraq, Violence, Memory: An Iraqi Voice on the War"      
Sinan Antoon
7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Sears Recital Hall

Download flyer (pdf) >>
Antoon Flyer

2013 Symposium

The 20th Annual Humanities Symposium was entitled Inventing Identity and featured the following lectures:

  • February 26, 2013:  Dr. Laura Vorachek, "Playing Italian: Cross-Cultural Dress and Investigative Journalism at the Fin de Siècle"
  • March 5, 2013:  Dr. Jana Bennett, "Theology of the Cyborgs: Inventing Identity on the Internet"
  • March 12, 2013:  Dr. Caroline Merithew, "Perplexities Enough: Agnes Burns Wieck and Making Class Disability"
  • March 19, 2013:  Dr. Ellen Fleischmann, "Found in Translation: Identity, Authenticity and Power in Representing 'Other' Women"

Commemorating the centenary of WWI

In recognition of the significance of World War I and its influence on multiple dimensions of our human existence, the Alumni Chair in Humanities is promoting and supporting projects on campus that mark its centenary, including public presentations, arts performances, curricular development, student initiatives, and other endeavors. In addition to activities of the University of Dayton community, our office is also collaborating with other individuals and institutions in the Dayton community who are working together to commemorate the war

Learn more >>


The Alumni Chair in Humanities offers the following resources for faculty.

Research Assistance

Dr. Ellen Fleischmann, Alumni Chair in Humanities, and Dr. Jennifer Speed, Grants Coordinator for the Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, are offering a Grant Writing Workshop to facilitate support for faculty research. For details, contact us through the links in the For More Information box on this page.

Audio & Video Resources

Videos and DVDs purchased through The Endowed Fund for the Alumni Chair in Humanities are now catalogued in Roesch Library. Those used most frequently by faculty in the Humanities Building are housed in HM 466. The remaining videos and DVDs are housed with the Library holdings. The location is indicated on the catalogue listing.

Please bring your University ID card to check out materials housed in HM 466.

Library Funds

Funds are available for purchasing books and other educational materials that relate in some way to the humanities and that serve interdisciplinary needs. We can help with the purchasing of books that do not readily fit into departmental categories or budgets. All books that are purchased through this fund are housed in Roesch Library. We can also purchase DVDs with these funds.

To make a purchase request:

  • Please check to make sure the library doesn't already own a copy.
  • For a book purchase, please send the title, edition, ISBN, Publisher, date of publication, source of information and cost to Heidi Haas in the Office of the Alumni Chair in Humanities.
  • For a DVD purchase, contact Heidi Haas with the title, cost and distributor or website where the DVD can be purchased. Please copy your liaison on the e-mail so your department knows you made the request.

Contact Us

Phone Number


Fax Number



466 Humanities Center
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-1549