University of Rochester

New Post for the Humanities Created at University of Rochester

June 26, 2007

Thomas DiPiero, professor of French and of Visual and Cultural Studies, has been appointed senior associate dean of humanities in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering effective July 1.

"With the advent of the Humanities Fund, and the prospects for new academic and cultural connections both within the University and with other institutions, we thought it essential to have a colleague in the Deans' Office whose efforts focused on strengthening and coordinating humanities initiatives and highlighting their centrality to our academic mission," said Peter Lennie, senior vice president and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. "We are delighted that Tom DiPiero will take on this important role."

DiPiero, a member of the College faculty since 1987 and for six years chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, embraces the opportunity to showcase Rochester's humanities programs and to raise their stature. "I'm very strongly in a discipline—French literature—but I am also firmly committed to interdisciplinary studies and have worked with many people in most other areas of the humanities," he said.

In his new role, DiPiero will interact with departments in the College and with other units on supporting scholarship and programs within the humanities and outside of them. He also will teach one course each semester.

The six College humanities departments—Art and Art History, English, Modern Languages and Cultures, Music, Philosophy, Religion and Classics—and the two humanistic social sciences—Anthropology and History—are thrilled by the continuation of the Humanities Fund and the encouragement it represents, DiPiero said. "The kind of programs in this first year allowed us to think in a pan-humanistic spirit from the traditional to the cutting-edge. It made crossing boundaries possible," he said.

DiPiero, a noted scholar of French literature and French cultural studies, is the recipient of the College's 2004 Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching. He also is the author of White Men Aren't (Duke University Press, 2002) and Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel 1569-1791 (Stanford University Press, 1992), and the co-editor of Illicit Sex: Identity Politics in Early Modern Europe (University of Georgia Press, 1997).

He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Ohio State University, master's degrees from Ohio State and Cornell universities, and his doctorate in Romance Studies from Cornell.