Humanities by the Numbers explored the variety of ways that numbers have a place in the humanities. The focus on numbers in the humanities is neither simply a contemporary innovation issuing from the emergence of quantitative and computational methods, nor an external imposition tied to austerity measures in universities across the globe and the growing preoccupation with economics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics within the public sphere. Rather, numbers have had a role in the humanities since well before the time of humanities indicators and digital methods. The aim of the 2015 CHCI Annual Meeting was to think broadly and critically about how numbers have shaped the humanities and how the humanities shape our thinking about number in both intellectual and administrative realms. By bringing together the range of approaches to numbers – critical and embracing, methodological and thematic, scholarly and pragmatic, intrinsic and extrinsic, current and historical, aesthetic and strategic – this conference aimed to engage the interrelated questions of knowledge and practice in the humanities.

The Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Founded in 1999, the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison advances innovative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative inquiry in core and emerging humanities fields at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in the communities it serves. Each year the Center welcomes world-renowned scholars from across campus and around the globe for public lectures, events, and projects. Our ongoing programs establish a coordinated vision for scholarly and public engagement with research in literature, history, philosophy, and culture through interdisciplinary workshops, graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, an annual undergraduate thesis prize, faculty development seminars, and conferences, In 2013, the Center for the Humanities launched the Engaging the Humanities initiative, which brings together new and established public humanities projects including: Great World Texts in Wisconsin, a program for high school teachers and students; the Public Humanities Fellows, a traineeship for graduate students seeking careers beyond the classroom; a visiting scholars program; a Graduate Certificate in the Public Humanities; as well as opportunities for faculty who wish to connect their research to new audiences.


Last updated: 27 May 2015
Online registration is now closed.

12:00 – 4:00 PMRegistration
Fluno Center, Second Floor
3:00 – 4:00 PMNew Directors Meeting
Fluno Center, Mendota Room
3:00 – 4:00 PMAssociate Directors & Administrators Meeting
Fluno Center, Room 201
4:00 – 4:30 PMRegistration
Elvehjem Building, Lower Level
4:30 – 4:45 PMWelcome and Opening Remarks
Elvehjem Building, Room L160
Srinivas Aravamudan, President, CHCI
Sara Guyer, Director, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Marsha Mailick, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
4:45 – 6:00 PMOpening Plenary:
Countless: The Humanities as a Body of Evidence
Elvehjem Building, Room L160
Jill Lepore, David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History, Harvard University
Chair: Susan Zaeske, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Advancement, University of Wisconsin-Madison
6:00 – 8:00 PMOpening Reception
Chazen Museum of Art Lobby & Galleries
Music by Ben Sidran
Exhibitions: Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today, curated by Guillermina de Ferrari, Director, Center for Visual Cultures, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Tradition and Innovation: The Human Figure in Contemporary Chinese Art
7:30 AM – 4:00 PMRegistration
Fluno Center Atrium
7:45 – 9:00 AMNetwork and Group Breakfast Meetings
Fluno Center
Alternative Careers and Centers: Room 203
Public Humanities: Room 201
Continental breakfast available
8:00 – 9:00 AMDigital Humanities: Room 212/214
Continental breakfast available
9:00 – 9:15 AMMorning Welcome
Fluno Center Auditorium
Sara Guyer, Director, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rebecca M. Blank, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
9:15 – 10:30 AMPlenary Lecture:
What Numbers Don’t Tell Us About Race
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Chair: Ian Baucom, Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia
Fluno Center Auditorium
11:00 AM – 12:15 PMRoundtable: Numbers in the Humanities
Fluno Center Auditorium
Pattern Recognition: Repetition Across Acts of Reading
Caroline Levine, Professor and Chair of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Conversing Across the Great Divide
Gary Tomlinson, Director, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University
On Quantitative Analysis and the Picturesque; or, Reading for the Middle Distance
Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, Humanities Center, Brigham Young University
Chair: Judith Buchanan, Director, Humanities Research Centre, University of York
12:30 – 1:30 PMLunch
Fluno Center, Oros Executive Dining Room
1:45 – 3:15 PMScale, Networks, Collaboration: CHCI’s Mellon-Funded Projects and New Directions in the Humanities
Fluno Center Auditorium
Humanities for the Environment
Sally Kitch, Director, Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University
Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging
Hsiung Ping-chen, Director, Research Institute for the Humanities, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Leerom Medovoi, Professor and Head, Department of English, University of Arizona
Integrative Graduate Humanities Education and Research Training
Debjani Ganguly, Associate Professor of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, Australian National University
Medical Humanities
Stathis Gougouris, Director, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University
Chair: Michael Steinberg, Vice Provost for the Arts; Director, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University
3:15 – 4:00 PMCoffee and Discussion with Members of the CHCI’s Mellon-Funded Projects
Fluno Center Atrium
See details of this session >>
4:00 – 5:30 PMRoundtable: Critical Humanities Centers and Institutes
Fluno Center Auditorium
Debtors’ Misprision
Annie McClanahan, Assistant Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Listening and Convening: A Politics of the Environmental Humanities in Action
Gregg Mitman, Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Technically Speaking
Premesh Lalu, Director, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Chair: Richard Grusin, Director, Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
7:00 – 11:00 PMMembers’ Dinner
Madison Public Library
Numbers, Stories, and Questions: An Historian’s Look at the Past
Earl Lewis, President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
7:45 – 9:00 AMNetwork and Group Breakfast Meetings
Fluno Center
Associate Directors & Administrators: Room 212/214
Network for Liberal Arts Colleges and Small Universities: Room 216/218
Humanities for the Environment Network: Room 201
Continental breakfast available
9:00 – 10:30 AMPlenary Lecture: Patterns
Franco Moretti, The Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University
Chair: Susan Stanford Friedman, Director, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Fluno Center Auditorium
11:00 AM – 12:30 PMWorkshop: Assessing, Ranking, Measuring
Fluno Center Auditorium
Greg Downey, Associate Dean for Social Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wendy N. Espeland, Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
Roger Kain, Dean and Chief Executive, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Chair: Julia Lupton, Associate Dean of Research, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine
12:30 – 1:30 PMLunch and Membership Meeting
Fluno Center, Oros Executive Dining Room
2:00 – 2:45 PMIntervention: ‘Shakespeare Might As Well Have Drawn His Words Out of a Hat’
Jordan Ellenberg, John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chair: David Krakauer, Director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA)
2:45 – 3:45 PMClosing Plenary: Humanities Past and Humanities Future: Thoughts on the 50th Anniversary of NEH
William Adams, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities
Chair: Kathleen Woodward, Director, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA)
3:45 – 4:00 PMSumming Up/Closing Remarks
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA)
4:00 – 6:00 PMClosing Rooftop Reception
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) Rooftop
With DJ Nick Nice
Coordinates, a special exhibition organized on the occasion of CHCI

Online registration for the meeting is now closed.
Last updated: 27 May 2015