Wolf Humanities Center
University of Pennsylvania

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Jamal J. Elias Professor of Religious Studies

Associate Director

Sara Varney


The Wolf Humanities Center is the University of Pennsylvania's main hub for interdisciplinary humanities research and public programming. Established in 2017 by a gift from Noelle and Dick Wolf, the center grew out of the Penn Humanities Forum, founded by Wendy Steiner in 1999. Our goals are to demonstrate how vital the humanities are to the life of the mind and the health of society, and how fundamentally connected they are with many areas of urgent inquiry in medicine, law, business, and the sciences. At the same time, we are mindful that this contemporary relevance rests in large part on the humanities’ commitment to understanding the distant past and to pursuing projects of deep and arduous research which may bear no obvious connection to the here and now. The humanities as we define them are broad and inclusive, and we take pride at the Wolf Center in fostering a lively diversity of perspectives, approaches, and constituencies.

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities Five Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships are available each academic year. Awards carry a competitive, full-time stipend as well as other benefits. Scholars spend one year in residence at Penn and teach one course in addition to conducting independent research. Annual calls for applications open in late spring and close on October 15th.