College of Letters & Science

From the Chair

After one semester as interim chair, I am pleased to report that the department continues to thrive as a home for innovative teaching and scholarship.. The faculty continue to offer exciting introductory courses for non-majors (such as “The Art of Diversity: Race and American Art” and “The History of the World in 20 Buildings) as well as seminars such as Professor Anna Andrzejewski’s fieldschool that take students into the field to document rural buildings in North Dakota. Meanwhile, our visiting assistant professor Carolina Alarcon is having students create podcasts for her course on art in Renaissance Spain and colonial Latin America. Our faculty also stretch themselves across campus in exciting ways. Professor Gene Phillips continues his work with the Odyssey Project while Professor Tom Dale directs Medieval Studies. The efforts of our faculty create opportunities for our students, who continue to shine, earning fellowships and accolades here and elsewhere.


2019 promises to be even more exciting. We are approaching the 50thanniversary of the Elvehjem Building in 2020 – an event we will celebrate with the Chazen Museum and the Kohler Library. Prof. Andrzejewski will be teaching an exhibition class on that history, which will result in a show during the festivities. We are also very pleased to be hiring a tenured or tenure-track position in early modern European art, with the expectation that we will have someone in place in the Fall of 2019.


We couldn’t do this without the support of our alumni and friends. This past year, several dedicated alumni – Joseph Ruzicka, Joan Mirviss, and Dan Erdman- formed the department’s first Board of Visitors. Their charge is to advocate for the department with the campus, network for alumni and engage in fundraising.


We invite you to help us on our transformative path. Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end contribution to the department todaythrough


We wish you the best for the holidays and 2019!


Steve Nadler, Interim Chair

Professor of Philosophy