Loyola University Maryland

Center for the Humanities


The Center sponsors guest lecturers, lecture series, and other public events such as fine arts exhibits, performances, and concerts. While lectures need to address a humanities-related theme, sponsorship of lectures can come from any department, faculty member, or administrator of the University.

Proposals for funding under $1,000 may be submitted from September through April. Without exception, proposals for funding over $1,000 are due by the last working day of March of the academic year preceding event.

The following examples of faculty and departmentally sponsored lectures, lecture series, and performances represent the variety of events the Center sponsors:

Examples of Lectures and Lecture Series

  • Lecture by Dustin Dixon, "Classical Tragedy and Horror Films" (2017)
  • Lecture by Mark Bowden, "Battle of Hue and the Vietnam War" (2018)
  • Modern Masters Reading Series, 2017-2018, Joy Williams, Richard Ford, Khaled Mattawa, Charles M. Blow and Eliza Griswold
  • National Italian Week: "Discovering Turin, the Royal City" (2019)
  • Theology Department Fall Lecture Series: "The Continuing Significance of Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'" (2018)
  • Language, Literature and Society Symposium:"The Creation of the Middle Class: the Role of Art, Literature and Philosophy in the Formation of Class Identity" (2019)

Examples of Performances and Exhibits

  • Voice Master Class Series: an annual series of master classes, workshops and lectures for singers and voice teachers.
  • Modern Masters Series: an annual series of readings by modern  writers
  • Odds Bodkin performance “The Iliad. Book 1” (2018).
  • American Shakespeare Center Tour performances. Three plays are staged over three nights each fall.
    Fall 2018 The Comedy of Errors, Sophocles' Antigone, The Winter's Tale
  • Violetta Parra Concert with Alturas Duo and Alexandra Aubert
  • Jenna Philips and Musicians from Peabody Conservatory, "Songs of the Troubadours and Trouveres" (2018)

Programs Supporting Research in the Humanities 

  • Departmental student writing awards: Writing awards given annually by each department in the humanities.
  • Student summer fellowships: Fellowships supporting student work on scholarly or creative projects in the summer, under the direction of a faculty member.
  • Student research assistant program: Funding for faculty to hire student assistants to help with research and associated clerical work.
  • The Nachbahr Award: An annual award recognizing outstanding achievement in scholarship or creative work by a faculty member in the Humanities.
  • Faculty publication costs: Provides reimbursement for certain costs of publishing.
  • Humanities faculty publication library: Provides reimbursement for limited distribution of faculty books on and off campus, including:
    • Cost of five copies for author to distribute;
    • Cost of providing books or works in other media to faculty members who request it; and
    • Purchase of one copy for Humanities Center library.
  • Summer study grants for adjuncts and affiliates: This program funds six weeks of concentrated reading of a coherently organized list of materials for at least three affiliate faculty at $3,000 each.
  • Stipends for adjunct and affiliate faculty sponsoring programs: Awards affiliate faculty who sponsor or significantly participate in programs funded by the Center in amounts from $100-$300.
  • Stipends for summer study for students: Stipends for eligible undergraduates applying to participate in unique programs in the humanities (e.g., participating in an archaeological dig or intensive language program) during the summer that are not available to the students through Loyola offerings and that may not count as credit toward graduation.
  • Stipends for otherwise unpaid internships: Stipends for students to participate in a non-credit summer internship pertaining to the humanities that would otherwise not offer remuneration.

Programs Supporting Teaching in the Humanities

  • Grants for team-taught courses: Supports the development of interdisciplinary courses with grants of $2,000-$4,000.
  • Enriching classroom teaching:
    • Provides reimbursement for materials to improve or support a new course; and/or
    • Provides stipends to attend conferences.
  • Nurturing intellectual friendships: This program enriches the academic climate at Loyola by funding (up to $250) opportunities for faculty to nurture intellectual friendships with, and among, students whom they identify as exhibiting a particular passion for learning.

Professor Heidi Brown held cooking workshops to explore the foods of four different French speaking nations: Algeria, Reunion Island, Guadeloupe and France. The students from her upper-level French class prepared a various recipes for a meal from each nation.

  macaron cake 133  gaudeloupe meal 248  reunion island 200  algeria 200

   Macaron cake/France          Guadeloupe meal                       Reunion Island dish  preparation  Algerian meal

Other Types of Programs

Examples of programs that do not fit the categories above, initiated through grant proposals include:

  • Humanities Faculty Reading Group: A monthly gathering of faculty members to discuss texts in various disciplines across the humanities.
  • French and German Reading Groups: Faculty groups have organized in some years to read and discuss French and German texts in various disciplines across the humanities.
  • Faculty Friday: An opportunity for faculty across the disciplines to meet one another and socialize.

Ongoing Major Programs Funded by the Center

  • The Honors Program: The Honors Program, which receives half of its funding from the Center, offers an academic curriculum designed to enrich and complement the academic experience inherent in a Loyola education, along with a wide range of activities, including numerous cultural experiences off campus.
  • Humanities Symposium: The Humanities Symposium links a series of intellectual and cultural events (lectures, films, fine arts activities) to a single text and theme each year. The chosen text is typically included in 40 or more courses and thus becomes the basis for a campus-wide discussion which is both interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary. A Symposium Week includes multi-class discussion of the symposium text during regularly scheduled class periods, and culminates in a keynote address. The keynote speakers for past symposia have included CORE co-founder James Farmer, Nobel laureates Elie Wiesel and Czeslaw Milosz, and, in 1999, Toni Morrison.

    Dr. Maurice Wallace in front of portrait of Douglass
    Dr. Maurice Wallace,  the 2018 Keynote Speaker , presenting his talk on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Cardin Programs

Background on the Cardin Chair, Cardin Lecture and Cardin Family

The Cardin Chair and Jerome S. Cardin Lecture were established in 1984 by Jerome S. Cardin, Esq. The chair, a professorship dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the Judeo-Christian tradition across the humanities, was the first endowed chair in the humanities at Loyola College. Originally, the Cardin Chair also presented the annual Cardin lecture, however, the two are now independent events. The chair is filled by a visiting professor every other year, while the lecture remains an annual event. Although the chair may be filled for the entire year, many departments have opted to offer the allotted salary for one semester only so that they may attract more prominent scholars. The professor must be a senior scholar of national or international acclaim dedicated to exploring and fostering the humanities in the Judeo-Christian tradition, who will bring fresh insight into the Loyola curriculum. The chair, like the lectureship, rotates among departments in the humanities.

Jerome S. Cardin, Esq., who died in 1993, was a Loyola alumnus of the Class of 1943. A lifelong resident of Baltimore, Mr. Cardin was a prominent Baltimore attorney, a partner in Cardin and Cardin, P.A. He served on various business and community boards and was well known in Baltimore for his philanthropic leadership. He and his wife, Shoshana, have been honored by various organizations for their volunteer work.

Shoshana Cardin, for whom the Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Community High School is named, has served as officer and board member of a number of civic and non-profit organizations. She was the first woman to chair the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and to lead the Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund of Baltimore, the Council of Jewish Federation and the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. In her role as chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, she provided the United States government with the views of American Jewry on issues related to Israel, and she maintained regular contact with the leaders of both the U.S. and Israeli governments.

Shoshana Cardin received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her M.A. from Antioch University. She has received numerous awards, including a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Baltimore Hebrew University, Syracuse Univesity and Hebrew College, Bostice; a Doctorate of Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University, Israel; the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award; as well as the Victorine Q. Adams and the Henrietta Szold Humanitarian Awards. Born in Tel Aviv, Mrs. Cardin moved to Baltimore at age two. She is a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation. Her cousin is longtime Maryland Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin. 

The Cardin Chair

The Cardin Chair is an endowed professorship dedicated to exploring and fostering an appreciation of the Judeo-Christian tradition across the humanities. The chair is filled bi-annually, on a rotating basis, by a department in the Humanities. The Chair may be filled for one full academic year, or for one semester. While in residence, the chair, in addition to conducting his or her own research, teaches one undergraduate course, and holds a faculty seminar open to all interested faculty. The Center for the Humanities ordinarily will reimburse faculty members the expense of books purchased for the seminar. 


Wilhelmus (“Pim”) Valkenberg, the 2017-18 Cardin Chair in the Humanities, is originally from the Netherlands, and taught for two decades at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, and for five years (2006-2011) here at Loyola University Maryland.  He is now a Professor Religion and Culture at the Catholic University of America. His recent publications include a World Religions textbook  (conceived at Loyola, published 2013; new edition 2017), a Christian view of Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet Movement (2015)  and a book about Nostra Aetate (2016). For a more complete bio you may visit http://trs.cua.edu/faculty/valkenberg/index.cfm   
He is now finishing a Christian commentary on texts about the "People of Scripture" in the Qur'an.


Cardin Chair Holders

  • Carole Fink, History, 1987-1988
  • Merrold Westphal, Philosophy, 1989-1990
  • Reed Way Dosenbrock, English, 1992-1993
  • Theodore Perry, Modern Languages,1994-1995
  • Donald Lazere, Writing and Media, 1996-1997
  • Bruce Marshall, Theology, 1998-1999
  • Mark Thistlethwaite and Louis Fantasia, Fine Arts, 2000-01
  • Frank Romer, Classics, 2002-2003
  • No chair holder History, 2004-2005
  • Balazs Mezei, Philosophy, 2006-2007
  • Tod Linafelt, English, 2008-2009
  • Nicholas Martin, Modern Languages, 2011-2012 
  • Allen Palmer, Communication, 2013-2014
  • Patricia Bizzell, Writing, 2015-2016
  • Wilhelmus Valkenberg, Theology, 2017-2018

Cardin Lecture

The Cardin Lecture is an annual lecture dedicated to fostering Jewish-Christian relations, whose sponsorship rotates among the departments in the humanities. It was established through an endowment by the Jerome S. Cardin family in 1985 to present topics on Jewish-Christian relations, particularly those that define parallels and connections between the two., and is administered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for the Humanities. The lecture is followed by a kosher reception. Unlike many lectures on campus which are open to the general public but may be primarily intended for the College community, the Cardin lecture has a fairly high profile in the larger Baltimore Jewish and Christian communities. 

Learn more about the past Cardin Lectures and presentations.

Watch a video of Stephen Nadler's 2017 Cardin Lecture "Spinoza on the Divinity of Scripture."

Watch a video of Adam Gopnik's 2018 Cardin Lecture " Believing Without Belief, Spirituality Without Team Spirit: Thinking about Tolerance in the Twenty-First Century"

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