June 6, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 19

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    Hunter named Director of Humanities Institute

    J. Paul Hunter, the Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, has been named Director of the Chicago Humanities Institute. He succeeds Arjun Appadurai, CHI's first director, who will return to teaching and research. Hunter will begin his five-year term on July 1.

    "Arjun got CHI off to a terrific start, and I hope to build on his accomplishments," Hunter said from the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., where he is on leave this year as a fellow.

    "CHI is a wonderful place for faculty and student interaction and interdisciplinary challenge, but not everyone is aware of its potential," Hunter said. "I hope to continue to build a higher profile for the humanities on campus and in the larger community. I think it's important that we translate what we do in the humanities to other disciplines and that we make it understandable to the general public."

    "We are delighted to have Paul as the new director of CHI," said Philip Gossett, Dean of the Humanities Division. "He brings many strengths. He has considerable administrative experience and experience working with people in many different disciplines. He is an excellent person to develop the institute as a force in the humanities."

    Hunter came to Chicago in 1987 from the University of Rochester, where he was dean of arts and science. His research is in criticism and literary history relating to 17th- and 18th-century English texts. His book Before Novels: The Cultural Contexts of Eighteenth-Century English Fiction (1990) won the 1991 Louis Gottschalk Prize as the best book in 18th-century studies in any discipline. He is the author of two widely used college textbooks, both in their sixth editions: Norton Introduction to Poetry and Norton Introduction to Literature, co-written with Jerome Beaty. He received his Ph.D. in 1963 from Rice University.

    The Chicago Humanities Institute began operations in winter quarter 1991 under the direction of Interim Director Norma Field, Professor in East Asian Languages & Civilizations. The institute serves as a center for humanities work at the University and facilitates interdisciplinary projects between scholars in the Humanities Division and those in other disciplines.