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Institute for the HumanitiesAbout Us

Empowering the World with the Human Experience

We are a collaborative research, creative, and social innovation incubator in the College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University. We help foster synergies among activists, artists, scholars, engaged global citizens, and local community stakeholders who are searching for meaningful ways to reshape people's lives.

Above all else, we are humanists that believe people - when given access to critical tools, skills, and literacies - can become agents of transformation in our society. We serve as stewards of such critical sensibilities, seeking creative, innovative, and multidisciplinary opportunities to engage students, serve our communities, and participate as citizens. In short, we aim to provide future leaders in the arts, the humanities and in public service with the knowledge, skills, and training they need to become global innovators and implement sustainable change.

One of the ways we accomplish these goals is through our interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree (MA) program in the Humanities.

We also serve as a key community outreach and engagement arm for the University, sponsoring and hosting an array of speakers, performers, and public forums as part of our Humanities in Hampton Roads initiative.


Our students come from diverse backgrounds and pursue innovative interdisciplinary research. Here are a few examples:

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Dan Avant Blachman: Class of 2024

Interests: Cultural Studies, Media Studies, TV/Film Studies, Popular Culture, Feminism(s), Critical Race Studies, African American Studies, Science Fiction, Afrofuturism, Media Activism.

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Kayla Bruce: Class of 2023

Interests: Italian & Northern Renaissance art, Renaissance Humanism, folklore, mythology, and semiotics. Graduate assistant at the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Gallery.

Dr. Steven Becker

Tiffany Goodman: Class of 2025

Interests: Television studies, fan studies, queer and gender studies, cinema/television production, geographies of media.

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Jessica Gurley: Class of 2023

Interests: Women and Gender studies, Queer Studies, Psychology. Transgender advocacy, visual arts, performing arts, entrepreneurship. Graduate assistant for the Strome Entrepreneurial Center. Graduate Assistant for the Institute for the Humanities.

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Saundra Johnson: Class of 2023

Interests: Social Justice, Religion, Social Change and Activism (specifically Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Issues and Policies). Talent Acquisition Manager - Titan America, LLC and Founder of MYIHNDS (Mentoring Youth Into Healthy New Dimensions Spiritually).

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Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

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Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.