The Humanities Studio

The Humanities Studio at Pomona College was established in the Fall of 2018 to foster interdisciplinary study of the humanities among Pomona students and faculty, and to enrich the experience of the humanities for students, faculty, staff, and our surrounding communities.

Through a variety of programs and events, we seek to spark conversations across the humanities disciplines. But we’re equally interested in building connections and sharing resources between the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, including mathematics.

The Humanities Studio offers four main programming areas:

The Studio Seminar

Each year the Studio convenes a yearlong seminar for the Humanities Studio Fellows—six Pomona faculty members, six Pomona students engaged in senior research in the humanities, and up to two Mellon Chau postdoctoral fellows. The seminar is organized around an annual theme of broad interest across the humanities, and meets weekly to discuss readings, talk with visiting scholars, visit area cultural institutions, and share work in progress.

The Speakers Series

In conjunction with the annual theme, speakers from various humanities fields are brought to campus to meet with Studio Fellows, present public lectures, and meet in smaller settings with students and/or faculty.

The Humanities Toolkit

Practical, small-group presentations and events are held each year to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and for students. Typical topics include publishing with a university press; writing for a general audience; crafting and placing an op-ed piece; applying to graduate school; and careers in the humanities.

“Random Acts of Humanities”

Forged on the spot and in the moment, partnerships with departments, programs, faculty members, and students seize other “pop-up” programming opportunities that fall outside the Studio’s annual theme.


Statement of Solidarity

The Humanities Studio at Pomona College stands in solidarity with those both within and beyond the College and the Claremont Consortium working for broad institutional change to root out the scourge of anti-Blackness that poisons our public sphere. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others are horrifying reminders of the incalculable physical, economic, and social brutalities and inequities that have burdened and extinguished Black lives for hundreds of years.

We acknowledge and unequivocally commit to our role, as individuals and as a collective, to take action to relieve this burden and to help ensure safety, equity, and dignity for Black lives. Those actions will include:

  • Examining our own understanding of the concepts of “humanity” and “the humanities,” and the ways these concepts are configured around anti-Blackness;
  • Designing curricula (such as our programming for the coming academic year on the theme of “Indigeneities”) that centers, amplifies, and celebrates voices of people of color and sparks conversations addressing racial justice and the toxic legacies and continued incursions of white supremacy;
  • Ensuring that our programming intersects with, and that our resources support, larger campus, local, and national actions and conversations supporting Black lives and combatting anti-Blackness;
  • Supplementing our standard slate of “Humanities Toolkit” offerings to include support for training in activism;
  • Purchasing Studio materials whenever possible through Black-owned businesses; and
  • Putting our human and other resources into partnership with those departments, programs, student groups, and other units at the College—whose statements in the wake of George Floyd’s murder we have read with hope and admiration—to amplify Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices, and to work in alliance to further racial justice.

In solidarity,
Kevin Dettmar, Director
Gretchen Rognlien, Associate Director
Aimee Bahng, Gender & Women’s Studies, Faculty Advisory Board
Susan McWilliams Barndt, Politics, Faculty Advisory Board
Janice Hudgings, Physics, Faculty Advisory Board
Joti Rockwell, Music, Faculty Advisory Board