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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)

News and Events

News & Events


Publications and thoughtful commentary showcase the incredible work that comes out of our small liberal arts classrooms, studios and labs.

News and Events

expressions e-Newsletter

Stay connected to the AHSS community through divisional updates, spotlight stories and upcoming events in expressions, AHSS' monthly e-newsletter.

If you haven't received expressions and want to find out what you've been missing, email us at or call 303-871-4449.

This Month's Featured Stories  

New Research Funds for Faculty
Dean Supports Faculty Pursuit of Promotion to Full Professor

AHSS faculty work locally and globally in labs, studios, archives, performance halls and libraries to make discoveries or produce art that addresses real-world issues. DU offers competitive grants to faculty to fund their work. The majority of the grants are made possible thanks to support from generous DU supporters.

Dean Danny McIntosh recently established a new grant called the Dean's Award for Excellence (DAFE), funded by annual donations to the Dean's Fund for Excellence, to support AHSS tenure-line associate professors who are working toward promotion to the rank of full professor.

An assistant professor's journey to receive tenure/promotion is thorough and rigorous: a candidate typically devotes six years working on scholarship and creative endeavors, and the promotion is granted upon approval from the dean, provost and DU Board of Trustees. When an assistant professor receives tenure, he/she is promoted to the rank of associate professor.

But what happens next? Associate professors must complete additional peer-reviewed scholarship or creative activity and build a national or international reputation to gain the rank of full professor. This can take years, and some associate professors never achieve it.

The purpose of DAFE is not only to help associate professors generate new forms of knowledge with their research and art, but also to reach the level of achievement that leads to the promotion to full professor.

"I can't emphasize enough the importance of these grants in supporting our scholars and artists move to the next level of achievement and how deeply grateful I am to our donors who make contributions to them," said the dean. "The funding helps enable projects that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive. These projects enhance the reputation of DU, strengthen the contribution of these professors to our students' education and can make or break a candidate's ability to be promoted."

Art Exhibition at Gallery Explores the Many Facets of Color
Hear Color at a Unique CSO Concert on Campus, by Moira Casey

lscThe study of color is vast. The last half century has brought some fundamental changes in the ways we perceive and think about color, raising questions like: "does color exist or is it just an artifact of our perception? Is color the same everywhere and for everyone? Can we hear color?"

Learning to See Color, an exhibition on view at the Vicki Myhren Gallery through March 6, 2016, explores these questions. It is presented through works of art along with commentary by the co-curators and artists to demonstrate how questions about color, while they may have no definite answers, can still serve as primary engines of art.

A series of events created in conjunction with the exhibition will also examine perceptions of color. On February 25, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will perform at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. CSO assistant conductor Andres Lopera will lead a program demonstrating that art created to be experienced through one sense, such as music, can actually lead to perceptions and feelings experienced through other senses – colors can be heard. Composers such as Tchaikovsky, Copland and Beethoven will be featured in an exploration of red, yellow and blue. Get CSO tickets.

As a follow-up to the CSO concert, a symposium at DU on February 26, co-sponsored by the Clyfford Still Museum (CSM), will feature distinguished guest speakers—artists, art historians, critics, and musicians—to explore the fascinating problems and challenges of the language of color. Moderated by Dean Sobel, director of the CSM, the panelists will address inquiries concerning color—one of the most fundamental topics in the arts—and a primary interest to Clyfford Still himself.

Additionally, the Gallery has collaborated with the Anchor Center for the Blind on an installation of color training technology to allow visitors to experience color through the eyes of the visually impaired.

"The exhibition is a flagship of the season, demonstrating the Vicki Myhren Gallery's efforts to coordinate with our community partners in the presentation of art," said Dan Jacobs, director and curator of the Gallery.

"Our goal is to delve into the underpinnings of color, with a particular emphasis on the shifting and elusive quality of the concept. We are describing color in order to help our visitors experience color in a richer and more complex way."

Historic artworks from the University Art Collections are in conversation with works by regional and national contemporary artists, allowing viewers to examine various strategies used by artists over time to address what color theorists refer to as "The Color Problem."

Notably, the exhibition features a pristine portfolio of color studies by Bauhaus master Josef Albers, which are part of the DU collection. They provide a template for the systematic exploration of the emotional content of color.

Also on view is contemporary art such as a thread spool work by Devorah Sperber and a commissioned light work called Night Sight/Night Site by Collin Parson, which incorporates manufactured colors and materials into Learning to See Color.

In addition to the CSO and CSM, exhibition collaborators include Newman Center Presents and the Lamont School of Music. Partnering institutions and entities lending artwork for the exhibition include The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center; The University of Wyoming Art Museum; Modernism, San Francisco; Robischon Gallery; Redline/Denver; The Jim and Julie Taylor Collection, and other private collectors and artists.

The Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. More information.