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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)



We showcase the work of members of our community, from research and scholarship to creativity and the arts. Our faculty are sought-after experts who are frequently in the news.

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


denver map
January 4, 2018

Under the Asphalt, Denver’s Hidden History 

As Denver continues to grow, parking lots have been vanishing across the city. While most are concerned about the buildings being erected in place of their former parking spots, the University of Denver’s department of anthropology is more interested in what has been entombed beneath layers and layers of asphalt.

Harvester of Hearts
November 30, 2017

Frankenstein and Motherhood

Sometimes inspiration is a spark from deep within. For Rachel Feder, the inspiration for her new book, Harvester of Hearts, was more of a kick in the belly. A combination of teaching the novel Frankenstein and movements of her unborn son late in pregnancy put her in a unique mindset to start writing her book. 

October 26, 2017

Thinking, Thinkers & Thoughts

Michael Brent has designed and taught several DU philosophy courses at beginner and advanced levels covering a wide range of topics. His classes include first-year students to graduating seniors. Now with a grant from the DU Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Brent is designing a new course for a much younger audience. Brent’s course will take his DU students out of the classroom and into the community where they will engage in philosophical conversations with first- and third-graders at a local elementary school.

October 26, 2017

New Course Contributes to Diversity & Innovative Teaching

In March 2017, eight AHSS faculty joined a Judaic Studies visiting scholar for an intensive interdisciplinary panel on stereotyping and the politics of hate. Born from that panel discussion was a new interdisciplinary course that will enable undergraduate students to study with faculty from the original panel, as well as others across AHSS.

“The conversations and connections that evening [in March] were powerful; it was clear on that night that the panel was the first step in something much larger, even though we didn’t know yet what that would be,” said Sarah Pessin, professor of philosophy and Judaic Studies.

September 28, 2017

Tenure and Promotion: AHSS Celebrates Faculty Achievements

Fall comes not only with new students, but also promotions and transitions among our faculty colleagues.  Effective September 1, 18 faculty members have received a promotion, and eight of our colleagues received emeritus status.

“Congratulations to our colleagues. All these changes recognize significant achievement, dedication and contribution to the mission of our departments, divisions, university, and fields,” said Dean Daniel McIntosh.

September 28, 2017

Physician Turned Anthropologist

Alejandro Cerón was in his fifth year of medical school when Hurricane Mitch struck Guatemala in 1998. As a student leader at the University of San Carlos, Guatemala, School of Medicine, Cerón coordinated the student emergency response team to the hurricane and the flooding aftermath.  Although he was on track to becoming a surgeon, the experience reshaped his future.

“I spent two weeks barely sleeping, involved in this, and by the end I had decided I did not want to be a surgeon but to work in public health,” said Cerón, assistant professor of anthropology. 

September 15, 2017

Ludlow Massacre Archaeological Project Celebrates 20th Anniversary

It's been more than 100 years since approximately two dozen miners, including women and children, were killed in what is known as the Ludlow Massacre (or the Colorado Coal Field War). The tent colony in Ludlow, Colo., was inhabited by some 1,200 striking coal miners — some of them recent immigrants — seeking safer working and better living conditions and better pay. 

"Ludlow helps us remember who built the country and why we should never take the lives and interests of working-class people for granted," says Dean Saitta, who served as co-principal investigator of the project and is a professor in DU's Department of Anthropology.

August 31, 2017

Psychologist Studies Resilience in High Risk Populations

Throughout her life, Angela Narayan has been drawn to stories of people who overcome adversity to lead happy, healthy and productive lives.

“My father is from India, and I traveled there several times throughout my childhood. I was always fascinated by youth who were able to ‘beat the odds’ and grow up to achieve and succeed,” said Narayan, a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychology. This emphasis on what fosters resilience in parents, children and families who face hardship is a major theme of her research. 

July 27, 2017

The Middle East, Feminism...and Vampires?

This is not your typical Hollywood vampire love story. Bernadette Calafell and Shadee Abdi were captivated by the story of an Iranian vampire in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and how the film flips the script on the Middle East, feminism, and what it means to be labeled a monster.


Roddy MacInnes — July 2017
Professor Uses Photography as a Lens for Understanding Human Condition
Elizabeth Sperber — May/June 2017
Professor Implements Community-Engaged Learning in Classroom
Darrin Hicks — March/April 2017
Professor Leads Debate Team for 18th Year
M. Roger Holland — January/February 2017

New Lamont Professor Forges Connections
Janice Lacek — December 2016

Costume Designer Helps Students find "Their Voice"
Erika Polson — November 2016

Professor's New Book Connects Geo-Social Media to a New Global Middle Class
Karen Albright — October 2016
Professor Studies Health Behaviors of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Groups
Dan Jacobs — September 2016

Curator Brings DU Art Collection to Life
Lindsey Feitz — August 2016

Professor Advocates for Social Justice In and Out of Classroom