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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Dympna Callaghan appointed interim director of SU Humanities Center

Shakespearean scholar has 'deep commitment' to humanities and liberal arts

July 18, 2013, by Rob Enslin

Dympna Callaghan, the William L. Safire Professor of Modern Letters and a renowned Shakespearean scholar in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed interim director of The SU Humanities Center. Her appointment begins immediately and extends until June 2014. The center’s founding director, Gregg Lambert, is serving a yearlong sabbatical.

Administered by The College, The SU Humanities Center sponsors, organizes, and presents various scholarly programs for the campus community.   

“Dympna Callaghan is a gifted administrator, teacher, and scholar who brings with her a deep commitment to the humanities and liberal arts,” says Arts and Sciences Dean George M. Langford. “As interim director of The SU Humanities Center, she will play a critical role in shaping and sustaining the intellectual life of the University.”

Gerald R. Greenberg, The College’s senior associate dean for academic affairs, echoes these sentiments. “We are fortunate to have someone of Dympna Callaghan’s stature in this position during the 2013-14 academic year,” he says. “Her accomplishments, energy, and leadership skills make her an excellent choice as our interim director.”

Greenberg also serves as associate dean for curriculum, instruction, and programs; associate professor of Russian and linguistics; and interim chair of the English department. 

In addition to holding the Safire professorship at SU, Callaghan has served as president of the Shakespeare Association of America, based at Georgetown University. Her areas of expertise include Renaissance poetry and drama, women's writing, and feminist theory. She is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which is Who Was William Shakespeare?: An Introduction to the Life and Works (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Recently, Callaghan helped oversee “Sex and Power from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment,” a yearlong Ray Smith Symposium organized and presented by SU's Renaissance and Medieval Studies Working Group and co-sponsored by The SU Humanities Center. Also, she has held fellowships at the Newberry, Folger, and Huntington libraries and at the Getty Research Institute; and has served as a visiting professor at the British Academy in London. She holds a lifetime appointment at Clare Hall at Cambridge University.

“I am honored to accept this position, and I promise to work tirelessly to keep the humanities central to the University’s mission,” says Callaghan. “Already, The SU Humanities Center has achieved distinction in a short amount of time.”

The SU Humanities Center, founded in 2008, fosters public engagement in the humanities and is home to the Central New York Humanities Corridor; the Watson Visiting Collaborator and Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship programs; the HC Mini-Seminar and Syracuse Symposium Seminar series; and other research initiatives, annual fellowships and public programming.