University of Vermont

University Communications

Jenemann and Vivanco Named Co-Directors of Humanities Center

Williams and Old Mill
Part of the Humanities Center's mission is to broaden awareness about "the wide and deep contributions of the arts and humanities toward the betterment of the human condition, society, and the natural world." (Photo: Sally McCay)

Professors David Jenemann and Luis Vivanco have been named co-directors of the UVM Humanities Center, effective this month.

The UVM Humanities Center was established in 1994 to support faculty research and teaching in the humanities and related fields, educational opportunities for students, and community outreach in the state of Vermont. Jenemann and Vivanco will oversee the center as it continues in that work and implements a new vision: to “become a national model for its impact in increasing awareness among the general public, and academics outside the arts and humanities, about the wide and deep contributions of the arts and humanities toward the betterment of the human condition, society, and the natural world.”

Vivanco is an environmental anthropologist with degrees from Princeton University in cultural anthropology (doctorate in 1999, and master’s in 1995) and Dartmouth College in religion (bachelor’s in 1991). He came to UVM in 1997 as a New England Board of Higher Education Dissertation Write-up Fellow and began as assistant professor in 1999. In 2005, he was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor.

Jenemann is associate professor of English and film and television studies. He graduated from Swarthmore College as a Thomas B. McCabe Scholar in 1993, and received his doctorate in the University of Minnesota's pioneering interdisciplinary humanities program, Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, in 2003. He came to UVM that same year and received tenure in 2009. 

Both professors have been recognized for their teaching and research throughout their careers. In 2012, Vivanco won the University of Vermont’s highest teaching honor when he received the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, mentoring and an ability to inspire students for lifelong learning. He was also awarded the 2012 Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award for his successes in integrating service learning into several of his courses. Jenemann is the recipient of a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Award Fellowship in language and research. He has also been nominated a number of times for the Kroepsch-Maurice Teaching Award.

Both have also held positions of leadership on campus. From 2007 to 2014 Vivanco served as director of the Global and Regional Studies Program. Under his leadership, a new Global Studies Program was developed and established in 2009. The program has been one of the fastest growing areas of interdisciplinary undergraduate interest at UVM. Since 2011, Jenemann has been the director of Film and Television Studies, where he has overseen the formalization of the major's program status. Prior to serving as FTS director, he acted as chair of the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative working group in Culture and Society, and participated in the provost's ad hoc committee on the Humanities Center.