Michael P. Lynch Professor (Philosophy)
Michael Patrick Lynch is a writer and professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the Humanities Institute. His work concerns truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology. Lynch is the author or editor of seven books, including, The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters for Democracy, Truth as One and Many and the New York Times Sunday Book Review Editor’s pick, True to Life. The recipient of the Medal for Research Excellence from the University of Connecticut’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he is The Principal Investigator for Humility & Conviction in Public Life, a $7 million project aimed at understanding and encouraging meaningful public discourse funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Connecticut. A frequent contributor to the New York Times “The Stone” weblog, Lynch’s work has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Wired (among others). He speaks regularly to both academic and non-academic audiences, and has appeared at such venues at TED@250, Chautauqua, and South by Southwest.
Alexis L. Boylan, Professor (Art & Art History and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies)
Alexis L. Boylan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Connecticut and the Associate Director of the Humanities Institute. Boylan’s research and teaching focus is on art and popular culture produced and circulated in the United States with particular emphasis on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of Ashcan Art, Whiteness, and the Unspectacular Man (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) and the editor of Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall (Duke University Press, 2011). Boylan has also written for journals such as American Art, Journal of Curatorial Studies, MELUS, CAA.REVIEWS, and Woman’s Art Journal. She is currently at work on curating an exhibition about painter Ellen Emmet Rand and beginning a book project on the art of the American Museum of Natural History.
Assistant Director of Public Humanities
Brendan Kane Associate Professor (History, co-PI on the Institute’s Public Discourse Project)
Brendan Kane specializes in early modern British and Irish history. He is the author of The Politics and Culture of Honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541-1641 (Cambridge UP, 2010; paperback 2013) and co-editor with Valerie McGowan-Doyle of the edited collection Elizabeth I and Ireland (Cambridge UP, 2014). He curated (with Thomas Herron) the exhibition Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2013) and co-authored the catalog of the same name. His interests include comparative colonialism and the history of human rights; he was guest editor of a special issue of the journal History entitled “Human rights and the history of violence in the early British Empire” (2014). A growing interest in gender and history has led to guest editing (with Kenneth Gouwens and Laurie Nussdorfer) a special issue of The European Review of History / Revue Européenne d’Histoire on early modern masculinities (forthcoming, 2015). Currently he is completing a book on knowledge production and legitimacy in early modern Ireland, and directing (with Tom Scheinfeldt) a multi-institutional, collaborative digital humanities project “Reading Early Modern Irish: a digital guide to Irish Gaelic (c. 1200-1650)”. Currently he serves as UConn’s Folger Consortium faculty representative.
Assistant Director of Digital Humanities and Media Studies
Anke Finger Professor Anke Finger (LCL, German)
Anke Finger is Associate Professor of German and Media Studies and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. Her research focuses on modernism, media studies, digital humanities, literature and other arts/interart communication, contemporary aesthetics, and interculturality. A specialist on the idea of the total artwork (Das Gesamtkunstwerk der Moderne, 2006), she edited (with Danielle Follett) a collection of articles entitled The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments (2011). Her discussion of the total artwork ranges from conceptual art and atmospheres to architecture and design ( The Death and Life of the Total Work of Art, 2015). She is a specialist on Vilém Flusser’s theories of communication as well as on media aesthetics and multi-modal publishing. She has delivered numerous keynotes across the world and is currently working on a book project on avant-gardes and sensory perception and on media-authorship.
Nasya Al-Saidy is a graduate student currently pursuing her PhD in economics at UConn. She received her Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her undergraduate thesis explored the cost-effectiveness of phytoremediation to reduce brownfield pollution in Boston’s low-income urban areas. She is now serving as a fiscal officer for the Humanities Institute. Website