J Nicole von Germeten | Professor of History and Associate Dean

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Currently as Professor of History and Associate Dean, Nicole von Germeten works hard to increase outreach, access to OSU’s degree programs, and innovate OSU’s curriculum. She inaugurated an African Diaspora-focused speaker series in Fall of 2020. She also led the creation of two new degrees: Applied Humanities which has been recognized by OSU’s 2022 Office of Institutional Diversity State of Diversity Address for Creating an Inclusive University Climate to Support the Retention and Success of All Students and Employees. The second degree program that Prof. von Germeten organized is a Master’s Degree in History which welcomed its first cohort in the Fall of 2021. Lastly, Prof. von Germeten won an OSU E-Campus Research Grant to create a highly interactive class called Crime in History, based on archival case studies from her scholarship, which will first be taught in Fall of 2022.

A specialist in Latin American History, Prof. von Germeten has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Fulbright Garcia Robles Scholarship and the Muriel McKevitt Sonne Endowment for her doctoral studies at Berkeley. She was a Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion in 2004 (Theme: Women and Religion in the African Diaspora) and was affiliated with the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies in 2008 and 2009.  She has written nearly 100 essays, reviews, and articles for edited volumes, online resources, and academic journals. She has published three single-authored books and one edited book-length translation since 2006 and has three books forthcoming in 2022 and 2023.

Joy Jensen | Research Program Coordinator

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Joy Jensen works with the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts, the Spring Creek Project, and the Center for the Humanities to create opportunities for people to learn, experience, connect, feel, write, and make. She develops and manages a range of engagement projects and events related to current exhibits and themes. And she coordinates 9 residency and fellowship programs—for writers & artists, scholars, faculty, and students—at 5 different sites in Oregon, from the coast to the Cascades. If she were in the NFL, her aspirational stat would be Most All-purpose Yards a la Darren Sproles or Walter Payton. 

Jensen holds a Master of Arts in English/Rhetoric from The Ohio State University and BA's in English and Psychology from Centre College. Before moving to Oregon, previous professional work included typewriter repair (really), editing, and political and environmental organizing. She’s led book proposal workshops, birding tours, voter registration drives, and coalition campaigns to regulate extractivist pollution in rural communities. 

As an Oregon Master Naturalist, current favorite volunteer actions involve habitat restoration, hyperlocal advocacy, and community science: Jensen's USGS Oregon Breeding Bird Survey routes include Selma, in the southern Oregon Siskiyous, and Crane, in the eastern sagebrush sea. She's also big on trees, sound, and maps. Write her sometime: she'd love to hear what you're working on and how she can help.    

In the stack: 
Dead Wood: The Afterlife of Trees by Ellen Wohl
A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars edited by Erin Sharkey
A History of Oregon Ornithology edited by Alan Contreras, Vjera Thompson and Nolan Clements
As the Condor Soars: Conserving and Restoring Oregon's Birds edited by Susan Haig, Daniel Roby, and Tashi Haig with illustrations by Ram Papish
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

David Robinson | Director Emeritus 

David Robinson served as Director of the Center for the Humanities from 2001 to 2017. Before retirement, Robinson held the position of Oregon Professor of English, the first endowed professorship in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University. In 1994, he was awarded an OSU Distinguished Professorship. His research has focused on the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau and other authors connected with the New England Transcendentalist movement. From 1988-2008 he was author of the chapter “Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller and Transcendentalism” in American Literary Scholarship, the annual review published by Duke University Press. And from 1989-1998, through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he conducted a series of Summer Seminars for School Teachers on the OSU campus that brought U.S and international educators together for intensive studies of Thoreau and American cultural transformation.

Robinson has held research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2010, was elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His writings include a study of Emerson’s later work, Emerson and the Conduct of Life (Cambridge University Press, 1993), and a study of Thoreau’s work as a naturalist and environmental philosopher, Natural Life: Thoreau’s Worldly Transcendentalism (Cornell University Press, 2004).

Advisory Board


The Advisory Board helps guide the Center's programming and research support activities. It is responsible for reviewing fellowship proposals and selecting research projects to move forward, and is composed of faculty from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds who have published work in the humanities. Members serve on a 3-year rotation, and can be nominated by Center staff or school directors in the College of Liberal Arts. Subcommittees review additional support requests, program proposals, and award nominations. 

2022-2023 Advisory Board

Nabil Boudraa | School of Language, Culture, and Society
Sarah Henderson | School of Public Policy
Jonathan Kaplan | School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Elena Passarello | School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Lei Xue | School of Visual, Performing, and Design Arts
Kara Ritzheimer | School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Joy Jensen | CFTH Research Program Coordinator (ex-officio)