Peter Christensen Named Director of the University of Rochester’s Humanities Center

Peter Hewitt Christensen, past Member (2022) in the School of Historical Studies, has been named Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the University of Rochester’s Humanities Center, succeeding Joan Shelley Rubin. 

During his five-year term, Christensen plans to expand the center’s research mission: “I am interested in transforming the center from a place that supports research into one that generates research,” he said. He also plans to broaden the programs that help students and faculty expand the international aspects of their work.  

The University of Rochester Humanities Center is a mainstay for inquiries in the humanities whose mission is to promote cross-discipline scholarly reflection and collaboration. Christensen is the second director since the center’s founding in 2015. 

At the Institute, Christensen, who specializes in modern architectural and environmental history of Europe and the Middle East, has been working on a book project tentatively titled “Prior Art: Patents and the Nature of Invention in Architecture.” It will be his third book, following Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure (Yale University Press, 2017) and Precious Metal: German Steel, Modernity, and Ecology (Penn State Press, 2022).

Christensen’s tenure will begin on July 1, 2022.