Hall Center for the Humanities at KU names interim director to permanent position

photo by: Dan Oetting, Hall Center for the Humanities

Giselle Anatol, KU professor of English, has been named the director of the Hall Center for the Humanities.

The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has named its interim director to the permanent position.

Giselle Anatol, professor of English, has been named director, effective March 3. She has been leading the center since former director Richard Godbeer retired in fall 2022.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for this leadership role at the university,” Anatol said in a news release Thursday. “During my time as interim director, I sought to promote the Hall Center as a flourishing, welcoming and inclusive space for the celebration and advancement of humanistic research and productivity.”

Under Anatol’s interim leadership, the Hall Center revived the Haunting Humanities festival, a public outreach event that encourages humanities scholars to practice articulating their research in fun and accessible ways for a wider audience, according to the release, and she resumed the Undergraduate Fellows Program, fostering greater undergraduate participation in the Hall Center’s scholarly activities.

Anatol also facilitated a small-scale version of the original Wheat State Whirlwind Tour, taking two dozen faculty and staff on a two-day visit to the Kansas communities of Lucas, Wilson and Nicodemus to explore different parts of the state, learn about each other’s lives and work, and engage with residents in rural communities.

Anatol joined KU in 1998. Her research interests include Caribbean literature and folklore, U.S. African American literature, speculative fiction by authors of the African diaspora, and representations of race, ethnicity and gender in writing for youth. She has written “The Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora,” a book published in 2015 by Rutgers University Press, and a number of book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles.


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