The Humanities Forum

Founded in 2015, The Humanities Forum is the signature event series of the Humanities Program. The Forum hosts weekly guest lectures, debates, musical performances, panel discussions and film screenings for the entire Providence College community throughout the academic year. Guests include distinguished scholars, public intellectuals, community leaders, journalists, artists and more from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives.


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The Forum embodies the conviction that our shared intellectual life should go beyond the classroom and bring together all members of our community for regular reflection, discussion and debate. Grounded in the humanities but engaging departments and programs across campus, the Forum addresses fundamental themes of perennial interest to the entire human family and includes a special place for reflection on the relationship between faith and reason within the context of Providence College’s Catholic and Dominican mission.

Because the Humanities Forum seeks to enrich our community life, the Forum includes regular receptions for informal engagement with guests and with other members of our community. After each reception, the Forum also hosts special evening dinners during which small groups of students, faculty and staff join our guests for a shared meal and an opportunity for deeper reflection on the themes of the afternoon.

I must tell you how much I enjoy the presentations made at the Humanities Forum. While I teach in the Business School, I love reconnecting with my Liberal Arts roots and I have a deep love of learning. [These lectures] open my mind and heart, make me think and feel. They enrich my life. As often as I can, I attend them.

Providence College Faculty Member

Humanities Forum Leadership

The Humanities Forum is directed by Dr. Iain Bernhoft (Humanities) with the support of a representative advisory committee including the following members:

Patrick Breen
History and Classics

Alison Caplan
Foreign Language Studies

Dana Dillon
Theology and Public and Community Service

Catherine Gordon
Music

Raymond Hain
Philosophy and Humanities
Associate Director of the Humanities Program

James Janecek
Art and Art History

James Keating
Theology and Humanities
Director of the Humanities Program​

Patrick Macfarlane
Philosophy and Humanities

Michael Mathes
Economics
Associate Director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program

Sharon Murphy
History and Classics
Director of the Development of Western Civilization Program

Elisia Pagliuca ’25
Theology and Humanities

Erin Schmidt
Theatre, Dance, and Film

Fr. Jordan Zajac
English

This felt like a Humanities Forum dinner at its very best – a sustained, casual, wide-roving, thoughtful, personal group conversation – full of laughter, serious questions, and astonishing anecdotes.

Forum Dinner Guest

Humanities Forum Dinner guests