Interdisciplinary Humanities (IHUM)

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

Council of the Humanities, 207 Scheide Caldwell House

Program Offerings:

  • Joint Degree

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:


IHUM confers a joint doctoral degree, with applications accepted in the third year of study from students enrolled in the Ph.D. programs in the following departments and schools: Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, History, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Political Philosophy in Politics, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese.  Applicants from Anthropology and Sociology may also apply in their second year of study.  Students who join the program become core members of a community of interdisciplinary research and exchange that convenes for seminars, workshops, and other events. After presenting a detailed plan for their IHUM fellowship year to the Director, ordinarily in the spring of the third year, students spend their fourth year on research and exploration in areas beyond the boundaries of their fundamental disciplinary training. Students then receive an additional year of university fellowship support to be used in their sixth year as a DCE1 student. Enrollment into a DCE1 year is not guaranteed to IHUM students; central Graduate School eligibility rules for entering DCE status apply here as they do for all doctoral students.

Students applying to IHUM must take the required course HUM583 before applying or once accepted into the program.

The deadline for the next round of applications to IHUM is March 1, 2024. Applications should include a description of plans for dissertation research and a brief letter of support from a departmental adviser.  For more details, see the program website.

Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the IHUM Program.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Joint Degree


Applicants to the program are recommended to take an IHUM program seminar in their first two years of coursework, and should, in their applications, be able to show a record of interdisciplinary exploration.  Prior to applying to IHUM, they should take the methods course HUM 583 “Interdisciplinarity and Antidisciplinarity,” offered each fall, or enroll once they are accepted into the program  This course is required for the joint degree.  Students accepted into the program are expected to join in IHUM workshops, including a regular graduate works-in-progress meeting for program members and faculty, a lunchtime series of talks, and other events - as both participants and organizers.

Dissertation and FPO

Candidates for the joint degree will need to work with their interdisciplinary adviser, selected once enrolled in the program, and must submit their dissertation to this advisor at the same time they submit to the department granting the first degree. The advisor provides the department with a reader report confirming the dissertation meets the IHUM requirements. The adviser should be a member of the IHUM Executive or Program Committee but not from the same department as the candidate.


  • Director

    • Christy N. Wampole
  • Executive Committee

    • Marshall B. Brown, Architecture
    • D. Graham Burnett, History
    • Tina M. Campt, Art and Archaeology
    • Elizabeth A. Davis, Anthropology
    • Jeff Dolven, English
    • Karen R. Emmerich, Comparative Literature
    • Devin A. Fore, German
    • Javier E. Guerrero, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
    • Paize Keulemans, East Asian Studies
    • Elizabeth H. Margulis, Music
    • Kinohi Nishikawa, English
    • Esther H. Schor, English, <i>ex officio</i>
    • Christy N. Wampole, French & Italian
    • Frederick F Wherry, Sociology
    • Jeffrey Whetstone, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Associated Faculty

    • Eduardo L. Cadava, English
    • Zahid R. Chaudhary, English
    • Anne Cheng, English
    • Andrew Cole, English
    • Rachael Z. DeLue, Art and Archaeology
    • Brigid Doherty, German
    • Anthony T. Grafton, History
    • Thomas W. Hare, Comparative Literature
    • Wendy Heller, Music
    • Aleksandar Hemon, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Thomas Y. Levin, German
    • Federico Marcon, East Asian Studies
    • Spyros Papapetros, Architecture
    • Gyan Prakash, History
    • Gayle Salamon, English
    • Joe Scanlan, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Janet A. Vertesi, Sociology

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

ARC 594 - Topics in Architecture (also ART 584/HUM 593/MOD 504/SPA 559)

This course covers various topics related to the history and theory of architecture.

ART 515 - Decolonizing Art History (also HUM 515/LAS 515)

Art history's disciplinary origins are inextricable from European colonialism and imperialism, and often work to uphold racialized concepts of development, civilization, style. The contemporary practice of art history demands that we acknowledge these origins while imagining a decolonized art history for the present. Drawing from decolonial paradigms, recent scholarship, and foundational texts of critical race studies, we work to analyze and actively reconfigure conventions of field formation, research, and format. In keeping with the political imperative of praxis, students workshop research topics and problems individually and collectively.

CDH 507 - Data in the Humanities (also HUM 507)

This course provides a foundation in the history, concepts, methodologies, and tools of digital humanities research. Students learn to critically evaluate and incorporate computational and data-driven methods into their research, as well as achieve a baseline fluency in accessing, filtering, and analyzing humanities datasets. No prerequisites or preexisting technical skills are required. Students working with texts, images, and artifacts are welcome.

ENG 572 - Introduction to Critical Theory (also COM 590/HUM 572)

The ethical, historical, and political dimensions of Jacques Derrida's thought and writings.

FRE 524 - 20th-Century French Narrative Prose (also HUM 524)

Development of the French novel and short story. Particular emphasis is given to Proust, Gide, Malraux, Sartre, Camus, Butor, and Robbe-Grillet. Topics such as the <I>roman fleuve,</I> the poetic novel, the anti-novel, and the <I>nouveau roman</I> are also considered.

GER 523 - Topics in German Media Theory & History (also COM 518/HUM 523/MOD 523)

Historical and theoretical investigations of media from the advent of writing systems, paper and the construction of single-point perspective to phonography, radio, telephony, and television and up through the critical reflection on cyberspace, rhetorics of PowerPoint, surveillance and data shadows. Issues explored include the relationship between representation and technology, the historicity of perception, transformations of reigning notions of imagination, literacy, communication, reality and truth, and the interplay of aesthetics, technics and politics.

HUM 583 - Interdisciplinarity and Antidisciplinarity

Academic life is largely configured along disciplinary lines. What are "disciplines," and what does it mean to think, write, teach, and work within these socio-cognitive structures? Are there alternatives? This course, drawing on faculty associated with the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM), takes up these questions, in an effort to clarify the historical evolution and current configuration of intellectual activity within universities. Normative questions detain us. The future is a preoccupation for the course.

HUM 595 - Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (also ARC 593/CLA 595/MOD 595)

In the IHUM tradition, this course is team-taught, often by faculty from two different departments. Courses that fall under this topic are widely cross-listed and intended to attract students from many departments and programs. These topics are the most interdisciplinary of the IHUM offerings, aiming to bring together combinations of art, philosophy, literature, history in theory and practice, criticism, and methods from the qualitative social sciences.

HUM 596 - Humanistic Perspectives on Literature (also CLA 596/EAS 537/HLS 596)

Marking the 10th anniversary of Derrida's death, this course provides an opportunity to "unpack" Derrida's library, to remember several of his lessons - about philosophy, literature, history, politics, religion, economics, ideology, law, rights, nationalism, racism, colonialism, the media, university institutions, capitalism, rogue states, the war on terror, justice, responsibility, language, friendship, love, life, death, and mourning - all of which are more urgent and necessary than ever before.

HUM 597 - Humanistic Perspectives on History and Society (also ARC 597/LAS 597/MOD 597/SPA 557)

In this seminar we locate Spinoza and the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) in the exciting currents of seventeenth-century philosophy, theology, biblical scholarship and exegesis. Resituating Spinoza in Golden Age Holland we examine the resources and relevant controversies that shaped the Tractatus, with an eye to common concerns and traditions: the legacies of humanism and Reformation in the Netherlands, for instance, the larger worlds of his friends, as well as the vibrant Jewish community in Golden Age Amsterdam and the varieties of Christian lay piety that fall broadly under the banner of "the Radical Reformation."

HUM 598 - Humanistic Perspectives on the Arts (also CLA 591/HLS 594/MOD 598)

The study of the arts at the intersection of the disciplines.

HUM 599 - Interpretation (also ANT 599/COM 599)

The arts of interpretation across the disciplines.

SPA 562 - The Cinema of Cruelty (also HUM 562/LAS 542)

Drawing on Antonin Artaud's ideas around theatre of cruelty and André Bazin's notions of auteur film and its subversive capacity, this course looks at a group of Latin American and Spanish films and directors to explore how cruelty has become a recognizable aesthetic, one with strategic relevance for Hispanic film. This seminar understands film as a text in which cruelty functions as a cinematic trope, and also reflects on spectatorship, film's ability to inflict pain and, even more, the possibility that film constitutes a modern spectacle of cruelty.