Sunday, 20 November 2016


We need to draw your attention to a most concerning development at Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the fact that the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center has become one of the most prestigious and most successful interdisciplinary departments in all of the U.S., the university's administration has devised a plan to have it closed by July 2017.

Please follow this link to find out more about the issue and consider signing the petition against the closure of the Humanities Center.

We also invite you to read FIEC's open letter to Prof. Beverly Wendland, who is one of the initiators of the process:


It is with great concern that the International Federation of Associations of Classical Studies (FIEC) has learned about the plan to close the Humanities Center at John Hopkins University. Not only your University, but this center, carry an excellent reputation across the globe. We believe firmly in an academic environment where all disciplines of knowledge and research are represented, for the benefit of all parties involved.

Academic standing and the quality of research is not reflected only in impact factors and publications in the so-called ‘hard sciences’ : the Humanities also play a vital role in the education of students, both in the USA and abroad. As the case of mathematics shows, student enrollment is but one criterion that justifies keeping a teaching and research center. It is the duty of all Universities to ensure that their students have an access to critical thinking with a historical, literary and conceptual dimension. In that respect, your Humanities Center constitutes a key element which will be extremely difficult to rebuild once you have dismantled it.

We therefore beg you to reconsider the planned closing of the Humanities Center : on the contrary, the Humanities deserve your support at a time when all academics, in the USA and abroad, expect a clear signal in favour of decency and measure.

Looking forward to your reply, I remain

sincerely yours,

Franco Montanari
President of FIEC"
(Pisa, November 20th, 2016)

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