Current Staff

‌Phil Harling, Director

Professor Phil Harling started at the University of Miami in the summer of 2022, after almost 30 years of teaching and administrative service at the University of Kentucky. He grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and received his B.A. from Grinnell College in 1986 and his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 1993. A Professor of History, Phil specializes in Britain and the British Empire in the 19th century ... Continued

christina-larsonChristina Larson, Assistant Director

Dr. Christina Larson was named Assistant Director at the Center for the Humanities in September 2021. As someone who has studied humanities-related disciplines and who is passionate about scholarship and learning, she was delighted to assume this role at the University of Miami ... Continued

‌Ony Dunnam, Conference Coordinator

Ms. Ony Dunnam holds a Bachelor's Degree in Law from the Andres Bello Catholic University (Caracas-Venezuela), and completed various courses and seminars on Entrepreneurial Management and Family Business from the same Institution... Continued


UGrow Fellow and Student Assistants

UGrow Fellow: Vanessa Rodrigues Barcelos da Silva

Vanessa Barcelos is the Center's 2023-2024 UGrow Fellow. She is an English PhD student whose research focuses on the intersections between Early Modern discourses of witchcraft and racial marking in England's print culture and literature. She holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Miami and a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the State University of Ceará, in Brazil, her home country. She has also worked for several years as an Instructor at UM's Writing Studies Department and UM's Intensive English Program.


Student Assistant: Lyric Johnson

Lyric Johnson is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a BA in Political Science and Psychology at the University of Miami. She is also completing two minors in Entrepreneurship and LGBTQ studies. Some of her achievements include being a Foote Fellows Honor student, DaVinci Honors Student, and a Presidential Scholar. She plans to further her education by obtaining graduate degrees in Law and Occupational Therapy. She is also heavily involved in many university organizations while obtaining executive board positions, including being the treasurer for Speak What You Feel and an It's On Us ambassador.

Student Assistant: Layla-Bleu Jackson Yanez

Layla-Bleu Jackson-Yanez is a second-year student majoring in Sports Administration with a minor in Broadcast Journalism who is passionate about student engagement; promoting mental and physical wellbeing; and supporting underserved communities in the Miami area.

Previous Directors of the Center for the Humanities

Mihoko Suzuki, Founding Director (2009 - 2018)

Professor Mihoko Suzuki earned her A.B. in an interdisciplinary major, History and Literature, in the College Scholar Program at Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Yale University. Her scholarship focuses on Renaissance and early modern literature and ... Continued

Hugh Thomas, Director (2018 - 2023)

Professor Hugh M. Thomas received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught at the University of Miami since 1988. His research focuses on the history of medieval Europe, particularly England, from the eleventh to the early thirteenth century ... Continued