Rachel Arteagais Associate Director of the Simpson Center and Associate Program Director for Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics, a public scholarship program generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In these roles, she works closely with the faculty Director and in collaboration with all members of the Simpson Center staff on the development, implementation, and assessment of academic projects, initiatives, and programs central to its mission. Rachel is also a main point of contact for institutional partners in the region, particularly for questions pertaining to the development of new models for doctoral education and professionalization across sectors in the humanities.
Arteaga speaks and writes regularly on higher education and the value of the humanities. Her most recent project, a collection of essays she co-edited with Rosemary Johnsen titled Public Scholarship in Literary Studies, was published by Amherst College Press in April of 2021. The full text of the book—including its six distinct chapters, composed by contributing authors whose exemplary approaches to the publicly-engaged humanities have the potential to transform literary studies—is available through the open access platform Fulcrum. You can read her introduction to the volume here.
Through the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and the National Humanities Alliance, she co-facilitates monthly gatherings of humanities center leadership and staff. These meetings are virtual, informal, and open; learn more here. Presently, her core service commitment is to the Association of Departments of English Ad Hoc Committee on English Majors’ Career Preparation and Outcomes. Previously, she has served on the steering committee of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) and planning and review committees for the National Humanities Alliance, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Humanities Washington. She has supported and participated in a wide range of cross-institutional partnerships across Washington State, working with humanities instructors in the K-12 system, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities to strengthen educational infrastructure and expand access to opportunity.
She holds a PhD in English from the University of Washington and an MA in English from Boston College. Her dissertation, which she defended in June 2016, focused on feelings of faith—among them, hope, doubt, and joy—in American literature. Articles revised from chapters in the project have appeared or are forthcoming in the scholarly journals the Flannery O'Connor Review, Literature Interpretation Theory, and Early American Literature.