About the Humanities Institute

Brantly Hall at summer

Drawing on a rich tradition of teaching and scholarship in the humanities at the University of Montana, the Humanities Institute fosters provocative thinking, innovative research, and sustained public discussion of the human experience, including serious reflection on the past, present, and future. The Institute’s activities encompass traditional humanities disciplines including history, languages, literature, philosophy, and religious studies, as well as critical studies of the arts and models of inquiry that cross disciplinary boundaries and develop new approaches, including work in the digital humanities.

The Humanities Institute supports humanistic work that takes place throughout the University, and welcomes initiatives and approaches that bridge traditional humanities fields with the visual and performing arts, with journalism and political science, and with the natural sciences, and that generate public discussion about the importance of the humanities in the contemporary world.

Led by faculty, the Institute is funded primarily by grants and private donations, and is structured to bring new research opportunities to students and faculty and to promote scholarship in the humanities at UM. The Institute creates opportunities for vigorous intellectual exchange and provides venues for public discussion about the humanities, including sustained interaction with the wider community of Missoula and Montana, as well as contact with scholars in different disciplines and from other institutions.


Bernadette Sweeney

Bernadette Sweeney

Associate Professor of Theatre

Office: McGill 212B
Email: bernadette1.sweeney@umontana.edu

Personal Summary

Bernadette Sweeney is a native of Ireland and was awarded a Ph.D. by the School of Drama, Trinity College Dublin, in 2002. Her doctoral research was subsequently published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008 as Performing the Body in Irish Theatre. In 2010 she published her second book, The Theatre of Tom MacIntyre: Strays from the Ether, with Carysfort Press, Dublin, co-edited with Marie Kelly.
She lectured in Drama and Theatre Studies at University College Cork from 2002-2009, where she taught theatre practice, theory, M.A. research skills, and performance studies. At The University of Montana, from 2010-2012 Bernadette worked as director of The Gathering: Collected Oral Histories of the Irish of Montana, with the Irish Studies program. She has worked as assistant professor of performance studies and theatre history with the School of Theatre and Dance since 2012. Bernadette has worked as a director and theatre practitioner for many years. Her recent productions include Be Again (2011), a film based on the work of Beckett, co-directed and written with Michael Murphy; Beckett Shorts (2010) including Play and Krapp’s Last Tape, with Montana Actors Theatre, and Undone (2009), an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, with Montana Rep Missoula. In 2013 with Murphy she opened the performance installation …without having ended… at University of Montana Gallery of Visual Art. In 2014 she directed the Montana Repertory Theatre’s national tour of The Miracle Worker. For the School of Theatre & Dance, she has directed Translations (2015) and Romeo and Juliet (2016).


Ph.D., University of Dublin, 2002