Rens Bod, professor at University of Amsterdam, is the author of the recently published A New History of the Humanities (Oxford UP, 2013). Since 2008, he has organized the biennial conference “The Making of the Humanities” and co-edited the resulting book series on The Making of the Humanities, Vols. 1, 2 and 3 (Amsterdam UP, 2010/12/14). He is a founding editor of the journal History of Humanities, launched in October 2014 (U. Chicago Press).
Bod has a unique cross-disciplinary approach to the historical and contemporary humanities. After undergraduate studies at the University of Utrecht and the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, he obtained his PhD in Computational Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam (1995). He worked as a researcher at Xerox Parc (California), and at the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (Netherlands). In 2005 he became a full professor in Artificial Intelligence at the University of St Andrews (UK), followed by a professorship in Digital Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. His research covers several humanities disciplines. From a computational perspective, he worked on natural language processing, music perception, literary analysis, logical reasoning and aesthetic perception. From a historical perspective he has worked on the comparative history of the humanities, resulting in his cross-cultural book and editions on the history of the humanities. He currently heads the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Amsterdam which runs around 30 projects as well as a minor program. He also regularly writes in the popular press on unexpected uses of the humanities, revealing himself to be an ardent advocate for the humanities.