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Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Ray Rennard, Ph.D.
Director of Pacific Humanities Scholars Program, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Program Director

Dr. Ray RennardDr. Ray Rennard
Director, Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Phone: 209.946.2127 
Faculty Profile

Philosophy professor Ray Rennard continually has a dedicated following of students whom he inspires through "thought experiments"-- hypothetical and sometimes strange scenarios that help elicit intuitions about abstract and complex issues. His students are also given the opportunity to enrich their minds through the pursuit of questions about the nature of truth, language, and science, and to explore new ways of thinking through meaningful and animated discussions.

Since receiving his PhD from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Rennard has continued to work on issues in the philosophy of mind and language. In recent years, he has studied the ways we think and talk about the mental states of others when we predict and explain their behavior. This work often finds its way into his courses. For example, his Philosophy of Mind course focuses on our natural capacity to understand others, and his Theory of Knowledge and Metaphysics courses address the nature of the self and self-knowledge. He has presented his work at meetings of the American Philosophical Association and to special interdisciplinary conferences in the cognitive sciences.

Jeffrey Hole

Dr. Jeffrey Hole
Associate Director, Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Associate Professor, Department of English

Phone: 209.946.2026
Faculty Profile
Curriculum Vitae

Whether introducing students in his American literature course to the aesthetic and political intricacies of Emily Dickinson's poetry or mentoring one of our Humanities Scholars in the methodologies and theories of advanced undergraduate research, English professor Jeffrey Hole challenges all students to take intellectual risks, to exercise curiosity, and to think historically and critically about the world we inhabit.

Since receiving his PhD in English with an emphasis in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and joining the faculty at the University of the Pacific, Dr. Hole has made significant contributions to scholarship and teaching and has, throughout his career, advocated for the central role the humanities play in the university and in a democratic society broadly. By exploring and gaining a deeper knowledge of art and architecture, philosophy and religion, music and literature, among the other riches of the humanities, he has argued, we can then begin to ask important questions about our present moment.

His teaching and scholarly interests span the fields of nineteenth-century American literature, critical and cultural theory, law and political economy, as well as slavery and U.S. empire. His essays have been published in American LiteratureCriticism, and Telos, among other journals and volumes, and he is currently completing a book, Fugitive Inventions and the Force of Law: Literature in the Wake of the 1850 Compromise, which examines the concomitances between nineteenth-century American literature and the tactics of fugitive slaves following the 1850 Compromise.