IU Bloomington announces new associate vice provost for arts and humanities

  • April 24, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Professor of English Ed Comentale has been appointed associate vice provost for arts and humanities at Indiana University Bloomington. He officially begins this role with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research on May 1.

Comentale is also currently director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. For the past year, he has served as interim director of the College Arts and Humanities Institute, overseeing campus-wide events such as a visit by acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood, whose public readings and meetings with faculty and students were complemented by months of special classes; an exhibit at the Lilly Library; a symposium; and a campus reading group.

"I'm excited to serve as ambassador and advocate for the arts and humanities at IU," Comentale said. "My colleagues in these areas have made a significant impact on public life -- in culture, politics, the sciences and the professions -- and now it’s time to promote their larger story."

He also looks forward to establishing new collaborative research opportunities and forging new ties between the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the College Arts and Humanities Institute and the many other units and departments devoted to arts and humanities at IU.

"I'm already working closely with the provost's office on several large-scale initiatives, campus programming and multi-year research projects that link artists, scholars, students and public outreach with IU's cutting-edge technology and cultural centers," he said.

Comentale earned his Ph.D. at State University of New York in Buffalo and is the author of “Modernism, Cultural Production, and the British Avant-garde” and “Sweet Air: Modernism, Regionalism, and American Popular Song.” He co-edits a series on fan cultures and cultural objects for IU Press, through which he's published two co-edited volumes: “The Year’s Work at the Zombie Research Center” and “The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies.” His work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and NBC's "Dateline."

Interim Vice Provost for Research Rick Van Kooten said Comentale is the perfect person to lead efforts to meet the arts and humanities goals of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington.

“The Bloomington campus has remarkable strengths in the arts and humanities -- several that are entirely unique to this campus -- that can be greatly enhanced by increased collaborations, conversations and connections,” Van Kooten said. “Ed has shown remarkable leadership skills and an ability to work very well with people from vastly varied disciplines.”

Comentale will be integrally involved in fostering faculty engagement in the Grand Challenges research initiative, central to the IU and IU Bloomington strategic plans, and closely aligned with the university’s continued support for the New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program.

“Ed’s career at IU Bloomington, both as a teacher and as a scholar, has been defined by an intense intellectual curiosity that is the hallmark of education and research in the arts and humanities,” Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said. “I know that Ed has the scope of vision to implement the arts and humanities goals of the Bicentennial Plan for IU Bloomington in his new role as associate vice provost.”

Related Links

Media Contacts

Jennifer Piurek

  • Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Office 812-856-4886
  • Cell 812-340-1041