Visual and Performing Arts Community

Faculty Friend:

Dr. Eliza Buhrer

Teaching Associate Professor - Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

About Eliza.

Eliza Buhrer is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences at Colorado School of Mines, and likes to tell her students that she probably has the strangest academic background of any Mines Professor: She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Reed College and an interdisciplinary M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Cornell, with concentrations in history and philosophy. Before to coming to Mines, she was a history professor at Seton Hall University and Loyola University New Orleans, and her research and publications focused on the relationship between medicine, law, and disability in premodern Europe, and the early histories of mental disorder and intellectual disability. She has also published on poverty and charity in premodern Europe and is the editor of the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Poverty in the Middle Ages, which will be published as part of a six-volume series on the history of poverty from antiquity to the present.

Dr. Buhrer’s early research coupled with a long-standing interest in the Black Death led to a fascination with the broader history of medicine, and after teaching her first class on pandemics during the Ebola outbreak of 2015, she was hooked. Now she is delighted to teach classes focused on the history of medicine and the history of pandemics at Mines, and her research currently explores the long-term health burdens created by historical pandemics. She also draws upon years spent teaching first-year writing at Cornell and Tulane (where she did a teaching postdoc in the first-year writing program) to teach Nature and Human Values, and occasionally co-teaches a delightfully weird class on the history of thermodynamics in the McBride Honors Program. In the Fall of 2022, she will offer a new class, “A History of the Good Life, from Aristotle to the Anthropocene,” in which students will study philosophy, history, and literature to explore how people have historically answered the question of what it means to live a good life, while figuring out their own answer to this question.

Beyond teaching, she is an avid painter and pianist, and is the faculty friend to the Visual & Performing Arts Themed Learning Community. She is also the Co-Chair of the HASS DI&A Committee.

Get Involved in the Golden Community!

Foothills Art Center

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Visual & Performing Arts Community will…

  • Explore their artistic passions amongst like-minded residents. 
  • Recognize what the Mines & Golden/Denver area has to offer regarding art, theater, and music. 
  • Practice their artistic talents amongst their peers. 
  • Support other artists by attending a variety of arts programs and planning and executing a large-scale program.