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Humanities Institute

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Promoting collaborative research on ideas central to the pressing issues of our time.

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At the Heart of Every Other Question

In politics, business, and issues of social concern, the most trenchant challenges we face all rest upon fundamental questions about the human condition.  What does it mean to be human, a citizen, a biological organism, a member of a society?  What role does our history, and its complex conflicts and triumphs, play in our current confrontations?  What responsibilities do people have for themselves and their environment versus what concern should be borne by the rest of us in a caring and just world?  Where do we fit in the larger non-human world?  Countless pressing social issues turn on abstract and longstanding questions that are at the center of humanities research.

Ihlseng Cottage, home of the Humanities Institute

Walls that Transcend Boundaries

By providing a space for faculty and graduate students in the humanities to address the fundamental questions that underly the most pressing issues of our time, we foster collaboration, innovative approaches to research, and outreach that brings humanistic discovery and thought into the public domain.

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Initiatives to Inspire and Engage

Through thematic programming series and public events, the Penn State Humanities Institute aims to open new lines of questioning for humanities scholars, engage the public in humanities research, and cultivate a community that can champion the human perspective in their lives and in their work.

Latest News
Sep 19, 2017
Funding Opportunitites
This program provides up to nine faculty members per year with one semester of release time from teaching, a $1,000 mini-grant for research expenses and/or materials, and use of office space which may or may not be shared.
Aug 30, 2017
The Legacy of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities
For 50 years, the IAH was proud to serve faculty and grad students in the arts and humanities at Penn State and beyond. As we close that chapter and begin our inaugural year as the Humanities Institute, we are excited to build on the legacy of the IAH. Please continue to follow us as we support and highlight the groundbreaking and influential work of Penn State's humanities scholars, exploring urgent questions of the human condition.
Aug 30, 2017
The Truth Project
Jumping off from the successful "Truth and Reconciliation" series sponsored by the IAH, we will hold a series of lectures, discussions, and film screenings to consider the question of "truth" in public discourse.