The Humanities Institute at Penn State University

Promoting collaborative research on ideas

central to the pressing issues of our time.

HumIn Focus

HumIn Focus is a multi-part web series centering on pressing social issues through the lens of the work of humanities scholars.

Episode 4 of HumIn Focus premiered on WPSU on April 18th, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. This episode is now available on the HumIn Focus website.

The COVID 19 pandemic has provided a stress test for the American healthcare system. In “Rethinking Care” we view healthcare through the lens of the humanities, focusing on ways to repair some of the inequities of the system and to provide better care for healthcare workers and patients alike. 

Pandemic Poetry: A Writing Workshop Series


Tuesdays:
May 4th, May 11th
6:30-7:30pm

Join the Jana Marie Foundation and the HI’s Public Humanities Fellows Program for a poetry workshop series exploring how writing can be used as a form of self-expression, healing, and connecting with others during the pandemic. Participants are invited to attend any or all workshops, and no prior creative writing experience is necessary. The workshops will be led by Dr. Elizabeth Gray (poet and HI Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow) and Undergraduate Fellows in the Public Humanities.  

 Participants can register for the online workshops at:
https://janamariefoundation.org/poetry/ 

The Humanities’ Many Futures An Interactive Discussion with Exciting New Grant Opportunities

On April 28th, the Humanities Institute and the Humanities Without Walls team hosted a collective reflection on new directions in the Humanities. The event focused on Collaboration, Diversification, and Public Partnerships, we explored and reflected on the values motivating these new directions, the challenges facing them, and the ways forward in responding to these challenges.

You can watch the recorded session here.

                                                                    

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From the Directors

The Humanities Institute at Penn State is committed to the development of humanistic ideas that connect with and are in the service of public concerns. As such, we declare our solidarity with those protesting police and other racial violence and the structural injustices that undergird and shape it. Our devotion to the study of history, philosophy, the languages, cultural studies and communication, connects us to the depths of injustice and suffering that current conditions manifest. We look with sorrow and solidarity to those victims of specific injustices and murderous assaults, both recently and throughout our history, and we support the voices of protest raised against them. We hope that the work we support can help in some way to bring to light and amplify our understanding of the complex historical and social dynamics that structure these injustices. For now, we join in the voices of protest against the forces of hate.

John Christman
Director

Lauren Kooistra
Associate Director

Seed Grant Funding to support proposal development is Available Now

For faculty interested in exploring partnerships for Grand Challenge applications, Seed Grant funds are available.  Proposals should be in the neighborhood of $2-3000.

Applications should include 1) a description of the project the applicant intends to pursue including prospective collaborative partners, and 2) a budget proposing how the funds will be used to meet the project goals. 

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis until funds are depleted, and should be sent to humanities@psu.edu with the subject line Seed Grant Application.

Learn more about the resources available.

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Public Humanities Fellows

Are you an undergraduate student in the humanities who cares about social issues? 

Make Digital Media for Social Change: Become a Public Humanities Fellow for 2021-2022!

  • Create hands-on multimedia projects (documentaries, podcasts, mixed media, performance art) that focus on your topics of social importance
  • Facilitate discussion of current social topics
  • Develop community partnerships and public engagement

To participate: Enroll in LA235N/COMM235 for Fall ‘21 Introduction to Public Humanities, Tuesday/Thursday 9:05-10:20 (counts for GA or GH credit)

Learn more here.

Public Humanities Fellows

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.

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.

Initiatives to Inspire and Engage

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.