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CHCI Announcements

CHCI Calls Networks to Propose Projects

At the 2013 CHCI Annual Meeting in Lawrence, CHCI President Ian Baucom made the following announcement about member networks and initiatives:

“Moving forward, we’re going to reidentify the initiatives as networks.  They will continue to meet, and we will facilitate their meeting as long as they remain vibrant.  For those that had funding of $5,000 per year, we will honor that commitment for the term promised.  We will offer the possibility of $20,000 funding for projects proposed by these networks, and we can imagine accommodating up to four networks.”

Following up on that announcement, we have posted guidelines for proposals on the CHCI website here.  We hope that CHCI members will generate some ideas for discussion among yourselves that you might develop further when you meet at the Annual Meeting in Hong Kong in June.  Final deadline for proposals is October 5, 2014.

Posted: Feb 26, 2014

CHCI Receives Second Major A. W. Mellon Foundation Grant


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) a three-year grant of $1.35 million for the second phase of Integrating the Humanities across National Boundaries, an initiative designed to foster new forms of collaborative research and partnerships among the organization’s international members.

Ten CHCI member centers and institutes will lead the research on two large-scale pilot projects through 2016. Similarly to the $1.2 million grant awarded to the CHCI in 2012 for the first phase, the funding will advance innovative programmatic ideas and new forms of collaborative research across national, regional, and disciplinary boundaries. The grant will help to identify new priorities and potential roles for CHCI, and explore the ways in which a networked consortium can further scholarly innovation in the humanities on a global scale.

The first of the pilot projects is the CHCI Medical Humanities Network Program, which aims to further the development of medical humanities as a subject of study. The project’s larger goals are to contribute to the ways medicine and the humanities are taught and practiced; to provide new models for research within and across fields; and to foster collaborations between academics working in humanities departments and their colleagues in the health sciences. The six partnering humanities centers are the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University; Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC); Centre for the Humanities and Health, King’s College London (KCL); Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research,  the University of the Witwatersrand (WiSER); Leslie Center for the Humanities, Dartmouth College; and the Research Institute for the Humanities, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Each will conduct specific research on aging, undergirded by collaborative reflection on issues of evidence, value, and evaluation.

The second project, Integrative Graduate Humanities Research Education and Training (IGHERT), brings together faculty, doctoral students, and post-doctoral scholars in a series of structured collaborations to undertake jointly mentored, international research. The four institutional partners are the Institute for Humanities Research, University of California, Santa Cruz; Center for 21st Century Studies, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus Liebig University in Giessen; and Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra. Together they will engage graduate students in a series of collaborative training and research activities and will test, refine, and assess a scalable model of skill training and digital archiving that can be applied in multiple contexts and to multiple themes.

The IGHERT program further aims to attune the participants to the larger public contexts in which expert knowledge in the humanities is meaningful and to equip them with the written and oral skills necessary to communicate with these public constituencies more effectively.

Two three-year projects (2013–2015) were funded in the first phase of the Integrating the Humanities across National Boundaries program. Humanities for the Environment involves five CHCI-member partners forming collaborative “Observatories”—one each in North America, the Australia-Pacific region, and Europe—to research the role of the humanities in a period of planetary crisis and change. Five CHCI-member partners are also working on Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging, which focuses on discovering new approaches to religious and cultural criticism and understanding.

Established in 1988, the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes is an international organization headquartered at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. It is a network for the circulation of information, ideas, and best practices related to the programmatic and organizational dimensions of humanities centers and institutes. CHCI is currently comprised of more than 180 member and affiliate organizations in 23 countries and 46 US states. CHCI members are engaged in a wide range of programs, including research support, public humanities programs, fellowship programs, and advocacy on issues of educational and cultural policy, digital humanities programs, partnerships with arts organizations, and the development and maintenance of research collections. Many CHCI members are powerful agents of growth, change, and transformative interdisciplinary research on their campuses and within their communities. More information on CHCI can be found at

Posted: Jan 27, 2014

CHCI-OCIS Visiting Fellowship

Deadline: March 1, 2014

CHCI and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies are pleased to announce a new Visiting Fellows program for scholars affiliated with CHCI member organizations.  The Centre is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford.  The purpose of the CHCI-OCIS Visiting Fellowship is to support research in any area of the arts, humanities, or the social sciences that has relevance to the study of Islam or the Muslim world, particularly anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, law, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology.  The non-stipendiary fellowship entitles successful candidates to shared office accommodation, library facilities, and membership of the Senior Common Room.

Click here to read more about the program.

Posted: Jan 03, 2014


Oxford University Press will be publishing two new books on the humanities.

The Value of Humanities, Helen Small
Oxford University Press | 3 October 2013 | ISBN: 978-0-19-968386-4

Helen Small gave the plenary talk “The Humanities & the Public Good” at the CHCI 2013 annual meeting. She is Professor of English at Oxford University and Jonathan and Julia Aisbitt Fellow of English at Pembroke College, Oxford.

From the publishers:

“The Value of the Humanities provides a critical account of the principal arguments used to defend the value of the Humanities. The claims considered are: that the Humanities study the meaning-making practices of culture, and bring to their work a distinctive understanding of what constitutes knowledge and understanding; that, though useful to society in many ways, they remain laudably at odds with, or at a remove from, instrumental use value; that they contribute to human happiness; that they are a force for democracy; and that they are a good in themselves, to be valued ‘for their own sake’. Engaging closely with contemporary literary and philosophical work in the field from the UK and US, Helen Small distinguishes between arguments that retain strong Victorian roots (Mill on happiness; Arnold on use value) and those that have developed or been substantially altered since. Unlike many works in this field, The Value of the Humanities is not a polemic or a manifesto. Its purpose is to explore the grounds for each argument, and to test its validity for the present day. Tough-minded, alert to changing historical conditions for argument and changing styles of rhetoric, it promises to sharpen the terms of the public debate.”


A New History of the Humanities: The Search for Principles and Patterns from Antiquity to the Present, Rens Bod
Oxford University Press | January 2014 (estimated) | ISBN: 978-0-19-966521-1

Rens Bod is Professor at Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam

From the publishers:

“Many histories of science have been written, but A New History of the Humanities offers the first overarching history of the humanities from Antiquity to the present. There are already historical studies of musicology, logic, art history, linguistics, and historiography, but this volume gathers these, and many other humanities disciplines, into a single coherent account.

Its central theme is the way in which scholars throughout the ages and in virtually all civilizations have sought to identify patterns in texts, art, music, languages, literature, and the past. What rules can we apply if we wish to determine whether a tale about the past is trustworthy? By what criteria are we to distinguish consonant from dissonant musical intervals? What rules jointly describe all possible grammatical sentences in a language? How can modern digital methods enhance pattern-seeking in the humanities? Rens Bod contends that the hallowed opposition between the sciences (mathematical, experimental, dominated by universal laws) and the humanities (allegedly concerned with unique events and hermeneutic methods) is a mistake born of a myopic failure to appreciate the pattern-seeking that lies at the heart of this inquiry. A New History of the Humanities amounts to a persuasive plea to give Panini, Valla, Bopp, and countless other often overlooked intellectual giants their rightful place next to the likes of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.”


Click here to browse all opportunities at CHCI member organizations, and use the links below to share this opportunity via email and social media.

Posted: Sep 18, 2013

CHCI Receives Major A.W. Mellon Foundation Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) a three-year grant of $1.2 million for Integrating the Humanities Across National Boundaries, an initiative designed to foster new forms of collaborative research and partnerships among the organization’s international membership.

The grant will support two large-scale pilot projects through 2015. The two pilot projects initially funded under the grant, Humanities for the Environment and Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging, were selected via an open call for proposals in 2011, and they collectively involve the participation of CHCI organizations from every region of our membership. The major objective of this large-scale experiment is to foster innovative programmatic ideas and new forms of collaborative research across national, regional, and disciplinary boundaries, driven by and involving CHCI’s membership of over 180 humanities centers and institutes. The project will help to identify new priorities and potential roles for CHCI, and explore the ways in which a networked consortium can foster scholarly innovation in the humanities on a global scale.

The Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging (RelSec) project will link four CHCI member organizations (at Portland State University, Utrecht University, Tel Aviv University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong) through a mutually coordinated set of research programs. The project’s key research questions are: How are we to understand the contemporary resurgence of religious discourses, social practices and forms of cultural organization in political arenas, civil society and the public sphere? What light do these developments cast on long-standing accounts of “modernity” as a secularizing historical process? How are current formations of religious and secular shaping local, national, transnational and “universal” measures of political belonging? In the three years of the project, each participating CHCI member will convene a research team to conduct investigations anchored to each site along these thematic lines. At the conclusion of that process, the participating organizations will convene in at Tel Aviv University to report their findings and discuss a potential ensuing phase of the project in which new CHCI member organizations would rotate into the project leadership – creating an innovative “passing the baton” model that may be able sustain an intellectual theme by continually attracting new organizational voices and approaches.

The Humanities for the Environment (HfE) project will be animated by questions about the role of the humanities in the Age of the Anthropocene, a concept developed by scientist Paul Crutzen to identify a new era in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. Participants in the HfE project will ask, in consequence, how, within that moment, we might and should re-apprehend long-standing definitional protocols of the humanities (the epistemological distinction between ‘human’ and ‘natural’ history to take one example), together with the multitude of responses the arts and humanities disciplines have given to the fundamental question of what it means to be human within a moment of planetary crisis and change. Rather than attempting to define a single research agenda adequate to that demand, the HfE project will establish three research ‘observatories’ – one each in Australia, Europe, and North America (in the North American case, the observatory will support three regional clusters, Southeast, West, and Northeast). Each observatory will spend the first two years of the project addressing a particular thematic strain within the Anthropocene humanities. In the final year of the project, representatives from each observatory will convene for an international conference to discuss their research and plan for a possible ensuing phase of the initiative.

CHCI will support the project centrally from its home base at Duke’s John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. A major CHCI website re-design, currently in process, will provide a platform for disseminating news and information about the projects.

Posted: Jan 31, 2013

Humanities, Publics, and the State

The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
25-27 April 2013
The Hall Center for the Humanities
University of Kansas, Lawrence

Humanities, Publics, and the State explored the philosophical, political, and pragmatic dimensions of public humanities in the context both of current challenges to the university and emerging responses. What is the public mission of the research university? What role should the university play in the political and social transformation of the state of which it is part? What is the relationship between the university and other state humanities bodies, and how does this relationship differ internationally? What is the relationship between the humanities center and the public it serves? What are the implications of the arts and humanities having for long served in the role of sustaining national culture? How can we restore the democratic vision of the university’s service to the social and public good? How can we defend the public value of our teaching and research?

The role and value of public humanities is an especially urgent topic at this time. The threats are familiar: declining state support for public education: reductions in public and private funding sources; rising tuition costs and student debt; the growing strength of instrumental attitudes to education; the casualization of academic labor; and the broader devaluation of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. These identified problems take different forms across institutions and in diverse international situations, but the urgency of their force is a shared concern.


The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas
The Hall Center’s primary mission is to stimulate and support research in the humanities, arts and social sciences, especially of an interdisciplinary kind, at the University of Kansas. The Center brings together faculty and graduate students with common interests from various disciplines to enable them to build on each others’ ideas and to share their knowledge within the university and with the wider community.

The Hall Center for the HumanitiesThe Center’s collateral mission is to sponsor special programs that engage the university and the wider community in dialogue on issues that bring the humanities to bear on the quality of life for all citizens. It creates events on and beyond campus that seek to understand our past, present and future, our values and identities and the essential issues we face as individuals and communities.


1:00 pm
The Commons, Spooner Hall

1:30 – 2:40 pm
Member Initiative Meetings
Adams Alumni Center

Digital Humanities (Bruckmiller Room)
Humanities for the Environment (Summerfield Room)
Public Humanities (Philips Board Room)

3:00 – 4:15 pm
Member Group Meetings
Adams Alumni Center

Associate Directors & Administrators (Paul Adam Lounge)
New Directors (Philips Board Room)

5:00 – 5:15 pm
In Remembrance of Susan Manning: James Chandler, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago

5:15 – 6:15 pm
Opening Discussion: Framing the Annual Meeting: Humanities, Publics, and the State
Chairs: Shuchi Kapila (Grinnell College) and Sidonie Smith (University of Michigan)
The Commons, Spooner Hall

To ensure that we have an enriching discussion, we recommend reviewing the following pieces:

Gregory Jay, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: What (Public) Good are the (Engaged) Humanities?
Academy of Science of South Africa: Consensus Study on the State of the Humanities in South Africa (Chapter 2)

6:30 – 8:30 pm
Opening Reception
Hall Center for the Humanities

Unless otherwise noted, programs on 26 April take place at The Commons, Spooner Hall

8:00 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 9:30 am
Welcome remarks: Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor, University of Kansas
Opening remarks: Ian Baucom, CHCI/Duke University, and Victor Bailey, Hall Center for the Humanities

9:30 – 11:00 am
Plenary: The Future of the Public University
Christopher Newfield, University of California, Santa Barbara
Chair: Sara Guyer, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison

11:00 – 11:30 am

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Panel: Global Humanities & the State
Chair: Debjani Ganguly, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University

The Absent Center: Homo Oeconomicus, Nationalism and the Humanities after Apartheid
Premesh Lalu, Center for Humanities Research, Univ. of the Western Cape

Global Humanities in Europe and its Paradox Settings: States, Nations, Communities, Markets
Rudiger Klein, European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities (EASH)

Taking the Humanities (and Social Sciences) to Europe: The trials and Tribulations of Securing  EU Research Funding
Angela Schindler-Daniels, Net4Society

Arts and Humanities in a Global Asian University
Alan Chan, Nanyang Technological University

1:00 – 2:30 pm
Lunch with Member Breakout Groups
Oread Hotel

2:30 – 3:00 pm

4:00 – 5:30 pm
Panel: The Public Role of the Arts
Chair: Saralyn Reece Hardy, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Are Museums the New Public Square?
Julian Zugazagoitia, Director, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Pre-Texts for Moving In and Out of Class
Doris Sommer, Cultural Agents, Harvard University

Politics, Arts, and the University
Timothy Murray, Cornell University

5:30 – 6:30 pm
Docent Tours of Museum Collections
Nelson-Atkins Museum

6:30 – 7:30 pm
Noguchi Court, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

7:30 – 9:30 am
Annual Meeting Dinner
Rozzelle Court, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Unless otherwise noted, programs on 27 April take place at The Commons, Spooner Hall

8:45 – 9:00 am
Welcome: Steven Warren, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Kansas

9:00 – 10:30 am
Plenary: The Humanities & the Public Good
Helen Small, Pembroke College, Oxford
Chair: Margaret Kelleher, University College Dublin

10:30 – 11:00 am

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Workshop: Collaborating with Public Knowledges
Chair: Teresa Mangum, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa

Higher Education, Prison, and the Abolition Undercommons
Gillian Harkins, University of Washington, Transformative Education Behind Bars

Working Alongside Community Partners in Garden City, Kansas
Don Stull, University of Kansas

12:30 – 2:00 pm
Lunch and Discussion
University of Kansas Alumni Center

Talk: Private Foundation Support of Humanities Centers – Cultivating Relationships
Angela McClelland, Vice President, Hall Family Foundation

Reports from CHCI Member Initiatives

2:00 – 3:30 pm
Workshop: Virtual Research Environments/Networks
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium
Chair: Robert Gibbs, Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto

Networking the Networks: Building Inter-American Collaborations Through Cyber-HASS
Kevin Franklin, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

Balancing Access, Participation, and Security in Virtual Research Environments
Arienne Dwyer, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas

Political Environments: Making Things Public
Sharon Daniel, Film & Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

3:30 – 4:00 pm

4:00 – 5:30 pm
Integrating the Humanities Across National Boundaries
An Update on the CHCI/A.W. Mellon Foundation Project
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium
Chair: Ian Baucom, President, CHCI

5:30 pm
Closing Reception
Spencer Research Library, North Gallery

Posted: Jul 16, 2012

CHCI/ACLS Fellowship Residencies Partnership

CHCI and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) are continuing a partnership designed to provide opportunities for ACLS fellows in certain programs to spend time in residence at CHCI member organizations. By connecting ACLS fellows with CHCI members, we seek to provide ACLS Fellows with a stimulating environment and access to unique resources and people, while enabling CHCI members to further invigorate the intellectual climates of their organizations by being able to host an external fellow at no or low cost.

Eligibility to participate in the program includes all current CHCI member organizations, and to ACLS Fellows in the Ryskamp Research Fellowships and ACLS Fellowships programs. Information on these ACLS programs can be found at

Our partnership with ACLS emphasizes flexibility and mobility for all parties. There are no deadlines, and each residency is designed and managed by the fellow and the CHCI host organization. CHCI member organizations may opt-in at any time, and ACLS Fellows may contact any prospective CHCI host organization at any point during their fellowship term. In all cases, however, both parties must meet the minimum criteria for participation, as listed below.

Initiating Contact
The program emphasizes direct contact between the fellow and the prospective CHCI host site(s), rather than via CHCI or ACLS. ACLS and Ryskamp fellows are alerted to this opportunity in their ACLS award letters, and fellows are encouraged to contact participating CHCI organization directly. In addition, CHCI member organizations interested in hosting an ACLS fellow may contact fellows directly. The 2013 group of ACLS and Ryskamp fellows can now be viewed here and here (updated 12 May 2013). Per ACLS’ request, we do not provide contact information for fellows, but in all cases ACLS and Ryskamp fellows are faculty members and generally easy to locate via the online directories at their home institutions. Click here to view information on participating CHCI member organizations.

Guidelines for Participation: CHCI Members
CHCI members interested in hosting an ACLS fellow must commit to providing the following minimum forms of support:

- A fully equipped workspace and access to basic office machinery
- Internet/network access
- Full library access
- Opportunities for interaction with the local community of scholars

Participating CHCI member organizations may offer the fellow financial support for relocation or housing, but may not provide salary supplements, research funds, or health/fringe benefits. Host organizations cannot require fellows to teach. ACLS resident fellows can be in residence at a participating CHCI organization at any point during their fellowship term. Fellows should ideally be in residence for a minimum of one academic term (academic year, summer, quarter, or trimester, as determined by the academic year at the host organization). However, there are precedents for successful residencies of much shorter duration. CHCI members must be willing and able to accept inquiries from prospective residents at any time, and fellows are allowed and encouraged to spend time at multiple CHCI member organizations during their fellowship term.

Interested CHCI member organizations must provide CHCI with a short description of your organization and your capabilities in hosting an ACLS fellow. This short text should include:

- A brief organizational profile
- Confirmation of the organization’s ability to meet the minimum requirements for support, as listed above
- The earliest upcoming term in which they will be able to accommodate a fellow
- The name, title, email address, and phone number of a contact person
- Whether the organization will be able to provide the Fellow with support for relocation and/or housing

Guidelines for Participation: ACLS Fellows
ACLS Fellows interested in being in residence at a participating CHCI member organization should start by reviewing the list of participating host sites, and then contact any listed organization directly to inquire about a residency.

As indicated above, ACLS Fellows in residence at CHCI member organizations should make an attempt to commit to a residency of, at minimum, one formally defined academic term. Building on the network structure of CHCI, fellows may also choose to split their fellowship term between multiple participating CHCI member organizations in all regions of the globe. Resident ACLS fellows are guaranteed a minimum level of support, as listed above.

CHCI and ACLS are not serving as intermediaries. ACLS Fellows should contact prospective CHCI host organizations directly. There is no standard application form, but fellows should be prepared to provide to the prospective host-site a CV, work samples, or other standard materials as requested by the prospective host organization. To assess intellectual affinities and possible points of contact for the fellow, the host-site may in some cases also request a copy of the prospective resident’s ACLS fellowship application.

Additional Information and Inquiries
Participation does not guarantee being matched with a fellow or a CHCI member, and nor does participation in the program require the CHCI member organization to host a fellow. We strongly encourage participating CHCI members to remain with the program for an extended period of time: as a still-new program, our partnership will take several fellowship cycles to achieve “critical mass,” and we need your help and participation in the long run to create a robust, long-running program that can benefit both individual scholars and CHCI members for many years to come.

This partnership is being coordinated by CHCI. Please direct all questions to rather than to ACLS. We look forward to hearing from you, and to your participation in the program.

Posted: Feb 17, 2012

Humanities for the Environment Website Continues to Grow

CHCI’s Humanities for the Environment group recently launched its first major project, a website devoted to exchanging information, news, and media material related to the interface between humanities scholarship and environmental concerns. The site can be viewed at

Founded at CHCI’s 2008 Annual Meeting, the CHCI Initiative Humanities for the Environment was our first member-driven group. H4E serves as a network and resource for centers to develop (or extend) programming, research and dialogue related to contemporary environmental challenges. Many of our CHCI centers have done substantial work in these and related areas already; humanists and artists have long engaged issues related to sustainability, climate change, and the human/environment relationship as a whole.

The webpage brings together tCHCI centers which have expressed an interest in a collective effort in this area. You may explore relevant programming and websites of member centers through the links here. We hope this affinity group will also serve as an opportunity for further exploration of the role the humanities can and should play in these crucial areas of human concern.

The group welcomes engagement in a dialogue about the contributions that the Humanities can make to furthering our understanding of our relationship to the environment as we explore ideas and creative solutions to the environmental challenges our world currently faces. Research at the intersection of the humanities and environmental studies is proving particularly fruitful in investigating the paradigms that dictate our interaction with the environment. Our investigations aim to explore the following areas

View the new project here, and be in touch with our webmaster if you have any thoughts on content or if you would like to make any suggestions for projects to cover.

Posted: Feb 09, 2012

Anthropocene Humanities

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
Humanities Research Centre
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Held on 13-16 June 2012

In the 1960s, James Lovelock formulated his Gaia hypothesis about the symbiosis of the earth’s intersecting ecosystems. He posited a complex feedback loop that somehow maintained, as he put it, ‘an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet’. Little did he know then that forty years later, the catastrophic role of human agency in upsetting this symbiosis would gain such centrality in scientific debates. The human as geological agent is a relatively recent formulation. The idea of a new geological age, the Anthropocene, was proposed in 2000 by Nobel Prize winning geochemist Paul Crutzen. The issue of climate change today is no longer the prerogative of the sciences. It requires active intervention from humanists and social scientists, and it needs this intervention not just in apocalyptic, speculative, instrumental or creative modes, but in conceptually and critically informed registers.

What are the challenges to our critical frameworks in the humanities of this radical reconfiguration of human life on this planet? How do we think through the historical coordinates of ideas of self, society, development, freedom, knowledge and responsibility from the industrial age to the information age, especially when we now know what devastating impact these two ages of human development have had on the earth’s ecosystem? What insights can we gain from alternative ecological models of human habitation? What will an ecological enlightenment entail if it is not founded on the human being’s rational mastery over nature? What, in sum, is the calling of climate on the humanities, and of the humanities on climate change?

The Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University

The Humanities Research Centre was established in 1972 as a national and international centre for excellence in the Humanities and a catalyst for innovative Humanities scholarship and research within the Australian National University. As one of Australia’s prime gateways to humanities scholarship in the rest of the world, it promotes advanced research in the humanities through its Visiting Fellowship Program, and a range of conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia that it hosts under an annual theme.

Sir Roland Wilson BuildingThe HRC interprets the “Humanities” generously, recognising that new methods of theoretical enquiry have done much to break down the traditional distinction between the humanities and the social sciences; recognising, too, the importance of establishing dialogue between the humanities and the natural and technological sciences, and the creative arts. The Centre encourages interdisciplinary and comparative work, and seeks to take a provocative as well as supportive role in relation to existing humanities studies in Australia. It aims to give special attention to topics and disciplines which stand in need of particular stimulus in Australia. One of its central functions is to bring to Australia scholars of international standing who will provoke fresh ideas within, and beyond, the academic community.

The HRC established the Freilich Foundation for the study of bigotry and tolerance in 1995. It works closely with ANU’s recently established Digital Humanities Hub. Within the University, the HRC is now part of a group of five centres that sit under the Research School of Humanities and the Arts (RSHA). Threaded through our Centre programs are our disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths in literature, history, art, philosophy, critical theory, Enlightenment and Romanticism studies, Postcolonial Studies and Indigenous heritage, art and culture. The HRC collaborates with Australian and international research centres, libraries and other cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery. The Centre continues to strongly advocate the importance of humanities in the public sphere through its participation in key national and international networks such as the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), The Australian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC) and the Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI).


Programs took place at the Humanities Research Centre (HRC), Roland Wilson Building

1:30 – 3:30 pm
Meetings of CHCI Member Initiatives

Digital Humanities Initiative (HRC Seminar Room)
Humanities for the Environment Initiative (HRC Theatrette)
Public Humanities Initiative (HRC Lady Wilson Room)

3:30 – 5:30 pm
Meetings of CHCI Member Groups

Associate Directors and Administrators Group (HRC Lady Wilson Room)
New Directors Group (HRC Theatrette)

6:00 – 8:00 pm
Opening Reception at the National Gallery of Australia
Co-sponsored by the Australian Academy of Humanities

Programs on 14 June took place in the Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science


8:00 am
Registration/check-in and Coffee

9:00 am
Opening remarks by Ian Young, Vice Chancellor, the Australian National University, and Srinivas Aravamudan, President, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and Dean of the Humanities, Duke University

9:30 – 11:00 am
Plenary Lecture: Elizabeth Povinelli, Columbia University
Geontologies: The Promise of Indigenous Worlds in Augmented Reality
Chair: Iain McCalman

11:00 – 11:30 am
Coffee Break

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Panel: Indigenous Habitations/Marine Ecologies

Poul Holm, Trinity College Dublin
Fishing Matters: Historical Perspectives on the Impacts of Fisheries on Ecosystems and Human Societies

Iain McCalman, University of Sydney
Managing the Sea: Indigenes, Castaways and Marine Environments at the Cusp of European Contact

Peter Veth, Australian National University
Indigenous Coastal Management: A Deep History

Chair: Margaret Kelleher, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

1:00 – 2:30 pm
Lunch with Member Breakout Groups
Great Hall, University House

2:45 – 4:15 pm
Workshop: Public Humanities

Sara Guyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Robert Phiddian, Flinders University and Australian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres
Moderator: Ian Baucom, Duke University

4:15 pm
Coffee Break

6:00 – 7:30 pm
Viewing of the Exhibition Antarctica
Introductory talk by Tom Griffiths, introduced by Caroline Turner, both Australian National University
Drill Hall Gallery, ANU Campus

7:45 pm
Annual Meeting Dinner ($75US additional fee)
The Lobby Restaurant

Programs on 15 June took place in the Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science

9:00 – 10:30 am
Panel: Anthropocene, Biopolitics and Climate Ethics

Karen Pinkus, Cornell University
Fuels and Humans, Bios and Zoe

Libby Robin, Australian National University
Documenting the Anthropocene: Historical Reflections on Global Change

Alison Bashford, University of Sydney
Spaceship Earth: Malthus and the Anthropocene

Chair: Alan Chan, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

10:30 – 11:00 am
Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Plenary Lecture: Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne and the Australian National University
Can Humans Manage the Anthropocene: Australian Carbon Pricing in Context
Chair: Debjani Ganguly

12:30 – 3:00 pm
Lunch, followed by CHCI Business Meeting and Member Breakout Groups

4:00 – 5:30 pm
Plenary Lecture: Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
Climate Change, Climate Justice, and the Anthropos of the Anthropocene
Chair: Michael Bérubé
House of Representatives Chamber, Old Parliament House

6:15 – 7:00 pm
Performance by harpist Alice Giles, Creative Arts fellow, Australian Antarctica Expedition, 2010-2011
Introduced by Kate Bowan, Australian National University
Band Room, ANU School of Music

7:00 – 9:00 pm
Closing Reception
Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music

Programs on 16 June took place at the Theatrette, Humanities Research Centre, Sir Roland Wilson Building

9:00 – 9:30 am
Special Session: Results of the CHCI Program Planning Initiative

Srinivas Aravamudan, President, CHCI
James Chandler, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago
Kathleen Woodward, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington
Debjani Ganguly, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University

9:30 – 11:00 am
Group presentations by co-conveners of CHCI Program Planning Projects:

Humanities for the Environment
Integrative Graduate Humanities Education and Research Training (IGHERT)
Medical Humanities
Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging

11:00 – 11:30 am
Coffee Break

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Building on the Planning Initiative: Future Projects

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Closing lunch

Click here for information on Re-Thinking Invasion Ecologies, a related, specially organized conference at the University of Sydney held on 18-19 June. Please note that this was not a CHCI program.

Posted: Feb 09, 2012


An increasing number of CHCI members are delivering program content via streaming media, podcasts, and avenues such as iTunes University. Still others have begun to successfully use social networking mechanisms such as Facebook or Twitter. We are seeking information from our members on their use of these new tools and distribution mechanisms. If your organization is utilizing these emerging tools, please let us know. We are seeking information on the ways in which you deliver online video or audio content, if you have a directory or repository of information on such content, if you maintain a directory on a central distribution mechanism such as YouTube or iTunes University, and if you are using social networking. We are always interested in learning about particularly innovative uses of online media and social networking. Please let us know what you are doing via a brief email to Please be sure to include any relevant URLs, Facebook group names, Twitter feeds, YouTube Channel names, or any other information on how other members might find you on the web. Based on the nature of what we receive, we will determine the best way to include this information in member directory entries and other potential places on the CHCI website. We look forward to hearing about how you are navigating “Web 2.0″

Posted: Sep 21, 2010