This network was established to promote interaction and collaboration among Directors and Associate Directors of Humanities Centers at CHCI-member liberal arts institutions (colleges and smaller universities focused primarily on undergraduate liberal arts education) and leaders of humanities initiatives at similar schools who are participating in CHCI. This network facilitates conversations emerging from our particular funding and administrative challenges and the particular strengths and opportunities that emerge from our structures, our work as teacher-scholars, and our aspirations to promote interdisciplinary research and teaching at our institutions.
Based on our shared experience, this network offers opportunities to discuss and learn from each other in a number of areas, such as:
- The integrative learning processes, which in liberal arts colleges have the potential to realize many of the goals of education and research outlined recently by humanists. Our institutional structures provide a natural home for interdisciplinary teaching and research relationships between faculty and students. Teacher-scholars at liberal arts institutions are regularly engaged in the fine art of ‘framing Humanities for a general public,’ which is essential to teaching students drawn from a variety of majors across different academic divisions and departments. Such scholars engage in ‘horizontal collaborations’ with students in advanced research projects, including Digital or Public Humanities projects. Our CHCI network enables us to examine and maximize the benefits of horizontal research activity through collaboration and sharing of resources.
- Understanding grant funding, and in making ourselves visible as a constituency that seeks opportunities for further collaborations not only within its network, but also regionally and with research institutions that are exploring new ways of facilitating faculty and undergraduate student research and teaching in the Humanities. Liberal arts colleges have the potential to serve as resources and incubators for new modes of interdisciplinary research and pedagogy.
- As the CHCI moves toward greater ‘internationalization,’ liberal arts colleges are doing the same. Our network is well placed to think about the consequences and implications of horizontal collaborations with international liberal arts institutions.
The first meeting of the Network for Liberal Arts Colleges and Small Universities in CHCI will take place at CHCI’s annual meeting in at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June 2015.
Shuchi Kapila, Director, Center for the Humanities, Grinnell College
Sean Latham, Director, Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, University of Tulsa
Kerill O’Neill, Director, Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby College
Participating CHCI Member Organizations
Humanities Center at Carleton College, Carleton College
Higgins School of Humanities, Clark University
Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby College
Leslie Humanities Center, Dartmouth College
Center for the Humanities, Grinnell College
Humanities @ Hamilton (H@H), Hamilton College
Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Haverford College
Scripps College Humanities Institute, Scripps College
Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute, Smith College
Humanities Institute, Wake Forest University
Newhouse Center for the Humanities,Wellesley College
Wesleyan Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University
Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities, Wheaton College