Since its establishment in 1987, the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley has encouraged an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship, fostered innovative research, and promoted intellectual conversation across academic fields. The Townsend Center is committed to enriching the intellectual resources at Berkeley through an array of fellowship and grant programs designed to support research and scholarship at all levels of the university community. The Center also funds more than 60 interdisciplinary working groups on a wide range of topics, and cosponsors lectures and other public events in collaboration with many units across campus.

In addition, the Townsend Center plays an integral role in the development of new and innovative academic initiatives such as the Art of Writing program, which cultivates and supports the craft of writing at Berkeley through seminars, workshops, tutoring, internships, and pedagogical training.