The Humanities Institute
University of California, Santa Cruz

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Faculty Director

Pranav Anand Professor of Linguistics

Managing Director

Irena Polic

Research Programs and Communications Director

Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell


The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz is a hub for academic research, cross-discipline collaboration, and public engagement. We incubate ideas and foster innovation by funding projects, centers, and research clusters that enable faculty and students to work on some of the biggest problems of our day.

The Institute is a source, resource, and force for Humanities-based inquiry and engagement with world events. We’re passionate about expanding the field of Humanities scholarship with digital tools and an interdisciplinary focus. And we believe strongly that the core subjects of the Humanities—philosophy, history, language and literature—should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we’re committed to engaging with the broadest community possible—from first-generation undergraduate students, to local residents, to anyone interested in compelling ideas and making sense of this increasingly complex world.

As part of the the University of California system, the Institute is able to leverage the resources of the finest public university system in the world. Part of what makes the UC system of universities great—and what makes us different from so many universities around the globe—is the central role of the Humanities in our educational experience, not only in the curriculum but also in the vibrant intellectual life of our campuses. Here at UC Santa Cruz, we possess an especially rich tradition of innovation, creativity, and collaboration in the Humanities.