Global Humanities Institutes

An Initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Back to Programs

Since 2012, CHCI, supported by the A.W. Mellon Foundation, has advanced multiple forms of international, collaborative research designed to foster new knowledge and new networks. Building upon the first phase of this project (2012-2017) and with the support of a new grant from the A.W. Mellon Foundation, the CHCI Global Humanities Institutes represent the second generation of international collaborations, implementing a structure that refines strategies tested during the past five years in which CHCI took on the transformative project of supporting collaborative research.

CHCI Global Humanities Institutes are multiyear projects devoted to a research theme, method, practice, or problem in the humanities that would benefit directly from an international, collaborative approach to it. Research will be undertaken by a team of scholars representing at least three humanities centers or institutes, preferably located in three different world regions. The apex of each collaboration will be an in-person meeting of the Institute, flexible in format, that will last approximately two weeks and include both members of the convening research team and approximately 15 additional participants affiliated with CHCI member centers.  Participants in the institute should include scholars across career stages, including graduate students and early-career scholars.

Pilot Phase (2017-2019)

CHCI will support 1-2 pilot Institutes designed not only to cultivate collaborative research but also to establish the model for future projects.  CHCI expects that core members of the research team will convene at least once during the planning period, during which they also may receive funding for local programming and will organize a two-weeklong summer/winter meeting. Participants will continue their exchange beyond the meeting through the shared project of collaborative publication. Participants will be encouraged to explore publishing in different formats and regions with the understanding that publication projects will focus on journals and publishing houses in more than one region and in multiple languages, as a means towards sustaining the international spirit of the projects. 

In the pilot phase of this new program, CHCI had requested expressions of interest from member centers and institutes from all parts of the world who wish to undertake projects related to two broad themes: “Challenges of Translation” or “Crises of Democracy.” Out of seventeen expressions of interest received (nine on "Challenges of Translation" and eight on "Crises of Democracy"), the CHCI International Advisory Board selected two projects. 

The first project, "Translation's Theoretical Issues and Practical Densities: Violence, Memory, and the Untranslatable," will be co-led by Pablo Oyarzún and Andrès Claro at the the Center of Studies in Philosophy, Humanities, and the Arts at the University of Chile; and Jane O. Newman, Liron Mor, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o at the Humanities Commons, University of California, Irvine. Additional key partners in this project include the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation program based at the Oxford Research Centre in Humanities (OCCT-TORCH) and the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. This group held their first planning meeting in Oxford in May 2018 with a two-week institute taking place in Santiago, Chile in July 2019.

The second project, "Crises of Democracy through the Prism of Cultural Trauma," is co-led by Jane Ohlmeyer at the Trinity College Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin, Nebojša Blanuša at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Citizenship and Migration at University of Zagreb, and Laura Izarra at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of São Paulo. This project will include partners at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. This group held a planning meeting in Dublin in May-June 2018, and will be followed by a two-week institute in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2019 with a follow-up meeting in São Paulo, Brazil. The call for participants for this institute will close on October 8, 2018 and is available here.

Second Round (2018-2020)

In 2018, CHCI invited humanities centers and institutes to propose their own themes for the next round of CHCI Global Humanities Institutes, building on the insights of the developing pilots to plan and host Institutes for the summer of 2020. The full call for expressions of interest can be found here.