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Humanities Initiative

Brown University's Humanities Initiative was launched in 2010 as a collaboration between the Cogut Center for the Humanities and the Office of the President.  A major and long-term investment in the humanities, the initiative brings to the center of the university's priorities the agendas of curation and innovation that have defined the Cogut Center's core principles, programs, and goals since its inception in 2005.  These include the productive tensions and strong dialogues between disciplinary and department-based scholarship on the one hand, and multi-disciplinary, problem based scholarship on the other; between the work of the humanities and the related work of the social and natural sciences; between the university and global civil society as participants in and analysts and ameliorators of human experience. 

The Cogut Center understands the work of curation as the combined concern with knowledge preservation and innovation.  With the intellectual and financial partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and other sources, both within and beyond the university, the Center has provided resources to departments in the forms of postdoctoral appointments, visiting professorships, distinguished visiting scholar positions, graduate and undergraduate fellowships, and the definition and mounting of conferences, workshops, exhibitions, and performances as well as various options of collaborative research. 

The Humanities Initiative generously expands and develops this core program. Located in the Office of the Dean of Faculty, it forms a core dimension of faculty recruitment and position definition.  It defines six faculty positions at the distinguished chair level whose role and significance will combine high scholarly, teaching, and disciplinary distinction with a university-wide entrepreneurial role for and from the humanities. Professors Paul Guyer (Philosophy and the Cogut Center for the Humanities) and Anthony Vidler (History of Art and Architecture and the Cogut Center) are the two inaugural holders of these positions.  The Humanities Initiative also disburses significant programming funds for collaborative research.

Guidelines for Nominations, Professors of Humanities

Guidelines for Support, Humanities Research and Teaching Fund

More information about specific funding opportunities and procedures can be found on the website of the Office of the Dean of Faculty.