About the Center for the Humanities

We have been serving the Grinnell College community and the broader Grinnell community since 2001. Please let us tell you a little bit about what we do.

The Center’s programs, which you can explore with the tabs to the left, support a range of activities. Our goal is to create opportunities for you to learn, grow, and thrive with the humanities. 

Our definition of the humanities is broad and inclusive. We believe that the humanities include any approach to understanding human ideas, practices, and experiences that focus on how they shape and are shaped by culture, social structures, and our environment. 

The Center’s programs, which you can explore with the tabs to the left, support a range of activities. Our goal is to create opportunities for you to learn, grow, and thrive with the humanities. 

We expect that all of the programming and work connected to the Center will in some way support anti-racism; anti-sexism; and diversity, equity, and inclusion more broadly. If you have not considered how your work might contribute to these goals, we would welcome the opportunity to explore with you how to connect your passions with our mission. 

Over the years we have worked in support of humanities and liberal arts at Grinnell to create diverse programs toward this end:

  • we host distinguished visitors on campus for public talks, workshops, and class visits,
  • we offer grants for faculty, staff, and students to support research and explore the humanities,
  • we sponsor curricular offerings related to the Center's activities,
  • we create opportunities for faculty from across the curriculum to present and discuss their humanistic research,
  • we co-sponsor an incredible variety of programming with partners from across the campus community.

The center also supports local community organizations — including the public school system and arts organizations — that promote the value of literacy and creative expression in children’s lives.

Looking beyond our campus and local community, the center is an active member of Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), a consortium that brings together Humanities Centers and Institutes from around the world.

We are always thinking about new ways to promote and advocate for the humanities broadly conceived, and hope that you will join us in ensuring that humanistic inquiry continues to be a lifeblood of intellectual community and public life at Grinnell.

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