About the UIC Institute for the Humanities

  • Mission Statement

    The Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago seeks to foster an intellectually vital, interdisciplinary community of scholars working at one of the nation’s most exciting urban research centers.  As the hub of humanities scholarship on campus, the Institute provides a forum for intellectual exchange among faculty and students at UIC and other colleges and universities in the region.  At its base, the Institute for the Humanities highlights the importance of public higher education and provides a space for the vigorous debate and exchange so crucial in a democratic society.

  • Facilities

    The Institute for the Humanities provides a welcoming venue for interdisciplinary intellectual exchange on the UIC campus. Facilities include two lecture rooms, one accommodates 45, the other can hold up to 85 people. In addition, we offer a small kitchen space for food storage and minimal preparation (no stove). Use of the Institute for Humanities space is limited to UIC-sponsored academic events such as seminars, lectures, and conferences that are free and open to the public. To inquire about availability, please contact huminst@uic.edu.

  • Executive Committee 2019-2020

    Clarke, Ainsworth
    Departments of English and African American Studies

    Huggett, Nick
    Department of Philosophy

    Mantena, Rama Sundari
    Department of History

    Moruzzi, Norma
    Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies, Political Studies, & International Studies

    Schlipphacke, Heidi
    Department of Germanic Studies

    Stimson, Blake
    Department of Art History

Bylaws

UIC Institute for the Humanities

Adopted 26 September 2019

Governance and Membership

Director. The Director of the Institute will hold a faculty appointment of tenured rank in one of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences humanities departments (Classics, English, French, German, History, Philosophy, Slavics, Spanish). The Director will serve for a  term agreed upon with the College, subject to review.  A vacancy in the office of Director will be filled through a search conducted in accordance with Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action guidelines, the search committee to be appointed by the Dean of LAS.

Associate Director. The Associate Director of the Institute will hold a faculty or academic professional appointment. A vacancy in the office of the Associate Director will be filled through a search conducted in accordance with Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action guidelines, the search committee to be appointed by the Dean of LAS.

Executive Committee.  Up to eight faculty members of tenured rank will serve as the Institute’s Executive Committee, a majority of these to be chosen from humanities departments. The Executive Committee will screen and evaluate applicants for Faculty Fellowships in the Institute and advise the Director on policy issues. Members of the Executive Committee will serve staggered three-year terms, with a lapse of a year before possible reappointment. Appointments to the Executive Committee will be made by the Director of the Institute in consultation with the Dean of LAS. The Director will serve as chair of the Executive Committee.

Faculty Fellows. Research fellows will be selected annually from the ranks of tenured or tenure-ladder campus faculty, holding full-time appointments at the rank of Assistant Professor or above. Fellows will be recommended by the Director and the Executive Committee. Recommendations will be determined through open competition on the basis of research proposals submitted in response to a campus-wide call for proposals. Each Fellow will receive full released time from normal instructional responsibilities for a period of one full academic year.

Visiting Scholars. The Institute will welcome and provide space (as available) for visiting scholars, who will be invited to participate in all Institute programs. Such requests will be by informal application, subject to approval by the Director and the Executive Committee.

History

The UIC Institute for the Humanities celebrates its thirty-sixth year of operation in 2018-2019. Founded in 1983, the Institute is one of the oldest humanities centers in the United States. Over the years the Institute has become the major hub for all humanities activities on campus creating an intellectual space in which faculty and graduate students can broaden their perspectives, conduct original research, and engage with scholars and communities both in and outside the university.

The Institute’s first nine fellows met for seminars in spring 1983 under then Acting Director, Robert Remini. With the support of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the UIC Chancellor, the Institute secured a start-up grant from the Exxon Education Foundation that provided remodeling funds to transform the lower level of Stevenson Hall into the Institute for the Humanities space we use today.

Under the visionary leadership of Robert Remini (1983-87), Gene Ruoff (1987-1997), Mary Beth Rose (1997-2010), and Susan Levine (2011-2017) Institute programs have expanded dramatically. The faculty fellowship program has supported research resulting in major books and articles in the humanities. Faculty Fellows each present a public lecture and participate in regular fellows seminars. In 2011 the Institute, for the first time, offered two dissertation fellowships for advanced graduate students.

The Institute has also supported a wide range of public programs and conferences including “Neoliberalism and its Discontents” (2010), “The Humanities and the Family,” (2009), “Globalism and Film History: A Conference” (2006), and “The Vulnerable Citizen” (2001). Please view this full list of past conferences and programs. In 2000 the Institute initiated a visiting scholar program bringing to campus each year a scholar whose work has transformed the disciplines. Past scholars include Natalie Zemon Davis, Carlo Ginzberg, Michael Fried, Mary Louise Pratt, Manthia Diawara, Cathy Davidson, Houston Baker, and Adolph Reed. A full list of visiting scholars is linked. In 2005 the Institute, along with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, endowed a biennial Lecture in honor of past Dean, Stanley Fish. Past Fish lecturers have been Frederick Jameson, Stephen Greenblatt, and Judith Butler.

Directors encouraged the formation of faculty Working Groups to foster discussion across disciplines and across colleges at UIC. Groups like the Chicago Area Food Working Group (CAFS) and the Health and Society Working Group, for example, include humanities scholars along with researchers from nutrition, public health, and medicine. Other groups such as the Forum for Law, Politics, and the Humanities (FROLPATH), join scholars from Art and Architecture, Anthropology, and Political Science with traditional humanities disciplines like history, literature, and philosophy.

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