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Engaged Humanities Initiative

The Engaged Humanities Initiative was program at UIC funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. It was a four-year path for undergraduates that lead from exciting freshman seminars to research projects developed with a UIC faculty mentor. More broadly, it offered the opportunity to create a community of students and faculty members interested in exploring how the humanities can help us imagine new approaches, and even solutions, to the urgent problems facing the world today.

Click here to explore their website!

In addition to four-year classroom initiatives, the EHI invites all to public programs in the Institute for the Humanities:

March 31, 2021, 10 -11:30 AM, via zoom

“Do we need ideological diversity in the humanities
(or is that a ploy to discredit us?)”

Angela Dillard, Richard A. Meisler Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican & African Studies, History University of Michigan

Mellon Lecture in Engaged Humanities

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 from 10 -11:30 AM, via zoom


This talk makes a case for why we humanities scholars should embrace ideological diversity, despite the messy political context in which this often divisive concept exists. While acknowledging some potential risks — intellectually, politically, and institutionally — I seek to demonstrate the viability of writing an “ideologically wide” history of the post-World War II U.S. civil rights movement, one that makes space for those who stood inside of black communities, within black political culture, but decidedly against key aspects of the movement from a center-to-right position.

October 28, 2019

Lolly Bowean Delivers Mellon Lecture in Engaged Humanities

Mellon Lecture in Engaged Humanities, Fall 2019

Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune
“The Stories We Tell: The People We Are”

An examination of how marginalized and vulnerable communities are covered and written about in the mainstream media and the impact the coverage makes.

Lolly Bowean is a general assignment reporter at the Chicago Tribune who has a particular focus on urban affairs, youth culture, housing, minority communities and government relations. She writes primarily about Chicago’s unique African-American community and the development of the Obama Presidential Center. During her tenure, she has written about the death of Nelson Mandela, how violence is lived in troubled neighborhoods, and the 2008 election and inauguration of President Barack Obama. Most recently, she covered the election of Chicago’s first African-American woman Mayor, Lori Lightfoot. In addition, she’s covered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the last gathering of the original Tuskegee Airmen.