The State of the Humanities


"Who will lead America into a bright future? Citizens who are educated in the broadest possible sense, so that they can participate in their own governance and engage with the world. An adaptable and creative workforce. Experts in national security, equipped with the cultural understanding, knowledge of social dynamics, and language proficiency to lead our foreign service and military through complex global conflicts. Elected officials and a broader public who exercise civil political discourse, founded on an appreciation of the ways our differences and commonalities have shaped our rich history. We must prepare the next generation to be these future leaders."

-- The Heart of the Matter, a report of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2013


The State of the Humanities/The Humanities and the State will examine the state of the humanities in society and here on campus and ask how our experiences reflect recent national dialogues, spurred in part by the release of The Heart of the Matter report. We will be raising, among other questions, whether there is in fact a crisis in the humanities, what constitutes a crisis, and what this all means for universities and for society. What is the humanities' role and responsibility in preparing citizens for life in a diverse modern society?


freeman hrabowski

Freeman A. Hrabowski III

President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Thursday, October 30, 2014
12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Huddleston Ballroom




doris sommer

Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard UniversityIra and Jewell Williams

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies

Thursday, February 12, 2015
12:40 to 2:00 p.m.
Huddleston Ballroom




diane wood

Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School

Thursday, February 19, 2015 
3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (talk and Q&A to end at 4:30, reception 4:30-5:00)
Huddleston Ballroom





UNH Chairs and Coordinators from English, History, LLC, Philosophy, Women's Studies, and Theatre and Dance

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 
2:00 pm
Huddleston Ballroom


President of Wesleyan

Thursday, April 2, 2015 
12:40 pm
Murkland 115