Humanities/ Humanity

Humanities/ Humanity is a program that brings together small groups working to advance thought about foundational topics connecting disciplines. Each year Humanities/ Humanity funds a number of exploratory initiatives, in which distinguished teams of scholars gather at the Whitney Humanities Center for meetings of two or three days each. The themes explored in these workshops are framed by the Yale faculty that envisage them, in interaction with the group they convene. Workshop leaders collaborate with their invited participants to devise a program of readings and other preliminary materials in preparation for in-person meetings.

Application Guidelines

Applications must originate from a multidisciplinary team of at least three ladder faculty at Yale, from three different departments, at least one of them in the humanities. Applications involving scholars at different stages of their careers are particularly welcomed. 

Applications should combine the following three elements into one PDF. The filename should be the proposed workshop title.

Humanities/ Humanity: Overview

In recent years, the humanities of pluralism have reasserted their commitment to understand the humanity of likeness, shared capacity, and common aspiration that was always implicit in them. The interplay of these two trajectories—the endeavor to describe human diversity and the investigation of the founding of this diversity on human commonality—is a source of much innovative thinking in humanistic research. The multidisciplinary reach of humanistic thought today creates productive interactions with fields once thought to be far from the humanities. The potential of these interactions to reshape research agendas and humanistic pedagogy calls out for collaborative exploration.

This new development comes from many quarters, arising especially, perhaps, from novel approaches to the analysis of deep-seated conceptual forms, expressive patterns, and configurations of practice. Many examples of these approaches might be cited: emergent complexity in dynamic cultural systems, cultural geographies, the play of scale in human histories, the relations of material and virtual media, the connections and distinctions of information and semiosis, the interplay of aesthetic presence and aesthetic interpretation, and a revisiting of the nature of historicity in and beyond the humanities. These approaches are not new in themselves, but each is entering in new ways into humanistic thought. Many more innovative areas might be suggested by Yale faculty from the vantages of their own research programs, and it is the aim of Humanities/ Humanity to support them.

After each workshop, the group or some subgroup of its members will submit a report discussing the outcome and implications of the conversations, normally by the end of the summer following the workshop. These will be published electronically and with open access on the Whitney Humanities Center website.

  • Workshop title and description. In no more than 1,500 words, describe the topics and issues to be discussed and their significance. 
  • Preliminary roster of 8–15 participants (inclusive of Yale faculty sponsors), accompanied by a brief description of the areas of expertise and expected contributions of each.
  • Detailed budget not exceeding $16,000 and a proposed calendar of one or two periods when the workshop will convene at the WHC. We understand that in this uncertain pandemic time, any proposed timetable is a best guess. We encourage you to include contingency plans that will allow your team to meet and collaborate virtually in preparation for in-person meetings.