Humanities/Humanitybrings together small groups to advance thought about foundational topics connecting disciplines. Launched in 2014, the program encourages scholars from multiple disciplines to learn from one another in workshops that tend to break from the traditional format of academic conferences. Each year, the program enables scholars, near and far, to gather in person: these gatherings can be seminars, workshops, discussion groups, or conferences. Recent Humanities/Humanity workshops have brought visual and performance artists, poets, filmmakers, and activists—along with scholars from fields as varied as history and nuclear physics—to Yale University, where they’ve explored topics ranging from the poetics and politics of desert space to protest and performance in Russia and East Europe today. 

2023–24 Humanities/Humanities

The 1980s: a decade of capitalism, conservatism, and questionable fashion choices. But it was also a decade of unprecedented encounters between audiences and artifacts from across the globe, and of the commercialization of culture that inevitably resulted.

Over the last decade, there have been increasing calls to decolonize the archive. Underlying these calls for decolonization is a more fundamental question: what is the colonial archive? This Humanities/Humanity workshop examines how imperial powers policed the inclusion and exclusion of documents and historical subjects and seeks reparative methods of engaging with the historical record.

Constituent power has become a key tenet of political theory and constitutional thought globally. How has its meaning changed across space and time? How have scholars extended the concept beyond its original context, the French Revolution? This interdisciplinary conference that aims to recover, analyze, and systematize the meaning and implications of constituent power for democracy today.

Storytelling is the mechanism we use to understand the world around us and to define our place in it. How can storytelling help us understand and address the systemic causes of collective distress in our communities? This colloquium will examine the role of communal narratives, the stories we tell ourselves, in contextualizing our individual and collective relationships to modern social, cultural, and political systems. Using a multidisciplinary approach, scholars and practitioners will explore the use of storytelling and narrative change in addressing the social determinants of community well-being and hopefully identify concrete actions to heal societal, cultural, national, and global challenges.