The University of Pittsburgh is in the midst of celebrating the Year of the Humanities in the University—an initiative designed to highlight the important role that humanistic thinking plays in research and education across the University and beyond. The Year, which was created and supported by Provost Patricia Beeson, has been guided by a committee of faculty members from across the University and supported by matching funds from the Office of the Provost. The amount of funds Provost Beeson has allocated to support the Year—beginning at $100,000 and growing to more than $300,000—has demonstrated a substantial level of institutional enthusiasm and support for the humanities at Pitt.
Poul Holm, Arne Jarrick and Dominic Scott published Humanities World Report 2015 (Palgrave, November 2014), an open access book that includes interviews with over ninety humanities scholars across forty countries in order to assess the state of the global humanities.
As a Not-For-Profit Administrator I was often plagued by the assumption from For-Profit Business Professionals that our work was substandard to their own, that by virtue of the title we were an inferior business model. Even our Presidential Race echoes this sentiment with people supporting Donald Trump because he is seen as a successful business executive that can get the country back on track financially. The question I would ask these business professionals is: “What is the mission of Capitalism, and how will it react to a marketplace that is evolving faster than ever before”?
On June 8th, 2015 the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology informed national universities that they should cut or change their departments associated with the humanities and social sciences (HSS). The “nonbinding” notice went to the 86 national universities – universities that depend on the government for support for about 44% of their funding. It asked for plans, which many believe will then be taken into account by the Ministry in the allocation of future funds. A follow up survey of national university presidents found that at least 26 had plans to stop accepting students into HSS programs, though the important universities of Tokyo and Kyoto have refused. 4Humanities responds to this directive.
Ernesto Priego interviews Isabel Galina Russell in anticipation of her UCLDH Seminar Series talk “Geopolitical diversity in Digital Humanities: how can we make it happen?”, on Friday 9 October 2015.
The California Pluralism Project is making creative use of digital technology to provide free resources for humanities educators as well as to the general public. Public humanities initiatives like this are working to provide resources that will further conversations about the challenges and possibilities of diversity in the U.S.
Scott Samuelson, Professor of Philosophy at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, is the 2015 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities!