Directors' Welcome

Letter from our Directors 

Welcome to the Humanities Center! On May 1, we became co-directors of the Center. It's a profoundly difficult time at present, and all of us at Pitt and other Universities around the country and around the world –undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators –are only beginning to realize what challenges lie ahead in the course of this pandemic.

We think it’s more important than ever to emphasize what a University is for –namely, coming together in communities of inquiry to ask important questions and find rigorous and creative ways of answering those questions. That the pandemic affects everyone –but not everyone equally –intensifies this common cause.

We want to build a Humanities Center that can contribute to the life and vitality of communities of this kind. That’s why we’re committed to trying to create time, space, and support for our Pitt communities to come together to share the labor and inspiration of posing questions and forging answers.

We already have cohorts of faculty fellows and graduate fellows coming into the Center in the coming year, as well as four nascent transdisciplinary research incubators. True, we’ll have to see what “coming into the Center” means as things unfold over the summer. We might be working in person, we might be collaborating remotely –whatever it is, we’re committed to building rich, interactive, collaborative ways of engaging.

We are also working to put together a co-taught undergraduate research experience for the Fall that takes up the pandemic as something linking a whole series of related issues. We believe strongly that great things happen when faculty and students get to think together about research. Please do be in touch, and come work and play with us.

David Marshall and Carla Nappi, Humanities Center Co-Directors