Announcing the Humanities Commons
Message from Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Julia R. Lupton:
I am delighted to serve as the Director of UCI’s new Humanities Commons. Building on the strong record of the Humanities Collective and a half century of adventurous inquiry at UCI, the Commons will support scholarship and creative activity that addresses human action, meaning making and thought in its historical variety and contemporary range.
In my twenty-five years at UCI, I have benefited from countless opportunities to collaborate with my colleagues and to participate in vital public programs that create conduits between faculty research and local audiences, whether through Humanities Core, Humanities Out There, Jewish Studies, or the New Swan Shakespeare Festival. Now I feel very lucky to be asked to use my knowledge, experience, and cross-campus connections in my new position as Director of the Commons.
The Humanities Commons logo, designed by Ben Chemelski, wraps the open “C” of “commons” around a buoyant quotation mark that evokes conversation and exchange. The same mark does double duty as a comma, that tiny tail that links items together in new series. By bringing scholars, students, and publics into contact with each other, whether on line or over lunch, in lecture halls or in libraries, we hope to stimulate research enterprises that are fresh, serious, meaningful, generative, and compelling.
We are happy to help organize the new Medical Humanities initiative, which brings together scholars and students in Humanities, Arts, the Medical School and the health sciences for training and reflection in all areas having to do with health, well-being, and the ethics of care. We are also working with colleagues in , UCI’s Salton Sea Initiative and the new Water Initiative, the Huntington Library, and the Borrego Springs Gallery on architecture, land use and environmental degradation in California’s deserts. Research residencies on war link faculty research to the amazing work of UCI’s freshmen in the Humanities Core Course, which is organized around the same theme. And we are meeting with program directors at the Orange County Libraries and the Bowers Museum about ways to share faculty research and expertise on a range of topics with off-site audiences.
The tagline of the Commons, “Scholarship, Collaboration, Public Engagement,” yields the acronym “SCOPE.” The scope of the humanities is roving and elastic, affording both deep focus and panoramic views. Every day, faculty and students at UCI renew, refocus and expand what the humanities can be, thanks to innovative work in traditional disciplines and dynamic partnerships with colleagues in the arts, social sciences, informatics, law, business, education, medicine, and more. The staff at the Commons can’t wait to help faculty and students tackle enduring problems, identify emerging questions, and share their findings with different audiences. Please stop by our new offices in the first floor of Humanities Gateway or check out our new website.