UCHI Welcomes You To 2020–2021

The UCHI logo in front of a picture of a bookshelf.

Dear friends,

It has, by any measure, been a hard, puzzling summer that occasionally veered into chaotic and devastating, making it difficult to write an ordinary welcome back letter in such fraught, extraordinary times. What we’re here to say though is that it is our intention to continue to offer forums to learn, talk, and listen, opportunities to think harder, and occasions to ask new questions—all as we move our programming online for the time being. We welcome you to join us as we try out new methods, explore new ways to connect intellectually, and create collaborative cohorts. In short, UCHI offers this year what we offer every year: opportunities to shape the humanities. More than ever, we want to remind you that your research, your ideas, and your voices matter and can change the world.

What does this mean tangibly? It means we are going to continue to do what we do and even expand our reach in this online moment. This includes:

  1. UCHI Fellows’ talks and all activities will go online. The formats will shift, but Fellows’ talks remain an opportunity to hear cutting-edge researchers and their new material. Join us to see the best new books, articles, and dissertations take shape.
  2. We have funding and look forward to supporting scholars’ talks, colloquia, working groups, and other research events. Again, while travel is limited, online options offer new potentials for expanding and diversifying the dialogues we can share here with the UConn community.
  3. Our Digital Humanities and Media Studies initiative will continue to offer programming that addresses our (more than ever) digitally-mediated world and scholarship, as well as its graduate certificate program.
  4. Our programs such as faculty grant application aid and humanities book support remain active and wait for your applications.
  5. We were awarded this summer a $750,000 Mellon grant to build and sustain the New England Humanities Consortium’s Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG). This program will offer fellowships, mentorship, and advocacy in support of BIPOC faculty here at UConn and then also nationally. UCHI remains committed to working for equality, diversity, and change here at UConn and beyond.
  6. As part of this Mellon/FOCWG we are thrilled to welcome our first UCHI/Mellon Faculty Fellow, Professor Sean Frederick Forbes. For more on Sean and all our 2020-21 fellows see our site.
  7. Publishing NOW will again bring top editors to talk with UConn faculty and students about publishing and about projecting their scholarly voices in new publishing environments.
  8. Our Luce Foundation funded initiative, The Future of Truth, will host several events this year building toward our multi-year traveling exhibition, in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, Seeing Truth: Art, Science, and Making Knowledge.

And is there something here you don’t see but that would help you and your colleagues now? Reach out to us. Again, we are here, and want to see you get to where you need to go. We’re eager to learn about the work you’re doing this year and to support your projects.

Best wishes for the start of the new school year.


The UCHI Team

Alexis L. Boylan, acting director
Yohei Igarashi, acting director of academic affairs
Jo-Ann Waide, program coordinator
Nasya Al-Saidy, financial coordinator
Elizabeth Della Zazzera, post-doctoral humanities fellow