University of Rochester

Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Grant creates 'humanities corridor'

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to Syracuse University to work with Rochester and Cornell University for the creation of a "Central New York Humanities Corridor." The initiative is being established to connect teaching and research in the humanities among the three leading institutions.

"The University of Rochester began as a liberal arts school focusing on the humanities. The humanities remain a core of our University," says President Seligman. "This opportunity to develop a 'humanities corridor' with Cornell and Syracuse will regionally promote the arts, languages, and related studies. This will showcase the strengths in all three institutions and encourage collaboration that will be of particular benefit to our students."

Inspired in part by the mission of the science/technology Research Triangle in North Carolina, the corridor will enhance the profile and connectivity of the humanities. Faculty and students will work together in philosophy and linguistics as well as music history, musicology, visual arts and cultures, and other areas.

"This grant from the Mellon Foundation will enable unprecedented collaboration that will enrich and strengthen the humanities in the upstate New York region," says William Scott Green, Dean of the College and professor of religion at Rochester. "The University is delighted to be a full contributing partner to this enterprise, and we anticipate consequential and long-lasting results from our work with Syracuse and Cornell. This is a good day for humanistic learning."

During the three years, the humanities corridor will take the form of group research and conversations among participating humanities faculty in each cluster; funded interdisciplinary workshops and conferences; and faculty exchanges among the institutions. Initially, all three institutions will collaborate in the area of visual arts and cultures while continue existing partnerships in philosophy and linguistics. No less than two institutions will collaborate in the remaining clusters.

"Syracuse is honored to partner with Cornell and Rochester, which are lustrous institutions with strong systems of academic research and education, particularly at the doctoral levels," says Cathryn Newton, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse. "Such a collaboration, with its deep history of connections among sister departments, presents a nationally significant intellectual opportunity."

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