Center for the Humanities

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Message from the Director

AI generated picture of a woman wearing glasses and surrounded by bright swirls of color

An AI interpretation of your director;
any resemblance is purely coincidental

Dear Drake Humanists,

The past two years have been a remarkable ride: when I became the Director in Summer '21, the Humanities Center was, if I may state it with some humor, having trouble giving money away! Continual COVID-19 outbreaks meant canceled research trips and canceled international conference travel, as well as publication delays and society-wide crisis-induced malaise. At certain points the board was like a rather desperate mini-federal reserve trying to figure out how to “stimulate the economy” of Humanities Research at Drake!

By the end of Spring 23, however, those days were firmly in the past. In 22-23 most of our budget dollars were gainfully employed in supporting faculty projects, thanks to a steady stream of grant requests throughout the year. And so the era of please! Take this money! Go do research! We beg! Came to a welcome end, thanks to the get-up-and-go-research/go-create vivacity of Scholars and Artists at Drake.

Starting in Fall 23, the Center will resume its more traditional footing of “responsible and measured stewardship of funds.” Mainly this amounts to a change of tone: while we will no longer beg you to take money to “stimulate” your research, we will still invite you (warmly!) to apply for funding to support your teaching and research in the Humanities.

As the Center has always done, we will define “Humanities” broadly, and as inclusively as possible. (The Center’s charter itself states, “ 'Humanities faculty' shall be defined as all Drake University faculty who declare themselves to be doing work in the humanities.”) Such declaration may be made by requesting inclusion on the Center’s email distribution list, and/or by submitting an application for funding to the board.

Full descriptions of funding programs may be found on the Center’s web pages; if you have a need that does not neatly fit one of our funding categories, please get in touch; the categories are guides, not limitations, and the Center prides itself on being nimble and responsive to the needs of our affiliated faculty. 

Wishing the best to us all for this semester and coming year beyond!

Amy Letter
Department of English
Director, Center for the Humanities   
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