Center for the Humanities

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Message from the Director

The great Song-dynasty philosopher Zhu Xi (1130–1200) once said: “Before you begin your studies, you should first settle your mind, so that it becomes like still water or a clear mirror.”*  He was aware of a crucial point: scholarship requires more than reading books and crunching numbers; scholars need the time and space for concentration, reflection, and contemplation. The Center for the Humanities at Drake University provides those resources that allow faculty the time and space needed to do the vital work of humanistic inquiry.

Such inquiry is central to our institutional identity and characterizes our valued place in the larger Des Moines community. The Center for the Humanities is committed to carrying out its mission to foster inclusiveness and equity, to be a voice for critical and creative perspectives on the pressing issues of our time, and above all to support the diverse interests, pursuits, and areas of expertise of our faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the humanities.

As Director, I have the privilege of learning in detail about the amazing work carried out by members of the Drake community. I sincerely welcome all inquiries and will do my utmost to support faculty projects from initial proposal to completion. Please reach out to me with questions, concerns, or ideas, to request consultation on grant proposals, or to learn more about how to become involved in the Center’s activities.

Leah Kalmanson
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Director, Center for the Humanities   
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