Since its founding in 2005, the University at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute (HI) has quickly established itself as one of the most important entities supporting the humanities in Western New York. Scholarship in the humanities helps us to question, comprehend, and transform an increasingly complex world. The most intractable human problems cannot be solved from within a single discipline, but must be approached from a variety of perspectives. HI provides a forum for conversations among humanists of all disciplines.
Because humanities disciplines – literature, history, languages, anthropology, and more –seek to answer similar questions using different methods, humanists flourish when they engage with scholars from other fields. Every event HI sponsors is interdisciplinary by design and free and open to the public. Conferences and symposia bring internationally renowned scholars to Buffalo to discuss crucial topics – religion, madness, the future of the humanities – from multiple perspectives.
By providing faculty fellowships as well as forums to present works in progress, HI fosters a vibrant research culture within the humanities at UB, which is vital for a research university. By giving faculty teaching-release time to work on books and articles, HI plays a crucial role in enabling faculty to compete successfully for national fellowships and to raise their scholarly reputations.
UB resides in the suburbs of a diverse and artistically rich city. HI connects the campus to the city through its signature Scholars@Hallwalls lecture series, held in Buffalo on select Fridays at the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. There, HI faculty fellows communicate the findings of their specialized research to an audience of non-specialists, many of whom have no connection to UB. And the annual Buffalo Humanities Festival brings together cutting-edge humanities researchers with the general public in a fun and festive setting.