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What should we understand by the phrase ‘Humanities research'? It names a concept both difficult and crucial for the research university. Humanities research has historically been recognized as “scientific” in some understandings of the term—for example in being defined by an original contribution to knowledge—but not in the narrower sense that applies to, say, physics or biology. Problems of norms and definition have, accordingly, always figured importantly in how we think about this central idea in higher education. Lately, however, new challenges and opportunities seem to call for renewed attention to what we mean when we speak of humanities research. 

This brief symposium celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Franke Institute for the Humanities by addressing three of them: the integration of the practicing arts into academic disciplines, the new trends toward making the humanities more publicly oriented, and the transformations of scholarship made possible by new technologies. We will also revisit the question of the relation of humanities scholarship and scientific research as itself a subject of ongoing change in the coming years.  Bring your questions to this symposium and join us in toasting the Franke Institute's 25th anniversary.  

Founded in 1990 by a grant from Richard and Barbara Franke as the Chicago Humanities Institute, it was renamed the Franke Institute for the Humanities in 1998 in recognition of a second significant gift.

Poster for the Franke Institute's 25th Anniversary Celebration (pdf) here >>

Program with information about the nine speakers for the 25th Anniversary Celebration (pdf) here>>

For a gallery of photos from the Anniversary Celebration, click on the first photo below.
Once you're on Flickr, click on any photo for its caption.

The Franke Institute for the Humanities | 1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-118 | Chicago, Illinois 60637 | 773-702-8274