About the Center

The human fingerprint maps our identity, the ties that bind us, the lingering traces we leave on this earth. As humanists, we explore the durability as well as the fragility of the human condition — opening windows onto worlds near to home and oceans away, worlds we interpret through stories and images, poems and performance, history and narratives, sounds and silence. At Washington University in St. Louis, the Center for the Humanities facilitates the labor of humanists by nurturing innovative research, transformative pedagogy, and vibrant community engagement locally and globally.

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Funding new research in the humanities

Pursuing new scholarly ideas about the world takes funding — whether it's for a two-month tour of research sites in Japan or a two-week trip to an archive to view materials available only there — that can be hard to find via regular channels. The Center for the Humanities fills this gap with a number of funding opportunities for Washington University faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Learn more about their stories!

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Lessons For Traveling During a Global Health Crisis

Global Airport Infrastructure and Yellow Fever in Transition-Era Nairobi

Major U.S. airlines — and at least one major U.S. airport, LAX — have updated their policies to mandate that passengers wear face masks during flights. The challenge of keeping travelers safe during a global health crisis sounds all too familiar to PhD candidate Mark Beirn, a Graduate Student Fellow in the Center for the Humanities. While scholars and public policy-makers are looking back to the Influenza Pandemics of 1918 and 1889 to inform responses to today’s COVID-19 pandemic, they could also benefit by reviewing Nairobi’s handling its public infrastructure — particularly its brand-new airport — during the global yellow fever scare after World War II. 

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Faculty Fellowships at Center for the Humanities

Time devoted exclusively to research and writing is integral to academic productivity. Faculty fellowships provide the opportunity to make significant strides.

Apply for funding for humanities research, fellowships, reading groups and more

The humanities center facilitates the labor of humanists by nurturing innovative research, transformative pedagogy, and vibrant community engagement locally and globally.

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