Cornell has received a $1.5 million endowment from the Central New York Humanities Corridor, thanks to a $3.55 million matching grant from the Mellon Foundation that also funded endowments at Syracuse and Rochester, which will support regional interdisciplinary humanities projects. With the Society for the Humanities stewarding the Cornell endowment, Cornell faculty will have faster access to funding with less paperwork.
“Now that we are permanently endowed, we have the stability and the room for many other exciting initiatives in the coming years,” said Paul Fleming, the Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities at Cornell.
The Corridor’s advisory board includes Cornell faculty members Esra Akcan, associate professor in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning and director of the Cornell Institute for European Studies; and Debra Castillo, the Emerson Hinchliff Chair of Hispanic Studies, professor of comparative literature and director of the Latino/a Studies Program. Fleming, professor of comparative literature and German studies, serves on the corridor’s board of directors.
Founded in 2006 with Mellon funds, the Corridor supports scholarly collaboration and resource-sharing among Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, the Syracuse University Humanities Center, the University of Rochester Humanities Center and schools in the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium.
The Corridor funds inter-institutional working groups in eight thematic clusters: Philosophy/Critical Theory; Linguistics; Visual Arts and Cultures; Musicology/Performance Studies; Digital Humanities; Literature, Language and Culture; Archives and Media; and – new this year – Historical Studies. Any Cornell faculty member in the humanities can apply for funding to form a working group, which must consist of members from at least two member institutions. Activities can range from writing retreats and brainstorming meetings to lectures, poetry readings, class visits and teaching exchanges. See the call for proposals for spring 2019 and the 2019-20 academic year (deadline Oct. 15).
The public can attend several Corridor-funded events taking place at Cornell, including a public conversation with Argentine/Mexican documentary filmmaker Carlos Rossini Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m., in the Willard Straight Theatre. The Corridor’s Distinguished Visiting Collaborator Dimitris Vardoulakis (philosophy, Western Sydney University) will deliver a public lecture "Authority and Utility in Spinoza: From Epicureanism to Neoliberalism?," Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in A.D. White House.
Emily Parsons is the program coordinator for the Society for the Humanities.