PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University will launch a new global humanities program, titled “Brown in the World/The World at Brown,” with a $498,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The three-year, two-part program aims to provide the leading future scholars and professors of the humanities with international exposure and the opportunity enhance their global perspectives and networks.
The Mellon award comes at a time when Brown President Ruth J. Simmons is reaffirming the University’s commitment to the humanities with the Brown Humanities Initiative, announced in October 2010. The initiative includes the recruitment of six new internationally pre-eminent senior scholars within the next three years and creation of the Brown Humanities Initiative Fund that will, among other things, launch a series of multiyear research seminars. The Brown in the World/The World at Brown program will further enhance the central role that the humanities play in the intellectual life of the University.
“At a time when humanities programs throughout the nation are underfunded and shrinking, the Cogut Center for the Humanities is actively growing and engaging partner institutions worldwide,” said Michael Steinberg, director of the Cogut Center. “The Mellon Foundation’s enduring support and the University’s recent investments in the humanities have put Brown in a unique and enviable position, allowing the University to serve as an ambassador for humanities research and teaching worldwide.”
Through the Brown in the World portion of the program, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will have the opportunity to spend one semester at a partner institution for joint teaching and program development, with the goal of enriching their perspectives, teaching abilities, scholarship, and networks of international colleagues. The program will leverage relationships the University has already established with leading international universities and organizations, including Nanjing University; the University of Cape Town; IE-University Madrid; and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Institute in Seville and Berlin.
Under the World at Brown portion of the program, the Cogut Center will build upon its series of highly successful residencies for visiting professors of the humanities and distinguished visiting fellows. The grant enables the Cogut Center to host nine distinguished international scholars — three one-semester appointments and six one-month fellowships — to teach seminars and convene workshops for graduate and undergraduate students. It is expected that these visiting faculty will be appointed in partnership with scholars recruited under the Brown Humanities Initiative.
“The idea here is to globalize humanities education by allowing people to experience their education in different places,” said Steinberg, who is also the Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History and Professor of Music. “That means our students and faculty will be able to spend time in other places and we will bring prominent international scholars to campus, producing a constant flow and exchange of ideas and fostering a vibrant environment for the humanities, at Brown and beyond.”