University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Humanities Informatics

Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes 2018 Annual Meeting | June 13-17, 2018
A conference on Humanities Informatics showcasing the power of the humanities
to address the urgent questions about the ‘human’ in our information age.

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Achille Mbembe Lecture

"Negative Messianism in the Age of Animism"

Global South Initiative

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major
humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts &
 has matched the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.


Fascism and Antifascism, 1920-2020

Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
Monday February 19, 2018 | Newcomb Hall Gallery 4:00-5:30 pm

Civil Resistance

Humanities Week | April 2-7, 2018
See Full Schedule Here

Amitav Ghosh

A Conversation on The Great Derangement:
Climate Change and the Unthinkable 


The Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures (IHGC) offers a vision at
once local and global, and a mission both academic and socially engaged. 

Rethinking the History of Modern Political Concepts

Race and Division of Labor in Global Western Empires, 1791-1888
Graduate Conference of the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures and
the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory (University of Virginia, 
University of Bologna, Duke University)

News & Announcements

Wed Jun 13
| University of Virginia
"Humanities Informatics," CHCI Annual Conference

"Humanities Informatics," CHCI Annual Conference

Wed Jun 13

2018 Annual Meeting

Humanities Informatics

Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
June 13-17, 2018


Big data is now ubiquitous across myriad domains: politics, war, security, environment, health, media, art, culture and finance. New frontiers in information sciences have expanded our understanding of the human through advances in genetics and artificial intelligence (AI). Google and Facebook are at the forefront of research on AI. Historically linked to the rise of cybernetics in the 1950s, the penetration of big data and machine learning in our lives through advances in social media, cloud computing, robotics, epigenetics and cyber surveillance, have transformed our understanding of social belonging, political agency, knowledge production, privacy and autonomy.


Humanities Informatics is emerging as a new field in response to these developments. There are clear connections here to the work done in digital humanities, including the manipulation and visualization of data. But humanities informatics is less concerned with the actual computation of data than it is with the ways in which data structures and algorithms inform political economy, humanistic cultural production, human scientific endeavors, and studies of the evolution of human life itself.


Is new media technology making democratic politics impossible? What are the implications for the university of knowledge and information explosion unleashed by large corporations such as Google? How has social life been transformed by new media technologies? What transformations have emerged in art and performative cultures with the impact of interactive media technologies? Should we view the digital as a step-change in the technologies of communication and in epistemology? As the equivalent of the invention of the printing press? When algorithms make decisions, is there any room for discretion? How has our understanding of the ‘human’ been transformed by advances in genetic engineering and artificial intelligence?


A CHCI conference on Humanities Informatics will showcase the power of the humanities to address these urgent questions about the ‘human’ in our information age.

A special panel entitled, ‘#Charlottesville: August 11 & 12’ will focus on the eruption of neo-fascist violence in contemporary America. Charlottesville, the location of the conference, is also the site of neo-Nazi and white supremacist violence that shook the United States in the summer of 2017 and garnered global media attention. The panel will revisit the legacies of slavery, the civil war, the history of confederate monuments, and white supremacist movements in Virginia, a historic region that exists on the fault-line of a deep racial division that was foundational to the establishment of the United States as a nation. Speakers include Kirt Von Daacke, Chair of the UVA Presidential Commission on Slavery, and Deborah McDowell, Director, The Carter Woodson Institute of African and African-American Studies.


Visit the CHCI website for more information. 

Mellon Global South Initiative

Mellon Global South Initiative

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will match the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.

Clay Endowments & Grants

Clay Endowments & Grants

The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC) invites proposals for funding from the Buckner W. Clay Endowment to support innovative work in the global humanities at the University of Virginia. The Endowment provides an ambitious basis of support for faculty and student research and teaching to be conducted under the auspices of the IHGC. Faculty and students from across all schools and disciplines at the university are welcome and encouraged to apply. 

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Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory

The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory is a new research entity jointly promoted by the University of Virginia, Duke University and the University of Bologna. It is conceived as an intellectual space for scholars coming from different research fields and geographical regions to work together on the redefinition of the humanities in a global age.

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Project Summary: To work on her book Savage Storms, which seeks to answer the following question: What role do tropical cyclones play in literatures and cultures of the Americas? Rogers argues that storms are a disruptive, destabilizing force in twentieth-century narratives written in English, French and Spanish. They are environmentally catastrophic, producing major changes...

Project Summary:  In my project, I am exploring the reasons for the surge in refugees around the world in the past century by adopting a historical approach. I am interested in posing a few questions that require fresh research to answer: how do states and governments of the wealthy western world “see” refugees? Have western/northern states constructed a political regime to contain...

Project Summary:  I am in the midst of working on a book on the development of clean water and sanitation for the developing world. As of now I am concentrating on two things: first, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade that ran from 1978 to 1990. The...

Project Summary:  I am researching and writing a new monograph exploring the mobile life and afterlives of a single classical Arabic philosophical text as it traveled across Asia, Africa, and Europe. In six chapters, it will examine modern editions and translations of Ibn Tufayl’s twelfth‐century allegory, Hayy ibn Yaqzān, from 1671 to the present. Hayy ibn Yaqzān...

Project Summary: To complete his book manuscript, Unexpected Kinship, which studies the vibrant literature of the Global South, which contains many colorful figures of disability who not only propel their narratives forward, but also do intricate cultural work. These characters may reflect the reality that, according to the United Nations, most of the world’s...

Project Summary:  To finish her manuscript, The Kongolese Atlantic, which tells the remarkable history of Mwana and the more than 300,000 other Kongolese men, women, and children who survived slavery in Saint Domingue, won the only successful slave revolution in history – the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) – and founded the first black republic, Haiti. Historians...