The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC) at the University of Virginia is an active member of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). The IHGC's Director, Debjani Ganguly, serves on the CHCI's International Advisory Board.
Established in 1988, the CHCI serves as an arena for the discussion of issues germane to crossdisciplinary activity in the humanities, and as a network for the circulation of information and best practices related to the organizational and management dimensions of humanities centers and institutes. CHCI currently has a membership of over 170 organizations and affiliates in 23 countries and 46 US states. Our membership is extremely diverse from the point of view of scale: members run the gamut from small, university based humanities centers to major Institutes for Advanced Study, and from large independent organizations to research libraries. Our members are engaged in a wide range of programs, including research support, community-based programs and public humanities, internal and external fellowship programs, activism and advocacy on issues of cultural and educational policy, digital humanities programs, and the development and maintenance of research collections. Many CHCI members are highly visible, powerful agents of growth, change, and advocacy on their campuses and within their communities.
CHCI produces a major Annual Meeting of its membership, maintains a content-rich website, produces an annual printed membership directory, and serves as a re-circulator for information about its members via listservs and its website. We are now also developing distinctive programs and special projects intended to benefit our membership.
The School on Global Studies and Critical Theory is a new summer program jointly promoted by Duke University, the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna, and University of Virginia. We think that the so-called global age needs a radical rethinking of our theoretical tools and critical exchange among different research fields.
This is why every year, in a lively and stimulating intellectual and cultural environment, outstanding scholars will offer to faculty, postgraduate and graduate students, lectures, intensive courses and seminars on one specific topic of this contemporary global turn, encouraging the collective production of knowledge and critical thought.
The Institute for World Literature (IWL) has been created to explore the study of literature in a globalizing world. As we enter the twenty-first century, our understanding of “world literature” has expanded beyond the classic canon of European masterpieces and entered a far-reaching inquiry into the variety of the world’s literary cultures and their distinctive reflections and refractions of the political, economic, and religious forces sweeping the globe. Many people are now interested in teaching courses in world literature and in pursuing research within a global framework, but few programs in comparative or even world literature have yet established ways to train scholars and teachers to do such work on a broad basis. Meeting for four weeks each summer, in locations from Beijing to Istanbul to Harvard and beyond, the Institute is global in its presence as well as its intentions. With its headquarters at Harvard University and partners around the world, the IWL seeks to offer training in world literature in global perspective, and to provide the basis for ongoing community and exchange long after each session ends. The IHGC's Director, Debjani Ganguly, serves on the Harvard Institute's Advisory Board.
In our globalized world, writers and scholars from the Global South increasingly engage with one another through their mutual relationship to the West. This obscures South-South relationships, both past and present. Cultures of the Global South — which includes the Third World and minority groups in the West — have a great deal to learn from one another by engaging in direct relationships and establishing direct lines of cultural and intellectual communication.
The goal of the Global South Cultural Dialogue Project, initiated by scholars of color at Cornell University together with writers and scholars based in the Third World, is to facilitate conversation among writers and scholars from Africa, Latin America, and Asia as well as minority groups in the West. Through such a dialogue, we can learn how our different societies have responded to questions of language, identity, and the role of culture in the work of decolonization. This project seeks to encourage an honest discussion about the ties that bind the South to the South and to help imagine and create a more democratic and egalitarian global culture.
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. The humanities use language, reason, and imagination to interpret the world around us. We experience the humanities through narrative, musical, artistic, and religious traditions that are embedded in all cultures and reflected in history, law, language and literature, philosophy, religion, the arts, and studies of culture.
Since its founding in 1974, VFH has produced more than 40,000 humanities programs serving communities large and small throughout Virginia, the nation and the world. In addition to Foundation-directed programs including festivals, publications, digital initiatives, conferences, teacher institutes, and public radio programs, VFH has contributed to more than 3,000 grant projects and 300 individual and collaborative fellowships.
VFH encourages discovery and connection through the humanities by supporting and producing cultural, civic, local, and global educational programs for broad public audiences. We work with individuals and communities to explore the past, confront current issues, and discover a promising future. We focus our efforts on Community Programs, Scholarship and Digital Initiatives.