The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 1997 to promote interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The IPRH grants fellowships to Illinois faculty and graduate students, and in fall 2010 welcomed the first Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellows in the Humanities, supported by a six-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The IPRH coordinates and hosts numerous lectures, symposia, and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics, and provides awards that recognize excellence in humanities research to faculty and students. The IPRH supports faculty-driven initiatives for interdisciplinary public programming in the humanities through its Event Grants Program, and provides support to faculty and graduate student reading groups.
The 2013–14 academic year marks the seventh year of the Odyssey Project, a free nine-month humanities course offered to members of the Champaign-Urbana community who live at or near the poverty level. The course—which is supported by the Office of the Chancellor, the College of Education, and a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council—is taught by Illinois faculty. The IPRH is also in its sixth year of affiliation with the Education Justice Project, a prison education program supported by the Illinois Humanities Council and individual donors.
THE HUMANITIES AT ILLINOIS
The humanities and the arts teach students how to interpret people, societies, artifacts, and events, locally as well as globally, in past and present contexts. Humanists interrogate the nature of truth and beauty, contemplating justice, and exploring the ethical obligations humans bear toward each other and the world. Study in the humanities trains students to recognize the diversity of human life, making what is familiar both inviting and strange. It helps students to question, comprehend, and transform an increasingly cosmopolitan globe. Humanists engage with and extend existing knowledge making it palpable for students. In so doing, we make the creation of new knowledges possible by framing what is known and revealing new truths.