Humanities on display

January 30, 2020
A portrait of Humanities Institute founder Chris Zacher

New exhibit showcases Ohio State's Humanities Institute 


The latest Global Gallery exhibit offers a glimpse of the Humanities Institute, Ohio State’s incubator of collaborative research and “center of centers.”

The university reorganized the institute more than a year ago, merging the Humanities Institute with five interdisciplinary centers: the Center for Ethnic Studies, Center for Folklore Studies, Center for the Study of Religion, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Melton Center for Jewish Studies.

The new exhibit at Hagerty Hall, on display through March 30, showcases each of the centers’ work, including faculty publications, community conversations and alumni news.

For instance, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies is highlighting this term's ongoing film series on Elizabeth I, while the Center for Ethnic Studies is raising awareness about its minor programs in American Indian, Latina/o and Asian American studies.

The display for the Center for the Study of Religion features its American Religious Sounds project, an audio archive of the sound of religion broadly practiced. (Learn more about the collaborative project with scholars at Michigan State here. The project has started to expand to pilot sites beyond Ohio State and Michigan State.)

The Humanities Institute, founded in 1998 by Chris Zacher, then a professor in the Department of English, was originally called the Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities. The name may have changed about a decade ago, but it aptly describes the work of the institute today, said Director David Staley.

The institute fosters collaborative research among humanities disciplines and has a significant public outreach emphasis. By combining with the five interdisciplinary centers, the Humanities Institute has accelerated its public mission, he said.

This semester’s event calendar includes a wide spectrum of activities open to the campus and broader Columbus community, from the first Chris Zacher Memorial Lecture with U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Billy Collins to a showcase of Ethiopian dance and song with Dege Feder, an Ethiopian-born artist based in Israel.

The institute is currently planning to add another event to its calendar: a celebration of its Global Gallery exhibit. Learn more about the Humanities Institute events here.