Syracuse University

Spotlight: Central New York Humanities Corridor

The Central New York Humanities Corridor is a unique regional collaboration between Syracuse University, Cornell University, and the University of Rochester, as well as the schools of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium (Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College). The Corridor stands as a pioneering interdisciplinary humanities consortium, spanning the region in seven thematic research clusters, organized around selected fields of shared scholarly strengths:

  • Philosophy;
  • Linguistics;
  • Visual Arts and Culture;
  • Musicology and Music History;
  • Digital Humanities;
  • Literature, Language and Culture; and
  • Archives and Media.

Designed to enhance the profile, scholarly prominence, and impact of interdisciplinary humanities in Central New York, the Corridor advances individual and collaborative teaching, research, and public engagement in the humanities; increases connectivity among the region’s humanists; and fosters cross-institutional partnerships, enhancing the productivity of the region’s key scholars, students, and community members.

Over the past decade, the Central New York Humanities Corridor has done for this region what the Research Triangle has done for science and technology in the South. In recognition of this success, in 2014 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a total of $3.55 million to The Central New York Humanities Corridor , permanently endowing The Corridor at each of its three founding institutions:

  • $2 million at Syracuse University (plus a $300,000 expendable gift);
  • $750,000 at Cornell University; and
  • $500,000 at University of Rochester.

Between 2015 and 2017, each school will raise matching funds for its award, bringing the total Corridor endowment across the three campuses to $6.5 million to support The Corridor’s mission of increasing connectivity and collaboration and fostering cross-institutional partnerships in perpetuity.

On average each year more than 3,500 faculty, students, and community members participate in upwards of 200 Corridor-sponsored activities, organized by over 30 active Working Groups. These Corridor activities include convening meetings and conferences, inter-institution faculty and graduate student research, faculty and student exchanges, as well as public programs. Examples of recent Working Groups sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor include:

Philosophy Research Cluster: Late Antiquity Working Group
Representing faculty, visiting scholars, and doctoral candidates in Religious Studies, Classics, History, and Art History from Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Rochester, and the New York Six, this Working Group organizes annual workshops and symposia on topics including “Senses, Affect, and the Imagination in Late Antiquity” and “Aesthetics in Late Antiquity”.

Linguistics Research Cluster: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Discourse
Interdisciplinary workshops bring together philosophers, linguists, psychologists, and computer scientists to explore research on how we communicate concepts including generalities, pluralities, and first-person perspectives.

Visual Art & Culture Research Cluster: New Media Art Practice (nMap)
At the intersection of art and science, this Working Group brings together scholars, researchers, and artists in an interdisciplinary dialogue on the challenges of exhibiting, curating, and archiving new media. Investigating questions around the potentials and limitations of technologies, aesthetics and ethics, and mediums of presentation (digital art, interactive art, game, digital fabrication, robotics, bio art, and sound art), nMAP showcases artists’ practices through artists’ lectures, along with new media workshops, performances, and symposia.

Musicology and Music History Research Cluster: Teaching Exchanges
Faculty from Syracuse University’s Department of Art and Music Histories, Cornell University’s Department of Music, and University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music lead undergraduate classes and graduate seminars as guest instructors at one of the other participating institutions.

Digital Humanities Research Cluster: Digital Witness Symposium
This annual multi-campus symposium, featuring a rotating panel of international speakers, considers how digital processes and logistics of computation stimulate new ways of conceptualizing human rights and social justice media; how human rights media have embraced the opportunities opened up by virtual environments, geo-mapping and serious games; and dynamics of transnational collaboration and collective storytelling in the digital era.

Literature, Language and Culture Research Cluster: CNY Poets & Writers
A coalition of writers and from Syracuse University, Colgate University and Hamilton College, this Working Group combines the established regional resources in Creative Writing and scholarship through activities that exchange the literary resources among the three schools in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. This collaboration brings faculty and students in contact with each other to participate in readings, seminars, interviews, and master classes conducted by writer/practitioner faculty at these institutions, as well as non-faculty writers invited to give readings and classes.

Archives and Media Research Cluster: Digital Conservation
Interdisciplinary research spanning the humanities and the applied sciences, combining expertise in archaeology, art and architectural history, structural engineering, and 3D visualization to structurally preserve major archaeological monuments of the World Cultural Heritage. This Working Group has hosted a major international conference in this field.

For more information including the latest news, visit the Central New York Humanities Corridor website.

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