New name, enduring vision

Irena Polic and Nathaniel Deutsch
Irena Polic, managing director, and Nathaniel Deutsch, director.

In an effort to better reflect our mission of academic research and public engagement, The Institute for Humanities Research is now The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.

Since the institute was founded in 1999, it has been committed to cultivating humanities research by supporting hundreds of individual faculty, graduate, and undergraduate fellows, as well as collaborations across campus and with other universities around the world.

Over nearly two decades, our work has evolved and our reach and impact have grown. We are now one of the few humanities institutes dedicated to matching research development with a public mission.

Historically, these two camps have been separated. We’re proud to bridge this gap and believe that our humanistic training and ideas, rooted in rigorous scholarly research, can inform public discourse and be accessible to everyone.

In recent years, we have committed ourselves to engaging with the broadest community possible—from first-generation students, to local residents, to anyone interested in compelling ideas and making sense of this increasingly complex world.

This effort will be on display later this month in the latest of our Questions That Matter events in downtown Santa Cruz. Freedom and Race will feature Jennifer Gonzalez, professor of history of art and visual culture, and Tyler Stovall, dean of the Humanities Division and a professor of history, in a conversation that focuses on the relationship between freedom and race, which continues to vex the United States and the rest of the world.

Our new name—The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz—better represents our expanded and unique mission. And our new website is better suited as a platform for this rich engagement with the broader community, making all of our work easier to access.

Visit our website and see for yourself, then take a moment to share our announcement on social media. This is going to be a big year and we want to make sure you are part of it.