Support The Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University
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The Johns Hopkins University Humanities Center is one of the oldest and most prestigious interdisciplinary departments in the country. The Johns Hopkins administration has repeatedly stated its commitment to the humanities. It is currently considering the closure of the Humanities Center effective July, 2017.
In the fifty years since its foundation, the Humanities Center has established, maintained, and renewed a stellar national and international reputation as a vibrant department where teaching and research are inseparable, intellectual problems are studied in their disciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects and, when necessary, at the margins of prevalent norms and canons.
Numerous undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members in other departments have benefited from its work, as they attend interdisciplinary seminars and engage with outstanding speakers from a variety of countries. The Humanities Center stands for interdisciplinary work that is guided by intellectual curiosity and concerned with pressing global issues.
Through its distinctive intellectual and pedagogical profile, the Humanities Center has formed generations of innovative young scholars, promoted precious and productive conversations across the humanities and social sciences, and played a crucial role in maintaining Hopkins’ reputation in the fields of humanistic studies in the U.S. and abroad.
Every external and internal departmental review of the Humanities Center, including the most recent ones held in 2014 and 2015, has praised the Center and strongly recommended active administrative support for its pedagogical and scholarly pursuits. The potential closure of the Humanities Center would be at odds with those reports, with the judgment of the scholarly communities at home and abroad, and with President Daniels' stated commitment to strengthen the humanities at Hopkins.
We urge President Daniels to allow the Humanities Center to continue to thrive and to avoid any decision that would bring irreparable damage to the humanities at Hopkins and to the reputation of the university as a teaching and research oriented institution invested in all academic fields.
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