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Cornell’s Society for the Humanities

The Society is a research institute.Located in the former mansion of A. D. White, the Society for the Humanities has long provided humanists at Cornell with a space for intellectual exchange transcending departmental and disciplinary boundaries. Cornell President Jeffrey S. Lehman’s recent call for the reassessment of Cornell’s “revolutionary” intellectual traditions provides the opportunity to remember that Cornell’s Society for the Humanities is one of the oldest centers of its kind in the country. It was founded in 1965, by the eminent philosopher, Max Black, in the belief that the most innovative questions for any discipline could be generated in the process of explaining itself to others.

The Society has always played a dual role at Cornell. It is a research institute, housing 12–13 full-time fellows who meet for weekly colloquia and, for the duration of their time there, pursue writing and research unencumbered by routine institutional obligations.

In addition to its fellows program, the Society sponsors a panoply of intellectual and cultural events throughout the academic year.


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