globalHumanitiesInitiative
 
 
 
 
 
UVa campus, Charlottesville 
The GHI is delighted to announce its first conference at the Humanities Center of the University of Virginia in the last week of April, 2011
UVa campus, Charlottesville
 
 
 
Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi 
GHI’s second conference will be at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi in the second week of August, 2011. This convention will address contemporary sub-continental concerns on humanities studies and relate those to larger spatial and temporal issues
Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi
 
 
  • The Global Humanities Initiative is the flagship project of margHumanities and its international face. At base, it is a partnership between Michael Levenson, founding director of the Humanities Center of the University of Virginia, and us, for a conference series to be held in Charlottesville (Virginia), New Delhi and other collaborating centres/university departments in different parts of the world over the next three years, and publications arising out of these deliberations. These conferences and volumes will take forward discussions, arguments and action-resolutions about the state of the Humanities globally, agreeing that while it is a global concern it is not made up of a set of globally or universally-identifiable matrices and so must be carefully discerned and understood.

  • The GHI will operate from a position of radical dissent to all received wisdom about the death of the Humanities.

  •  The Global Humanities Initiative does not, in fact, even assume a ‘crisis’ in the Humanities; it refuses a short-term perspective on both its problems and its prospects. It is built on the premise that there are ways and means by which those who are its practitioners know how to resist measures of containment and sustain themselves, to find alternative modes of existence which do not diminish them in any way but do indeed strengthen their work and their resolve for having been challenged.

  • Indeed by several other important measures the Humanities are in a flourishing state, especially in comparison to other fields of public discourse. Excellent students are pursuing advanced degrees; interdisciplinary research continues to refine its methods; young and established scholars publish work that is recognized as significant and sometimes ground-breaking. Whatever serious difficulties may confront distinct fields in different countries, the Humanities are not likely to disappear; they are more likely to sustain themselves over the next generations, to continue to produce significant research, and to attract first-rate students. But on what terms? At what scale? Under what constraints? Fashioning what kind of resistance?

  • The GHI will address the reach of implication posed by such questions; it will also respect the specificity and variety of circumstances. These include differences of geography, but also differences of discipline and generation. The problems confronting philosophers in Kenya cannot be simply identified with those facing young musicologists in Japan or senior historians of art in the Caribbean. Acknowledgment of the diverse settings is indispensable to the work of the GHI. There are, of course, trans-national and cross-disciplinary perspectives on central questions recurrent around the world.  Even as new research increasingly traverses national boundaries and university departments, and as scholars and students pursue international partnerships, the difficulties of the Humanities have taken on a global character. The pervasive valorization of science and technology, the top-down rationalization of curriculum, the restrictions in budget, journalistic caricatures: these are shared problems that cross boundaries of discipline and nation. Any effort to appraise the current state must recognize the scale of the problem as requiring fully international collaboration, dialogue and debate.

  • The GHI will further and facilitate these debates by talking, arguing, and framing dissent to all nay-sayers. While it will not be naive enough to insist that there is no threat, it will be bright-eyed enough to impel action to confront and diffuse such threat.

      
 
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