Critical Inquiry into Values, Imagination and Culture (CIVIC)

Cornell is anticipating the launch of a number of strategic initiatives that seek to enhance our scholarship and teaching, and to give new impulses to the enthusiasm, collaboration, and sense of purpose surrounding research, teaching, and outreach that has characterized our academic community. Through these initiatives we seek to develop plans that will help shape the direction of interdisciplinary research and advance Cornell’s stature by attracting and retaining the most outstanding faculty and catalyzing their interactions. With its distinguished history of exemplary scholarship, practice and teaching, the humanities and the liberal and fine arts are central to these initiatives – and to the educational mission of the Cornell.

The Charge

The Task Force on the Humanities and Arts will address the following questions:

  1. What are Cornell’s key strengths in the humanities and arts and how can we augment these for the future?
  2. Are there “strategic enabling areas” in which Cornell should invest to enhance our scholarship and academic reputation?
  3. Would a faculty hiring initiative that focuses on particular subject areas, themes and/or methods be beneficial in further distinguishing Cornell in the arts and humanities?
  4. What infrastructure initiatives will enhance success?
  5. Is the Society for the Humanities optimally configured to enhance interdisciplinary research in the humanities on this campus?
  6. Are the departments and centers well configured to enhance the attractiveness and highlight the advantages of the study of the arts and humanities?
  7. How might Cornell, through its teaching and scholarship, more effectively articulate the compelling benefits of a liberal arts education at a time in which science, technology and business appear to be so dominant in higher education?
  8. Are there opportunities to better integrate the liberal arts and humanities with the practice-based performing, design and fine arts?
  9. Are there interdisciplinary areas in the humanities and arts (such as media studies, digital humanities, inequality studies, or environmental studies) that would combine with and complement Cornell’s other strategic initiatives in data science, social sciences, sustainability, genome biology, or nanoscience?
  10. What are the highest priority investments that would enhance the humanities and arts? Are there opportunities through collaborations that would increase the impact of current investments?
  11. What changes in the curriculum, major requirements and general education courses in the arts and humanities might enhance their attractiveness and impact on Cornell undergraduates?

CIVIC Advisory Board, 2021-22

Name Field
Jeremy Braddock (Chair) Literatures in English, Media Studies
Anna Sims Bartel Einhorn Center for Community Engagement
Eliza Bettinger Lead Librarian for Digital Scholarship, CUL
Erik Born German Studies, Medieval Studies, Media Studies
Jeffrey Chusid City and Regional Planning
Paul Fleming Society for the Humanities, German Studies, Comparative Literature
Durba Ghosh History, FGSS
Tao Leigh Goffe Africana Studies, FGSS, Media Studies
Denise N. Green Fiber Science; Curator of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection
Sabine Haenni Chair of Performing and Media Arts, Media Studies, American Studies
Lee H. Humphreys Communication, Media Studies
Bruce V. Lewenstein Science and Technology Studies, Communication
Jessica Levin Martinez Director of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Tracy McNulty Chair of Comparative Literature
Verity Platt Chair of Classics; History of Art; Archaeology/CIAMS
Natasha Raheja Anthropology, Media Studies
Nick Salvato Performing and Media Arts, Media Studies
Suman Seth Chair of Science and Technology Studies, FGSS
Parisa Vaziri Comparative Literature, Near Eastern Studies, Media Studies
Stephen Vider Director of the Public History Initiative, History, FGSS

More Information

Resulting Initiatives