The Humanities and Arts

The Task Force:

Aching, Gerard Romance Studies and Africana Studies
Anker, Liz English
Fleming, Paul German Studies
Frank, Jason Government
Ghosh, Durba History and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Glickman, Larry History
Haenni, Sabine Performing and Media Arts; American Studies; and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Haines Eitzen, Kim Near Eastern Studies
Mann, Jenny English
McEnaney, Tom Comparative Literature
McNulty, Tracy Comparative Literature and Romance Studies
Pereboom, Derk Philosophy
Platt, Verity Classics and History of Art and Visual Studies
Richards, Annette Music
Robcis, Camille History and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Smith, Adam Anthropology
Van Clief-Stefanon, Lyrae English
Villarejo, Amy Performing and Media Arts and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Woods, Mary Architecture


The Charge:

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 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?

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