Humanities Center Statement of Support and Commitment

5 June 2020

The Humanities Center at Carleton College expresses its deep sorrow and rage at the brutal killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who have been murdered and dehumanized by the police and by the systems of white supremacy that characterize our nation and its history. We also express our support for our black and brown students, colleagues, and community members who are suffering while also being subjected to the trauma of state violence and threats against them, in the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected African American, low-income, vulnerable, and marginalized communities in our country. And while those involved in our programs come from many walks of life, we are mindful that we carry out our mission in an elite and predominately white institution and in a society marked by institutionalized racism, and that we therefore need to work hard to ensure that our programs are inclusive and attentive to inequalities. 

We reaffirm and redouble our commitment to the support of programming and scholarship that explores the human condition in all its complexity, in a wide range of traditions and cultures, with careful, sensitive, and nuanced study of texts, histories, practices, institutions, and artistic forms of expression, and with regard to complicated legacies of injustice, untold stories of resilience, difficult questions of ethics, and important issues of public significance. We strive to be a center that is inclusive, critically engaged, welcoming, celebratory, and honest in its work. And we end our year in solidarity with those who have suffered during this difficult time, and mindful of the important work the humanities can and should do to understand the historical roots of contemporary problems and to partner with others in addressing pressing societal questions and needs. 

As Carleton’s Humanities Center, moving forward we commit ourselves to highlight and prioritize the funding of events and research that focus on issues such as racial justice and systemic inequality, and we are eager to explore how the humanities at Carleton can help lead on these issues.

  • Lori Pearson, Director, Humanities Center; Professor of Religion
  • Austin Mason, Assistant Director for Digital Humanities

Humanities Center Advisory Board for 2019-20: 

  • Arnab Chakladar (English; Asian Studies) 
  • Clara Hardy (Classics) 
  • Adeeb Khalid (History; Middle Eastern Studies) 
  • Alex Knodell (Classics; Archaeology)
  • Sandra Rousseau (French and Francophone Studies) 
  • David Tompkins (History; European Studies) 
  • Cherlon Ussery (Linguistics)

Posted In