Mission and Core Values


To temporarily shelter disciplinary research in a time of institutional volatility.

To provide a location for new forms of inquiry and new research topics that cannot be readily accommodated in existing disciplinary frameworks or curricula (always keeping the need for new models of assessment in mind).

To actively construct a nexus of connectivity between the local university culture, the surrounding community, and local cultural institutions, bridging the divide between creation and analysis in the arts and humanities.

To visibly network the physical location of the Humanities Center to regional, national, and international sites realizing the continued importance of conferences and colloquia, including new digital formats.


Collaborative and interdisciplinary, the Syracuse University Humanities Center prioritizes “connectivity”—extending academic interchange and innovative thinking beyond academic walls—to serve as an academic-community bridge for anchoring dialogues about the public possibilities of humanistic inquiry. This mission is actualized according to the following principles (or “core values”) that are the basis of all our programs and activities:

Promoting the scholarly excellence and the visibility of the Humanities at Syracuse University in all three models of humanistic inquiry: historical disciplinary research, transdisciplinary research comprising knowledge produced between disciplines as well as new fields of inquiry, and publicly-engaged research connecting with multiple communities both on and off campus.

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research in the traditional Humanities by offering a supportive climate that acknowledges not only the increasing demands for the creation of new knowledge, but also the real difficulties in developing new modes of making knowledge, especially those that do not fit into traditional disciplinary boundaries or institutional cultures. In other words, when new knowledge is generated by multidisciplinary analysis, networked interactions, or completely new approaches to familiar questions, issues of assessment and validity are sure to arise. In addressing these issues, which are sure to occur with greater frequency in a digital age, one of the primary roles of the Syracuse University Humanities Center is to find new means of support for groups, individuals, programs, and research endeavors that aim to push the boundaries of historical or traditional respective fields of knowledge.

Supporting the advancement of Humanistic Research through public exhibitions and annual programs in Arts and Culture at Syracuse University and in the CNY Region. Too often the creative arts and the academic humanities are treated as distinct endeavors, either in the creative process by practitioners themselves, or by funding agencies and foundations. No longer viewing both activities as separate, the Syracuse University Humanities Center is committed to synthesizing the energies of creative and analytical work in the humanities and the arts, including architecture, studies in visual and contemporary culture, as well as in supporting the creation of new artworks, performances, and exhibitions in the process.