Humanities Corridor


About The Central New York Humanities Corridor

The Central New York Humanities Corridor is a unique regional collaboration between:

Download the 2015 CNY Humanities Corridor Annual Report here.

The Corridor is designed to:

  • Enhance the profile, scholarly prominence, and impact of interdisciplinary humanities in Central New York;
  • Advance individual and collaborative teaching, research, and public engagement in the humanities;
  • Increase connectivity and collaboration among academic humanists throughout the region;
  • Foster cross-institutional partnerships and resource-sharing mechanisms in emerging and established scholarly fields; and
  • Enhance the productivity of its key scholars, students, and community members.

Each year more than 3,500 faculty, students, and community members participate in upwards of 200 Corridor-sponsored activities. The Corridor stands as a pioneering interdisciplinary humanities consortium, spanning Central and Upstate New York in seven selected fields of shared scholarly strengths called Research Clusters:

  • Philosophy;
  • Linguistics;
  • Visual Arts and Culture;
  • Musicology and Music History;
  • Digital Humanities;
  • Literature, Language and Culture; and
  • Archives and Media.

The Central New York Humanities Corridor further enriches the regional humanities landscape through its sponsorship of:

  • Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowships;
  • Residencies by Distinguished Visiting Collaborators; and
  • Support for faculty and student intra-Corridor travel to activities on other campuses. 


Humanities centers have become nimble collaborators ...One of the most successful such collaborations is the Central New York Humanities Corridor, launched with Mellon Funds in 2006, that links humanities centers and faculty at Cornell and Syracuse Universities, the University of Rochester, and the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium representing Colgate and St. Lawrence Universities and Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith, Skidmore, and Union Colleges. 

-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 2014 Annual Report: President's Report

 The humanities are the cornerstone of a liberal arts education, teaching us to think critically, to solve problems, and to communicate effectively. Since its founding in 2006, The Central New York Humanities Corridor has shaped a scholarly community, freed from disciplinary and departmental silos, playing a strategic regional role linking scholars across New York State. 

While no single faculty body can cover all the areas of specialization that figure into the fields of philosophy, linguistics, art, musicology, and literature, The Corridor leverages existing programmatic and institutional strengths to cultivate new synergies between its campuses. The Corridor’s programs permit scholars at one institution to work alongside colleagues with complementary interests at any of its affiliated schools. Through these connections between larger research universities and smaller liberal arts colleges, The Corridor impacts a broad swath of Upstate and Central New York, facilitating the scholarship and professional development of its faculty and students.


Central New York Humanities Corridor Endowment Award 

In 2014 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a total of $3.55 million to The Central New York Humanities Corridor, permanently endowing The Corridor at each of its three founding institutions:

  • $2 million at Syracuse University (plus a $300,000 expendable gift);
  • $750,000 at Cornell University; and
  • $500,000 at University of Rochester.

Related Article(s):    
Syracuse University News Release
Cornell University News Release
University of Rochester News Release
Inside Philanthropy: "What Does Mellon's Big Vision for the Humanities Look Like?"

Endowment Campaign 

By the end of 2017, The Central New York Humanities Corridor will raise a total of $3.25 million to match The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s endowment awards. The matching funds will bring the total Corridor endowment to $6.5 million to support The Corridor's mission of increasing connectivity and collaboration and fostering cross-institutional partnerships in perpetuity. Matching funds will be raised chiefly through a combination of foundations as well as principal and major gifts.  

Pre-Endowment Planning Meetings

On Saturday October 17, 2015 CNY Humanities Corridor administrators, past and current faculty working group coordinators, and potential future collaborators gathered at the Syracuse University Humanities Center to review the Corridor’s evolution and activities over the past decade and begin discussion of  the creation of an advisory board for the Corridor’s endowment period, which will begin in 2018. The minutes of the 2015 planning meeting are available for download here

This was the first of three annual meetings planned during the Corridor's pre-endowment phase (2015 – 2017), to gather feedback and ideas from past and current stakeholders at each institution for implementation in the endowment period. The 2016 pre-endowment planning meeting will take place at Cornell University. In 2017, we plan to meet at the University of Rochester. In addition to being the final pre-endowment planning meeting, this will also be the inaugural meeting of the CNY Humanities Corridor's advisory board.