Center for Humanistic Inquiry

CHI's theme for 2017-19, SPEECH/IMAGE/SPECTACLE, invites inquiry into the politics, aesthetics, technologies, genealogies, and epistemologies of public discourse. Over the course of two years we will explore the ways we generate, encode, and circulate meaning through representation, inquiring after the nature and effects of speech, image, and spectacle on the senses, on human subjectivity, and on politics and sociality.

Located at the heart of campus in Frost Library, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) provides space and resources for Amherst faculty and departments to engage a broad vision of the role humanistic thinking can play in scholarly and public life. In addition, we play a role in Amherst’s civic life, hosting town halls and offering programming that addresses issues significant to the entire campus community.  Each year we invite several fellows into residency at the Center to conduct research and collaborate with each other under the rubric of a resonant theme.

Junot Díaz to Headline LitFest 2018

Portrait of Junot Díaz

Organized by CHI, The Common literary magazine and The Emily Dickinson Museum, this year’s festival features Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, 2017 National Book Award finalists Carmen Maria Machado and Min Jin Lee, and 2017 National Book Award winner and Amherst professor Masha Gessen, among others.

LitFest 2018 Schedule