Center for Humanistic Inquiry

The Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) provides resources for Amherst faculty, staff, and students to engage a broad vision of the role humanistic thinking can play in scholarly and public life. 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. The Center also hosts performances, forums, exhibitions, digital interventions, conferences, and workshops designed to foster humanities inquiry.



Position Announcement: CHI Program Coordinator

Amherst College invites applications for the Center for Humanistic Inquiry Program Coordinator. The CHI Program Coordinator manages the operations of the CHI and ensures that the center runs smoothly. The Program Coordinator organizes and coordinates CHI events and activities. The Coordinator is responsible for the administration of all CHI finances, human resource administration, and management of the facility. This position works collaboratively with a diverse group of colleagues, including college faculty and staff and offices in the areas of fiscal administration and Human Resources management to achieve the strategic goals of the CHI and the college at large.

LitFest 2022 - Illuminating Great Writing

Four book covers in a row

Thursday, February 24–Sunday, February 27, 2022

Now in its seventh year, Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s lineup includes Pulitzer Prize winners Natalie Diaz and Presidential Scholar Viet Thanh Nguyen; 2021 National Book Award nominees Katie Kitamura and Elizabeth McCracken; and journalists Vann Newkirk and David Graham.

Presidential Scholar Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen headshot
Author, critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times, and MacArthur Fellow Viet Thanh Nguyen

In residence February 24-27 as part of LitFest 2022

The Presidential Scholars Program brings some of the most distinguished voices in the area of anti-racist scholarship and policy to Amherst for short-term residencies. Author, critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times, and MacArthur Fellow, Viet Thanh Nguyen is professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize, was a Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner, and made the finalist list for the PEN/Faulkner award. The Committed, published in 2021, has been called “a masterwork” and “revelatory.” He gives the keynote at LitFest 2022.

Visit the Presidential Scholars website

Where Are They Now? - Caterina Scaramelli

Caterina with cactus plants in foreground
"The collaborative, generous, collegial interdisciplinary environment I found at CHI and Amherst College remains a source of inspiration for me. "

"Where Are They Now?" is a series of profiles on CHI Fellow alumni.

Caterina Scaramelli served as a CHI Fellow in 2016-17 under the theme "Conservation," and, the following year, as a Keiter Fellow in Amherst's Department of Anthropology & Sociology. She works at the intersection of environmental anthropology; science, technology, and society (STS); and environmental history. She is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Anthropology and of Earth and Environment at Boston University and has recently published her first monograph, How to Make a Wetland: Water and Moral Ecology in Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2021).

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