The CHI welcomes a new Visiting Scholar

Sponsored by the New England Humanities Consortium's Faculty of Color Working Group, Filmmaker Anaiis Cisco joins the college for 2021-22

Anaiis Cisco is a filmmaker and assistant professor of moving image production in film and media studies at Smith College. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in cinema from San Francisco State University, where she was awarded a 2018 Princess Grace Award (Louis D. Srybnik Film Award) for her graduate thesis film, <i>Drip Like Coffee.</i> Cisco teaches digital video production courses as she develops media that explores the emotional and internal journeys of Black characters, confronting intimate moments of violence and trauma in diverse story worlds. Her research fellowship at Amherst is part of a new program administered by the New England Humanities Consortium's Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG) and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Digital Humanities at Amherst College!

Digital Humanities is an aspect of scholarly activity in the humanities that is advanced through the use of digital technologies, opening new avenues of inquiry. Check out projects by Amherst College faculty, students, and staff!

Update on the Lyceum construction

April 3, 2023

The building team has shared the latest drone flyby video of the construction of the Lyceum, the new home for the CHI!

Humanities in the News

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The Amherst Student takes a look at the ending year at the CHI

Emma Burd '26 summarizes the most important events of the 2022-23 academic year at the CHI and pays tribute to the "Black: Here and Now" theme and symposium.

The Amherst Student article
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Sweet the Sound

Outgoing CHI Director Darryl Harper bids farewell

I step away from this directorship with gratitude for the many connections I have made with colleagues across the college. What a privilege it has been to occupy this space, here in the library, designed to sit outside departmental interests, and to bring colleagues together around big, important questions about our humanity...If the Center for Humanistic Inquiry has a sound, it is a sweet one.   

Humanities in the News

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How Amherst is Handling the Crisis of the Humanities

The editorial board of "The Amherst Student" takes notice on the current crisis of the humanities and the steps Amherst College is taking to push back against this crisis.

The Amherst Student Editorial

Presidential Scholar in Residence

Saidiya Hartman photo


Saidiya Hartman is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where her major fields of inquiry are African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law and literature, and performance studies. Author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth-Century America (1997), Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route ( 2007), and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (2020), she is on the editorial board of Callaloo and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships.

Read more about Presidential Scholars

LACOL Summer Courses 2023

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Digital Humanities and Applied Machine Learning

Liberal Arts Collaborative for Digital Innovation (LACOL) invites all Amherst College students to participate in one or both non-credit 8-week summer courses. Both courses are fully online with synchronous and asynchronous elements and run from June 7 until August 4. Deadline: April 10.

Read more and apply
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The next director of the Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Chris Grobe takes the helm of the CHI

Christopher Grobe, associate professor of English, has been appointed as the next director of Amherst’s Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI). Chris’s four-year term in this position will begin on July 1, 2023. Darryl Harper, John William Ward Professor of Music, will complete his term as the director of the CHI at the conclusion of this academic year.

Humanities in the News:

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More on the decrease in humanities enrollments

The New Yorker staff writer Nathan Heller investigates in his recent article, provocatively titled "The End of the English Major," why enrollment in the humanities have been in free fall in many colleges and universities. 

Read the New Yorker article

Presidential Scholar Hilton Als, February 24-26

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Hilton Als won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2017. Among his many honors, he also was awarded a Guggenheim for creative writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism in 2002. The Presidential Scholars Program brings some of the most distinguished voices in the area of anti-racist scholarship and policy to Amherst College for short-term residencies. During their time at Amherst, visiting scholars hold seminars, meet with students, faculty, and staff, and give a public presentation as part of the President's Colloquim on Race and Racism. Als's residency is co-sponsored by LitFest and the Mead Art Museum.


Friday, February 24
5:00 p.m. - Curator’s Talk, “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin,” an exhibit curated for the Mead Art Museum by Hilton Als

6:00 p.m. - Reception for featured LitFest authors and for the opening of the Mead exhibit “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin"

Saturday, February 25
2:00 p..m. - Craft Talk on curatorial practice (students only)

Sunday, February 26
1:00 p.m. - Hilton Als in conversation with Professor Frank Leon Roberts (English) as part of the President's Colloquium on Race and Racism. Introductions and remarks by President Michael A. Elliott

An Interview with Hilton Als


Amherst College President Michael A. Elliott interviews Hilton Als in anticipation of his Presidential Scholar Residency, February 23–26, 2023. In addition to visiting classes, Als' visit includes participating in LitFest and speaking about his exhibit, “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin,” in Mead Art Museum.