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Director's Message

In her introduction to The Posthumanism, philosopher Rosi Braidotti begins by paying tribute to the values that she sees at the heart of humanities.  What inspires the best of humanist scholarship, she writes, is “the dream of producing social relevant knowledge that is attuned to basic principles of social justice, the respect for human decency and diversity, the rejection of false universalisms; the affiirmation of the positivity of difference; the principles of academic freedom, anti-racism, openness to others and conviviality.” These are some of the key values that have sustained the Calgary Institute for the Humanities over the course of its history, and which continue to inspire us to foster what she calls “communities of learning,”communities that are characterized by openness and conviviality.

2016-2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, Canada’s oldest humanities institute.  The CIH was founded to support and promote high quality humanities research at the University of Calgary, and it does this by playing host to scholars who produce some of the most exciting and innovative research in the university University.  This year, our research fellows are are applying digital methods to re-examine medieval texts; looking at the role of the producer in the Canadian film industry; exploring the significance of classical funerary architecture; and identifying some of the non-literary sources of the Spanish literary masterpiece Don Quixote.

Like other humanities instititutes, our mission has expanded over time.  Beyond our key role in supporting humanities research at the university, the CIH has played a central role in building bridges of learning to the broader community.  The CIH has been a pioneer in community-based research, holding our Community Seminar each year to address issues of concern to the broader community.  The results have been published in over twenty books, and broadcast worldwide via CBC Ideas.  And like other humanities institutes, the CIH seeks to foster the most innovative interdisciplinary conversations, by bringing together scholars from different disciplines to address common issues from a variety of perspectives.

In everything we do, the CIH seeks to contribute to the public good by promoting the core values of the humanities.  We hope you will join in our convivial community of learning, at one or more of the many events we’ll host in the coming year.

- Jim Ellis, Director, CIH

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