Established in 2014, The Heyman Center for the Humanities Public Humanities Initiative fosters and enhances community engagement with the humanities at Columbia and university engagement with Columbia’s diverse neighboring communities. Often collaborating with other Columbia centers and institutes, with local educational and cultural institutions, and with community organizations, it sponsors a wide range of programming, service, and research activities intended to interest and include audiences beyond the university.
The Heyman Center is Columbia University's central site for the Humanities.
The Heyman Center for the Humanities provides the intellectual and physical space for interdisciplinary discussions among members of the Columbia community and the New York City public. It brings together faculty and students from across the university—from the humanities, social and natural sciences, law, medicine, journalism, and the arts—to share thinking, debate ideas, and collectively consider methodological, conceptual, and ethical issues of common interest and concern. It sponsors public lectures, readings, conferences, and performances, fosters scholarly and artistic collaborations, and offers meeting spaces for its various affiliated members. Its Public Humanities programs serve people in neighboring communities who have limited access to, or who might uniquely benefit from, focused humanities programming—including incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, and those who are economically disadvantaged.
A list of our conferences, lectures, discussions, poetry readings and other performances can be found under "Events" on this website. A description of our Public Humanities Initiative can be found below.
Since it was built in the late 1970s, the Center has been home to the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia, a group of postdoctoral fellows supported by generous funding from the Mellon and Kenan foundations. In the coming years, the Heyman Center, in collaboration with the Society of Fellows, plans to offer additional fellowships to junior and senior faculty both at Columbia and from other universities.
The Heyman Center also houses Columbia's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, the Society of Senior Scholars--a group of emeritus faculty who teach primarily in the Core Curriculum--and The Friends of the Heyman Center. All of these groups host seminars and colloquia of their own throughout the year. The Lionel Trilling Seminars and the Edward Said Memorial Lecture are also based at the Heyman Center. Notices for these can be found in the Events section of our website.
The Heyman Center is a member of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.
Funded by The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University, the Heyman Center for the Humanities (HCH), working closely with the Arts & Sciences, appoints Heyman Center Fellows each academic year. These yearlong fellowships provide four junior and four senior Columbia faculty with course relief that allows them to reduce their teaching loads to a minimum of one course per semester during the award year in order to conduct research and to participate in a regular weekly seminar, chaired by the Faculty Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities. Four post-MPhil graduate students are also appointed, receiving a $5,000 research allowance for their participation.
The Friends of the Heyman Center, under the direction of Gareth Williams, Violin Family Professor of Classics and Chair, Department of Classics, sponsors colloquia on topics of wide-ranging appeal, registration for which is open to the public.