Forums Address Current Concerns
Inaugurated in 2017 by director Susan Mizruchi, the Center’s forums are designed as intellectual open-air markets that further the exchange of ideas between scholars in humanities fields and others who stand to benefit from addressing social problems and their prospective solutions together with humanists.
Forum 2019, Can We Talk: Dialogue and Debate in the Contemporary Academy, explored one of the biggest challenges facing universities today: the question of how to promote honest intellectual exchange. In fall 2020, we plan to continue the work begun in Forum 2019 through three working groups of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty and staff.
Our subject in Forum 2017 was Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age, while Forum 2018 treated Humanities Approaches to the Opioid Crisis. In these previous forums, we reached beyond our academic borders to highlight what humanities fields have to offer a broader public.
Partnering with the Boston Public Library and the Boston Athenæum for Forum 2017, and with area schools of public health and medicine, and representatives of city, state, and federal government for Forum 2018, we demonstrated how humanities disciplines provide languages that address social problems. The goal both years was to initiate local, national, and global conversations with experts at both academic and non-academic institutions.