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UC San Diego Launches Institute of Arts and Humanities

Image: Faculty and language instructors in the Japanese Studies program. Photo: Japanese Studies.

Faculty and language instructors in the Japanese Studies program. Photo: Japanese Studies.

The University of California, San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities is growing to better address important global issues. One of its new enterprises is the Institute of Arts and Humanities (IAH), a centripetal hub established to unify several existing programs that have been operating independently within the division. With a new website and offices established on the first floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, students, faculty and the public with broad humanistic interest have a place at UC San Diego to turn.

“This overarching entity serves as a consolidated, yet richly diverse, resource for improving the effectiveness of humanities study as it impacts our fast-evolving, interconnected world,” said the division’s Dean Cristina Della Coletta, who considers this a critical objective reflective of UC San Diego’s #1 ranking in the nation for its impact on society (Washington Monthly, 2015 College Guide).

According to Della Coletta, the IAH functions to help bridge cultural gaps at individual and systemic levels.

Image: Discussion group from Italian Studies. Photo: Italian Studies.

Discussion group from Italian Studies. Photo: Italian Studies.

“By supporting the division’s diverse independent programs,” explained Della Coletta, “the IAH elevates the role of arts and humanities on campus through cross-divisional and cross-campus education programs, through centers dedicated to specific regional or cultural studies, and through agile lab-style research collaborations and initiatives focused on multidisciplinary themes.”

Twelve different programs under the institute offer students majors and minors in areas ranging from African American studies to German studies, from Japanese studies to Jewish studies and from Middle East studies to Science studies. Each program operates with a faculty director and a small staff dedicated to guiding students through their major and minor programs of study.

The IAH also encompasses two existing division centers: the Center for the Humanities and the Center for Hellenic Studies.

The Division of Arts and Humanities dean and staff is currently considering several faculty applicants for the role of IAH director, who will implement the mission of the IAH.

Interim director Tara Knight, associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion as well as a member of the Department of Theatre & Dance faculty, said, “IAH is an exciting resource for facilitating collaborative, multidimensional and cross-cultural research projects and initiatives for UC San Diego faculty and students.”

For more information, please visit the website.