Center for the Arts and Humanities
Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities promotes the pivotal role of the arts and humanities in the intellectual life of the College and the community, and it promotes the long-term benefits of the skills developed and knowledge produced through humanistic research. Unique among its college peers, the center partners with and empowers students to find meaning in their lives, to creatively engage with the world, and to chart a new course inspired by transformative experiences. The CAH is an incubator for the biggest and brightest ideas of students and faculty. Through its grant programs and events, students hone their capacities for analytical thought as well as the ability to read, write, and speak with critical rigor. Celebrating imagination, aesthetic senses, and talents in creative expression, the CAH offers and inspires readiness to live in, contribute to, and learn from a diverse society.
Initiatives of the CAH include
- Annual Theme: Each year a campus-wide, interdisciplinary theme animates our community by exploring a particular topic through exhibits, speakers, performances, and course work.
- Humanities Labs: Courses in arts and humanities build in experiential learning through observation, hands-on experimentation, and skill-building practices.
- Events: Inspirational speakers, performances, screenings, and collaborative programming enliven the campus and foster a vibrant cultural community.
- Student Grants: The center offers research grants to fund the most ambitious and brightest students, supporting arts and humanities research projects almost anywhere in the world. Big Ideas grants provide students the seed money to pursue an innovative project, idea, or event related to their creative and intellectual pursuits in the humanities and humanistic disciplines; research grants support the most innovative and creative scholarship of student pursuits; and Team grants offer the ability to partner with a Colby faculty member in a collaborative exploration of the arts and humanities.
- Summer Internships in the Arts: Through paid internships at cultural institutions in the Waterville area, the center offers opportunities for students to gain professional experience while learning about arts administration and marketing, arts and economic development, arts and culture education, and festival management.
- Environmental Humanities: The center runs a range of programs, including a world-class Summer Institute in the Environmental Humanities, a faculty seminar, and Fauna, an environmental and literary arts magazine. The EH Initiative encourages students and faculty alike to bring the power of the arts and humanities to bear on the most pressing environmental issues of our time.
- Public Humanistic Inquiry Lab (PHIL): A PHIL offers space for a three-year, multidisciplinary inquiry where a research group confronts questions and problems of crucial civic importance. It is an incubator of collaborative research located at the intersections between disciplines within the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and between the academy and our community partners. The inaugural PHIL, “Critical Medical Humanities: Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Medicine,” runs from 2021-2024 and explores the relationship between medicine and race.