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This year the Oregon Humanities Center (OHC) celebrates its 40th anniversary. Founded in 1983 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the mission of the OHC expanded in 1987 to include research, teaching, and public programming. Since then, the OHC has funded the research endeavors of hundreds of UO faculty and graduate students, developed two programs for undergraduate research, supported the creation of dozens of new courses in the humanities, hosted and cosponsored hundreds of free public events, and produced over 850 episodes of its interview program UO Today.

To celebrate its 40-year impact on the University of Oregon and the wider community, the OHC’s focus will be on the theme Humanities Matter(s). This year’s events will amplify the substance and value of the humanities. Humanities give meaning and shape to our shared human experience while helping us address society’s most challenging questions and issues so we can discover productive ways forward. The humanities help us understand the past, comprehend the world in which we live, and conceptualize a better future.   

Events will primarily highlight the research and findings of UO humanities faculty by asking: What are the various matters that make up the humanities? Why do the humanities matter? What place do the humanities hold for our shared future? How do we bolster the humanities at a time when they are increasingly under attack?

The first event, the OHC Directors’ Roundtable Discussion and Reception on Friday, November 3, 2023 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room, will feature the three former OHC directors and current director Paul Peppis. They will discuss the history of the OHC and the importance of the humanities in education and society. Please register.

John J. Stuhr

Steven Shankman

Barbara K. Altmann

Paul Peppis

Paul Peppis

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