cornell campus


What is Rural Humanities?

Rural Humanities is an Andrew W. Mellon supported initiative in public and engaged humanities that uses the tools of the humanities to critically approach, learn from, make visible, and support the realities of rural America, particularly in Central-Western New York: its histories, cultures, challenges, and futures.

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Current Projects

Rural Humanities aim to organize and coordinate the already existing Cornell faculty engagement, teaching, and research around “rural humanities” and forming them into a visible program that reaches from the community to the classroom and the conference room. Click here to read more about current projects and programs.

Our initiative will help train the next generation of humanists in methods of public and engaged humanities research that will inform careers both inside and outside the academy, bringing vital humanistic methods to bear on the pressing question of contemporary America in a global context. Click here to explore our public humanities seminars.

cornell campus

Public Humanities at Cornell University

A central motivation for the Rural Humanities is to help humanists imagine the multiple, dynamic ways in which humanistic modes of inquiry – our research, our questions, our passions, and our commitments – can form an interface between the university and rural communities, particularly those that often seem at the greatest remove from our campuses.

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.