Washington State University will celebrate the public launch of the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) with two workshops and a reception on Oct. 24. Joining the festivities will be Jon Parrish Peede, chairman for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The center will serve as a ‘front door’ to the arts and humanities at WSU. Our goal is to nurture curiosity and encourage innovation that crosses traditional scholarly boundaries and supports the public good,” said Todd Butler, associate professor of English and CAH director.

The center will award its first two undergraduate scholarships at the reception and celebrate the work of the current cohort of eight CAH Faculty Fellows, who are pursuing projects ranging from an examination of the links between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Frank Lloyd Wright to collaborations with Native American singers to preserve recordings of traditional Nez Perce songs.

Closeup of Jon Peede.
Jon Parrish Peede is Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Formally approved by the Board of Regents in May 2019, the center is supported by a University-wide consortium that includes the Office of Research, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, WSU Libraries, and the Office of the President.

“The arts and humanities are an essential component of WSU’s creative activity, research, and scholarly endeavors,” said Chris Keane, vice president for research. “We are pleased have the center’s launch as part of this year’s WSU Research Week and look forward to expanding the impact of the arts and humanities within WSU and our surrounding communities.”

Matt Jockers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, agreed, noting that “outreach is at the heart of the arts and humanities, as well as the University’s land-grant mission. We are building an engaged community that encourages conversation, is open to questions, and supports a sense of wonder about the world.”

Closeup of Kathleen Fitzpatrick.
Kathleen Fitzpatrick is director of digital humanities and professor of English at Michigan State University and author of Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University.

The Oct. 24 workshops will feature Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of digital humanities and professor of English at Michigan State University and author of Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University. She will lead two workshops, one for faculty (12:00–1:30 p.m.) and one for graduate students (3:30–4:30 p.m.), focusing on thinking constructively rather than competitively, and “how we can renew our attention on the very human ends—the desire for community and connection—that the arts and humanities can best serve.”

An RSVP for the launch reception is appreciated.

Register for the workshops on the Research Week website:

For additional information, please contact the Center for Arts and Humanities at arts.humanities@wsu.edu.