A New Year at the National Humanities Center

Each year at this time, I am rejuvenated. In part, it is undoubtedly because of the promise of cooler weather and a lifetime of associating the early days of fall with the curious, eager faces of students at the start of the school year. But, for the last eight years, turning the calendar to September has meant the arrival of a new cohort of Fellows at the National Humanities Center.

These brilliant scholars, already anticipating a productive year of research, writing, and intellectually-stimulating exchanges, enliven the place with their energy and enthusiasm. The projects they are working on offer a glimpse of the future debates and discourse in the humanities. And, more than anything, they reaffirm my belief in the importance of humanities scholarship, my commitment to freedom of thought, and the joy of new ideas.

Pictured below are some of this year’s Fellows getting oriented to the Center and with each other as they take part in the yearly ritual of five-minute project talks, passionately sharing overviews of the subjects they are working on and the questions they are trying to answer.

Here’s to a wonderful year ahead for all our colleagues and fellow truth seekers on campuses and in classrooms everywhere.