The Humanities Institute

Founded in 1986, the Humanities Institute presents a thematic program each semester on a topic related to the humanities. As part of Scripps’ tradition of interdisciplinary education, this program includes lectures, conferences, exhibitions, performances, and film series bringing prominent and younger cutting-edge scholars to campus.

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Latest Program

(Re)Centering the World: Examining the nature of well-documented disasters—genocide, earthquakes, hurricanes, climate change—and how they are being negotiated in the present day.

How might we institute better, more humane and humanistic responses to disasters, whether natural or man-made? How might we engender more productive conversations about the visions and failures of “disaster prevention” and “disaster relief”? The Humanities Institute will address these questions and more as part of its yearlong slate of public events.

The Scripps College Humanities Institute 2019-20 season acknowledges that the Claremont Colleges are settled on the shared traditional land of the Tongva, Serrano, and Cahuilla peoples, many of whom continue to steward the land, their ancestral home. We recognize that this statement of territory acknowledgment can only serve as partial restitution in a decolonial process which must make broader measures to understand and reconcile with the colonial history of this land; our programming over the 2019-20 season, which includes First Nations participants, and partners with Indigenous groups and institutions at the 5-Cs and locally, attempts to begin to do just this.

Upcoming Event

Public Event – Jasbir Puar

March 12, 2020
6:00 PM

Balch Auditorium
Scripps College

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 6:00 pm
Balch Auditorium, Scripps College

Debility and Disability in Palestine: Notes Towards Southern Disability Studies

This keynote will detail various strands of histories of disability in Palestine and their import in terms of activism, advocacy, and the field of southern disability studies. Based on fieldwork with disability and rehabilitation center workers in 2016 and members at refugee camps in the West Bank from the summer of 2018, Jasbir Puar's research suggests that disability is lived as an inevitable consequence of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Jasbir K. Puar is Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Her most recent book is The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (2017) published with Duke University Press in the series ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise that she co-edits with Mel Chen. Puar is the author of award-winning Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (2007), which has been translated into Spanish and French and re-issued in an expanded version for its 10th anniversary (December 2017).

Puar’s edited volumes include a special issue of GLQ (“Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization”) and co-edited volumes of Society and Space (“Sexuality and Space”), Social Text (“Interspecies”), and Women’s Studies Quarterly (“Viral”). She also writes for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Art India, The Feminist Review, Bully Bloggers, Jadaliyya, and Oh! Industry. Her writings have been translated into Polish, French, German, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Danish.

Puar has held visiting positions in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU, the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, and Linköping University in Sweden.

Currently, Professor Puar is completing her third book, a collection of essays on duration, pace, mobility, and acceleration in Palestine titled Slow Life: Settler Colonialism in Five Parts.

Presented in partnership with the Scripps College Department of Anthropology, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Department of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Claremont Graduate University Cultural Studies Department, and Pomona College Politics Department.

@Noon: Ifeona Fulani – HBA Annual Lecture/Reading

March 26, 2020
12:15 pm

Hampton Room
Malott Commons
Scripps College

Thursday, March 26, 2020

12:15 pm

Hampton Room, Malott Commons


Ifeona Fulani will present from The First Stone, set in 1865, leading up to and immediately after the Paul Bogle rebellion, in Jamaica. The novel speaks directly to contemporary questions of precarity by revealing how a natural disaster - a prolonged drought - forced peasants to rebel against near-slavery conditions, disease and hunger.

Ifeona Fulani is a Clinical Professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. Her research interests are Caribbean Literary and Cultural Studies, literatures of Africa and its diasporas, Transnational Feminisms and Writing. Her scholarly publications include an edited volume of essays titled Archipelagos of sound: Transnational Caribbeanities, Women and Music (University of West Indies Press, 2012), as well as articles and reviews, most recently in Atlantic Studies and Caribbean Quarterly. She has also published a novel titled Seasons of Dust (Harlem River Press, 1997) and a collection of short stories titled Ten Days in Jamaica (Peepal Tree Press, 2012). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, both from New York University.

This year's Hartley Burr Alexander Chair Annual Lecture is presented in partnership with the Scripps College Humanities Institute & Scripps Presents.