In 2019-2020, The Humanities Institute is investigating what lies ahead by leading conversations in Santa Cruz and beyond on the theme of Futures

What kind of futures can we imagine? And how does thinking about the future inform our present? Speculative fiction, historical insights, and feminist approaches are among the elements of the Humanities that help us grapple with an uncertain future and changing daily reality. 

Join our events and courses exploring the futures that are possible and the worlds we want to live in. Engage with us as we ask fundamental questions: How will human societies adapt to coming environmental changes? What is the future of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and other social categories? And what will it mean to be human in an age of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence? In the face of major technological advances, ecological transformations, and radical political developments, the Humanities can provide insights into a range of possible futures and inspire new ways to navigate our complex world.

Running through these discussions of Futures will be a meta-discussion about the future of the Humanities. Because in many ways, The Humanities Institute—and the programming, classes, and research we support—is a demonstration of where the Humanities is headed. We specialize in the specifics and the broader context. We see the forest and the trees. We’re the future of the Humanities, at the forefront of vital inquiry and new ideas. Onward into the future. Look ahead with us.



This effort is part of our Expanding Humanities Impact and Publics project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.