Hayden White Endowments


Hayden V. White had a lasting influence on theoretical work across the human sciences. He maintained that history did not belong to the historians, but that it structured the everyday practical imagination. White’s theories of historical narrative and what he called “emplotment” were productively taken up by historians, artists, and cultural critics, and have since changed the way that humanists and social scientists think about history, story, fiction, fact, events, and testimonials. His work earned White the title of “University Professor,” a rare professorial category that confers the highest recognition on a faculty member as well as affiliation with all ten University of California campuses.

White’s strong advocacy on behalf of the humanities, his bold institutional creativity, and his commitment to interdisciplinary work were critical to the development of the History of Consciousness program at UC Santa Cruz, the School of Criticism and Theory (originally housed at UC Irvine, now at Cornell University), the Western Humanities Alliance, the UC Humanities Initiative (now The Humanities Network), and the system-wide University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI).

UC Santa Cruz has established two endowments that will complement one another to honor Hayden White and preserve his legacy in perpetuity. Both endowments will reside in The Humanities Institute and will provide an open and inclusive forum for nurturing intellectual exchange across the disciplines. UC Santa Cruz is proud to support this endeavor. The effort to build these endowments is on-going. We invite you to contribute to this fund as a fitting tribute to Hayden White.



Supported by gifts from an international group of donors–from family, friends, colleagues and students of Hayden, The Hayden V. White Endowment in Historical and Cultural Theory will help support conferences, seminars, mentoring, and student support related to historical and cultural theory.

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A generous gift from UC Santa Cruz History of Consciousness alumnus Andrew Baird established The Hayden V. White Distinguished Annual Lecture Series, an endowment that will support yearly lectures relevant to historical and cultural theory, and to ensure that Hayden’s legacy and intellectual spirit is honored and sustained.

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February 15, 2024: Lisa Lowe – “Histories of the Colonial Present”

March 16, 2023: Juan Gabriel Vásquez – “Restoring Continuity: Notes on History and Fiction”

April 4, 2022: Michael Rothberg – “Debating Holocaust Memory: The Politics of Comparison in Contemporary Germany”

April 19, 2021: Saidiya Hartman – “The Afterlife of Slavery”

November 1-2, 2019: Hayden White Conference – Against Orthodoxies



Summer 2021: Christian Alvarado, History of Consciousness for ““The Storm in Kenya”: Mau Mau in African Historical and Educational Thought”

Summer 2022: Michael McCarrin, History of Consciousness for “Metaphysical Bias in Western Mathematics”

Summer 2023: Stephen David Engel, History of Consciousness for “Deep History and Genre: A Case for Experimentation”

Image of Hayden White courtesy of Special Collections at UC Santa Cruz.