The Research Program on Humanitarianism (RPH) brings together faculty from across the CLAS humanities and social sciences departments as well as faculty from Social Work, Law and Fine Arts in an ongoing discussion on the experiences of humanitarian crisis and action, and the analytical and creative engagements that reflect on them. The program runs two faculty study groups and also sponsors public events open to faculty and students. RPH crystallizes the humanities components of the human rights program and brings the contributions of the humanities—history, art history, literature, and philosophy—as well as the more qualitative social sciences into the mainstream of human rights discourse. Building on the core belief that humanistic approaches are necessary to understand the major humanitarian crises facing global society, its goal is to create space for interdisciplinary dialogue on issues generally dominated by perspectives from law, policy, and political science.
The program fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and research innovation in two core ways. First, it sponsors broadly-themed conferences, lectures, and other events that draw together and create lively intellectual exchanges between members of the University of Connecticut community as well as scholars and citizens beyond our campus.
Second, it supports a number of small and intensive faculty reading groups and workshops. These reading groups pursue changing themes of specific interest to group members, often bringing in outside magnet scholars or artists of high stature to engage with research in development here at the Storrs campus.
The Program is currently under the direction of Eleni Coundouriotis, Professor of English.