The challenges of this new century call for innovative ways of translating research into action, creating citizens who will be more effective in their personal and professional lives. A mid-size regional state university, EIU is a model for democratic, liberal arts education and takes seriously its responsibility to serve as the intellectual and cultural center of the surrounding region.

With the development of a Center for the Humanities, housed in the College of Arts and Humanities, EIU embraces the opportunity to generate conversations that challenge and define our culture and our conventions. Translating between historical and contemporary worlds, and exploring the benefits of disciplinary cross-fertilization, we also strive to establish communication between the studies of academia and the everyday lives in our community.

Programs and courses sponsored by this center explore the translation from global investigations by university researchers to local understandings of culture. Our center for the humanities will bring together diverse traditions and methods of critical inquiry. We envision a place where faculty and students can access popular notions of the humanities and make our specialized work speak to the public, even as we reach out to our audiences with new information and ideas to foster creativity, engender tolerance, and spark further dialogue.

Nota Bene

Consider proposing a talk as faculty speaker for the Humanities Center! You can apply here.


Joseph Carroll


 Presenting a special event for the 2014-2015 year, Dr. Joseph Carroll!

Joseph Carroll will present his lecture, "The Historical Position of Literary Darwinism," on Thursday, November 20 at 6:00 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Dr. Carroll is a founding figure in evolutionary literary study. His book Evolution and Literary Theory, published in 1995, was the first book-length work in the field. His 2004 collection of essays, Literary Darwinism, gave the field the name by which it is most commonly known.

In his lecture, Dr. Carroll will provide an historical overview of what this movement is and explain his interdisciplinary approach to reading literature. He will ask and answer such questions as: How might an understanding of geology, biology, or social science help one analyze famous works of literature like King Lear or Pride and Prejudice?


This event was made possible through the generosity of the Jack and Margaret Redden Fund for the Improvement of Undergraduate Instruction.