Letter to the Editor

Dear Editors,

The Feb. 28 issue of The Bucknellian included a feature story on page A6—a full page spread—on “Researching the research opportunities on campus.” While it is good to see you highlight the newly-instituted Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), nowhere in the article was there any mention of student research in the humanities. As you are no doubt aware, over the past few years the University has contributed significant energy and resources towards supporting the humanities at Bucknell, culminating in the Fall 2016 opening of the Bucknell Humanities Center (BHC), as both a working body of faculty and staff (Humanities Council) and students (Humanities Student Council) as well as a new physical place (Hildreth-Mirza Hall) dedicated solely to student, staff, and faculty work in the humanities. In the year since opening, HMH has quickly become a hub for disciplinary and interdisciplinary humanities projects, with dedicated space for Digital Humanities projects (HumLab) and for students writing honors theses—undertaken by 10 percent of humanities seniors, the largest proportion of any division on campus. HMH is also home to the Griot Institute for Africana Studies and the Bucknell University Press, both of which provide opportunities for student research in the humanities.
Since 2016, the University has received two large Mellon grants (“Renewal of the Humanities” and “Confounding Problems”), which together provide $1.3 million of support for faculty, staff and students working in the humanities, particularly on collaborative research projects. In AY2017-18 alone, 26 grants were awarded to 57 individuals, including 30 students; and those numbers are on the increase. And finally, various grants are available through the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships and Research, including PUR and Emerging Scholars, that can support humanities research. In short, much work has been put in at various levels to highlight and support student research in the humanities at Bucknell, which has always existed but now has much more institutional support and visibility than in the past. Your readers deserve to be aware of this.
On behalf of the Humanities Council and Humanities Student Council, I would like to protest the erasure in your recent article, and encourage you to publish a follow-up on the various forms of humanities research occurring in our midst. I am personally happy to speak with any student interested in pursuing research in the humanities at Bucknell.
James Mark Shields
Professor of Comparative Humanities and Asian Thought
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