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Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor earns extension to continue operations through 2010

February 18, 2010

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

The Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor—an interdisciplinary partnership involving Syracuse University, Cornell University and the University of Rochester—has been approved for a no-cost extension (NCE). The New York-based foundation recently informed Gregg Lambert, director of both the SU Humanities Center and Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor, of the extension, allowing for corridor activities to continue through the end of the 2010 calendar year.

Lambert says that external reviews of the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor are planned for this spring and fall, in anticipation of SU re-applying for another Mellon grant. “The NCE is a vote of confidence from the Mellon Foundation. It will help participating scholars complete previously approved projects, while paving the way for the Humanities Corridor’s long-term success,” he says, adding that December 2009 marked the end of the original four-year $1 million grant, from which there were some outstanding funds.

According to a report issued by the Mellon Foundation, the NCE will allow for the SU Humanities Center, which administers the Humanities Corridor, to implement a dozen major initiatives. They include seven working groups and projects previously approved for 2009: a metaphysics research workshop (Cornell); an Early Modern Philosophy workshop and speaker series (SU); a linguistics workshop on syntax, semantics and phonology (SU); a digital humanities lecture series (SU, Cornell and Rochester); a student conference on publicly engaged scholarship, co-organized by Imagining America and SU’s Graduate School (SU); a new music residency, featuring the Brave New Works ensemble (SU); and a symposium on historical sound recording licensing and sampling (SU).

Lambert says that, funds permitting, the NCE might allow for creation of additional small groups and activities that fulfill the objectives of the original grant proposal. “We have some ideas on the table, but, for them to happen, we have to engage in a certain amount of cost-sharing with member institutions,” he says. Such commitments are in line with the forthcoming reviews, in which Lambert will meet with his co-principal investigators—Tim Murray and Thomas DiPiero, professors at Cornell and Rochester, respectively—to discuss programming recommendations, cost-sharing arrangements and the re-application process. “A lot hinges on how well we navigate the next 12 months,” says Lambert, who also serves as Dean’s Professor of the Humanities. “All three institutions are excited about re-applying. We have a lot to show for our work thus far.”

Based in the historic Tolley Building, the SU Humanities Center is home to the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor and Syracuse Symposium, whose theme for 2010 is “Conflict, Peace, and War.” The center is also supports other cross-platform projects, including the “Faculty Works” lecture series, the college’s new “Humanities in the Digital Age” Excellence Initiative, the Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities and a variety of fellowships.

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