Our center was founded in 1998 by Chris Zacher, who served as director from 1998 until his retirement in 2001. Originally titled the Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities, it was within a few short years renamed the Humanities Institute, a title it would retain through 2020. In 2021, the center was renamed the Humanities Collaboratory.
Despite all our different names, the Humanities Collaboratory remains committed to our founding priorities:
- collaborative research,
- incubation of innovative ideas in the Humanities,
- and support for reciprocal community-engaged scholarship.
And while much has changed at the Ohio State University in the 24 years since our founding, an institution dedicated to these goals is more urgently needed than ever. We exist to facilitate collaboration, to incubate new initiatives in the Humanities and the Arts, to help build a future for the Humanities at OSU that will help build a stronger 21st-century university.
The Humanities Collaboratory serves as an incubator for new collaborative modes of scholarship, teaching, and engagement. Among its activities, the Collaboratory curates programming designed to spark new conversations and visions for the future of the humanities, and it actively explores new models of career diversity for humanities PhD’s. While maintaining roots in the long-standing disciplines and departments, the Collaboratory works to facilitate the formation of new constellations of humanities faculty and students—in working groups, initiatives, and centers—all designed to create new knowledge through collaboration with communities on and beyond campus.