Dear Colleagues,

CNY’s nascent spring is unfolding–flowers blossom, grass greens, days (slowly) warm, and, of course, snow still falls occasionally. With so much life coming into being, the season’s persistence can feel hopeful but also jarring, given stark COVID-19 realities all around us. Some days, this juxtaposition can overwhelm—the affective weight, heavy. Questions abound: What to make of all this uncertainty? What can we learn from the past, to navigate the present? As humanists, we are called upon to dig deep and think about how to address longstanding inequalities, locally and globally, that COVID-19 is laying bare.

Amid uncertainty, the Corridor offers important constancy: we are reaching out today to say, we are here for you! Now in its endowed phase, the Corridor can and will continue to support collaborative humanities projects across Central New York. We’ve been exploring digital options and alternative ways to support collaboration, and welcome ideas about user-friendly tools to help sustain our collective networks and labors. It’s imperative that we continue to work together, problem-solve, and even dream a little. To this end, you will be hearing from us about several key matters in the next few weeks:

  • Working Groups who submitted requests to re-schedule canceled spring 2020 activities (due to COVID-19) will soon hear about your funding.
  • Working Groups who submitted proposals for new 2020-21 activities during our recent CFP cycle will also soon hear about your funding.
  • Finally, because the higher education landscape is changing rapidly, we plan to move ahead with this year’s planned Corridor-wide survey. At this important juncture, we believe it’s important not to delay: as we look to the Corridor’s future, we want to learn from you about our strengths and where we might innovate.

So, please keep an eye out for your funding award notifications and for our survey in May: your valuable contributions to our collective thinking can only help bolster our work. We need the humanities, and one another, now more than ever.

In closing, we hope you are well—we are thinking of you, and look forward to the day when we can meet, again, in person. In the meantime, the Corridor can help us sustain existing collaborations, build new relationships, and craft new knowledge, together.

Vivian, Paul, and Joanie

Vivian M. May
Principal Investigator, CNY Humanities Corridor
Director, Humanities Center, and Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies
Syracuse University

Paul Fleming
L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities, Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities, and Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature
Cornell University

Joan Rubin
Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the Humanities Center, and Dexter Perkins Professor in History
University of Rochester