American University of Beirut

The Center for Arts and Humanities (Mellon Grant)

Director:Brassier, Raymond
Program Manager: Bassil, Rita​

AUB received a grant for $2,000,000 over five years from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundationfor the establishment of the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), the largest Mellon Foundation commitment to the University to date.

The award is intended to facilitate AUB’s quest to establish a permanent Center for Arts and Humanities as the leading regional intellectual base for innovative and interdisciplinary curricular development and teaching, as well as for scholarly humanistic and artistic production.

Building on the remarkable success of the Arts and Humanities Initiative (AHI), generously supported by the Foundation since its inception in 2012, this award reaffirms the critical global importance of liberal arts education and AUB’s leading role in this regard. Previous support from the Foundation has been instrumental in the reinvigoration of the intellectual environment for faculty in the arts and humanities at AUB, and in the creation of a transformational and independent forum for collaborative and interdisciplinary curricular experimentation, research, intellectual dialogue, and production–especially for young thinkers and writers.

In a region undergoing radical transformation, sustaining and expanding our commitment to the arts and humanities is more essential than ever. At a time when cultural legacies and humanistic traditions are at risk of being eroded, the need for critical reflection and research on works created in Arab and other local societies is desperately needed.

This Mellon grant supports faculty and postdoctoral fellowship program, an artist or writer-in-residence, high profile public arts events, and regional collaboration with scholars and universities. It also serves as alternative site for the production of humanistic knowledge rooted in regional cultures and as an interlocutor for east-west cultural dialogue.

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