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Center for the Arts and Humanities

Center for the Arts and Humanities

The CAH announces a new blog topic as we begin 2021:

What Work Changed You in 2020?

2020 was a year of struggle, grief, crisis--a year when the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice were joined by economic instability, environmental destruction, and political trauma.
How did the creative and intellectual productions of the arts and humanities sustain you, rescue you, challenge you, comfort you in 2020? How did they change you?
The CAH blog is now inviting proposals for short blog posts responding to the question “what work changed you in 2020?”
Our definition of “work” is wide-ranging. It could be a book--scholarship, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, theory, memoir, graphic. It could be music--a song or album or performance (live-streamed or recorded). It could be a performance of another kind: theatre or comedy or dance. It could be a painting, sculpture, video, exhibit, or a multi-media, digital, or other kind of work of art. It could also be a panel discussion or conversation, a workshop or training series, care work, volunteer activities, or a protest or meditative retreat.
The work that changed you does not have to have been created in 2020. We are interested in your experience with any work, from any time period, that changed you--your thinking, your community, your sense of the present or past or future, your being, your home, your vision--in some way.
Send us an email with a one- or two-sentence proposal, or completed blog posts of 750 words maximum. We encourage multimodal posts with visual images, audio or video, and hyperlinks integrated with text. See some examples from our previous blog call here and reach out to us at and with any questions.
Michelle Burnham & Amy Randall

Fall 2020 Sinatra Residency

Rhiannon Giddens returned to SCU as the 2020-21 Sinatra Artist-in-Residence. Join us October 26-30 for live performances, class visits, cooking, and more!
How did American slave music influence Western music? When is sound music rather than noise? How can we understand rap music as folk music? And what are the histories of the Black banjo? Members of the SCU campus community and the wider public were invited to join Rhiannon Giddens and guests Francesco Turrisi and Justin Harrington ("Demeanor") for a series of open classroom visits on these topics during the week of October 26-30.
The week also featured a live performance with Rhiannon and Francesco on Wednesday as part of the Music@Noon series, and a live cooking show on Tuesday featuring Francesco making north and south Italian dishes from his kitchen in Ireland, while in conversation with Italian Studies faculty (filming by Rhiannon).
All of these events were open to the public. You can watch by clicking the Webcast button for individual events on the Fall residency website.


"Humanity has always looked to the arts to explain the world."

-W. Kamau Bell, comedian, political satirist, and 2018 Sinatra Artist-in-Residence

"Humanities prepare students to be good citizens and help them understand a complicated, interlocking world. The humanities teach us critical thinking, how to analyze arguments, and how to imagine life from the point of view of someone unlike yourself."

-Martha C. Nussbaum, philosopher, professor and 2017 Jefferson Lecturer

From traditional forms of expression to the latest in digital technologies, the Center for Arts & Humanities at Santa Clara University fosters interdisciplinary collaboration in research, teaching, creative activity, and outreach--both on campus and in our local and global communities. The CAH merges the Jesuit passion for scholarly excellence and community partnership-building with the dynamic creativity that characterizes the Bay area and beyond. Join us as we pursue meaningful expression, intellectual inquiry, and community engagement to build a better future and a more just world.

The Center for the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University stands in solidarity with those rising up to call for an end to the long, ongoing, and destructive reality of racial injustice and white supremacy in the United States. We stand with them against hate, against racism, against inequality, against police brutality and impunity. And we stand in solidarity with Black faculty, students, and staff–always, but especially at this moment when racialized and heightened state violence adds to the burdens of grief, trauma, and vulnerability.

- Dennis Gordon (Political Science), Christina Zanfagna (Music and Ethnic Studies), Michelle Burnham (English), Amy Randall (History)

Responding to the Twin Pandemics of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice: Arts and Humanities in a Time of Crisis

The CAH blog has expanded to include responses to the racial injustice, police brutality, and white supremacy that are being challenged through uprisings and protests within our communities, across our nation, and around the world. Racism is itself a pandemic, one with a long history and a complicated inter-relationship to the medical pandemic of COVID-19.

In a time of extraordinary upheaval like the one we are in now, the arts and humanities help us to better understand our world and our connections to each other. How have the humanities helped you to contextualize current events, reevaluate human relations, or reimagine the future? How have the arts helped to sustain or connect you as we both take to the streets and shelter in place?

The Center for the Arts & Humanities invites faculty to contribute to our updated blog devoted to sharing short reflections, stories, poems, music, short films, sculptures, photographs, drawings, dances, and other forms of expression and inquiry that highlight the importance of the arts and humanities in this time of multiple crises.

Submit one-paragraph proposals or completed blog entries of 250-750 words to Michelle Burnham or Amy Randall. We encourage the inclusion of visual or audio components as well as hyperlinks.


New Leadership for the Center for Arts and Humanities

SCU’s Michelle Burnham and Amy Randall will take over leadership of the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Read more


SCU tUrn Project