About Us

The Center for the Humanities is an interdisciplinary research center with the primary mission of advancing the vitality and quality of humanities research and teaching at Oregon State University. The Center’s Resident Research Fellowship Program supports influential, innovative scholarship by OSU faculty pursuing projects related to the humanities, broadly defined. Our sponsored activities on campus and in the community explore challenging issues across cultural and disciplinary boundaries and demonstrate the relevance of the humanities to a wider public.  

The Center was established at Oregon State University in 1984 as an outgrowth of the Humanities Development Program, a project that had been creating innovative interdisciplinary courses since 1977.  Led by founding director Peter J. Copek and OSU President Emeritus John Byrne, the Center’s initial effort to raise a founding endowment was matched by a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities – the first award of its kind presented to a land grant university. During the 1990’s, several grants from the Autzen Foundation made it possible to establish a permenant home for the Center in a turn-of-the-20th-century Tudor-style building now called the Autzen House. The Autzen House not only provides office space for fellows and meeting rooms for working groups, it also serves as a venue for our public lectures and art exhibits.