St. John Fisher College


As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives, we have gained a greater understanding of our shared humanity while recognizing that our most vulnerable communities in Rochester have been disproportionately affected by the virus. During this significant moment in our history, the humanities have the power to help us reflect on our experiences of uncertainty and upheaval, as well as how those experiences affect issues of social justice. St. John Fisher College (SJFC), a private, liberal arts college in Rochester, New York will use an SSRC/NEH SHIP grant to support “The Road to Recovery: Putting the Public Humanities to Work.” Consistent with the purpose of SHIP and the American Rescue Plan, the goal of this project is to restore, sustain, and recover the infrastructure of humanities teaching and research at SJFC, which was adversely impacted by the pandemic, while emphasizing topics, themes, and approaches related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To this end, the proposed project will jumpstart the research agendas of three new humanities faculty members at SJFC, a diverse group of young scholars hired during the pandemic when the College lost several faculty members and positions in the humanities (objective 1). The project will also fund six undergraduate humanities majors to engage in summer research with the new faculty members, studying the humanities in Rochester through a place-based lens (objective 2) and develop three new general education Humanities Capstone courses informed by the proposed research, with students empowered as creators of curriculum (objective 3). This project will help rebuild the infrastructure for humanities teaching and research at SJFC that was lost as a result of the pandemic while helping the College advance a public humanities program that highlights the critical role that the humanities play in understanding our common experiences as students, faculty, staff, and community members.