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Humanities Seminars

Art + Tech Speaker Series

This series, which is part of Caltech's visual culture program, features conversations between artists and scholars on themes related to art, science, and technology. Participants include contemporary artists and scholars from different fields, from the humanities to science and technology. The panels are organized to coincide with ongoing discussions in Caltech undergraduate classes and are intended to be of general interest to Caltech faculty, students, and the community at large. 

Caltech-Huntington Humanities Collaborations (CHHC) Seminar Series

Caltech and The Huntington have partnered to bring interdisciplinary research to the humanities through the Caltech-Huntington Humanities Collaborations. The CHHC program is organized around an ongoing series of research projects–or "modules"–that run for two years and link the two institutions through seminars, workshops, and other coordinated activities. Read more about the CHHC program here.

Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science Seminar Series

For its inaugural year of 2020-2021, the "Critical Intersections: Conversations on Race, History, and Science" seminar series is dedicated to the history leading up to and beyond eugenics. The events are jointly organized by faculty in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences [Maura Dykstra (Assistant Professor of History), Jennifer Jahner (Professor of English), and Hillary Mushkin (Research Professor of Art and Design)] and University Archivist Peter Collopy. Artists have been invited to participate in these events as part of the Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture. Their participation in this series is supported by the James Michelin Distinguished Visitors Program.

Exploration: The Globe and Beyond

This series, which is part of Caltech's visual culture program, brings together a diverse community of academics and non-specialists to discuss the broad theme of exploration, from antiquity to the present day, from new lands on Earth to other planets in our solar system.

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Seminar Series

The HPS seminars bring to campus a variety of practitioners in the broad area of the history and philosophy of science—from antiquity to the present—including the social and institutional dimensions of science, the history and philosophy of the biological sciences, neuroscience, medicine, as well as the history of exploration, the engagement with language, empirical ethics, decision making, computer science, and psychology.

History Seminar Series

The History Seminars bring scholars to campus to share their work in a wide variety of historical studies. Recent talks have covered medieval literature, the history of consumption and waste, and the history of philosophy in quantum mechanics and mathematics.

Literary Dimensions Seminar Series

This series brings to campus leading figures in literary scholarship, with the goal of enhancing the already robust conversation happening in humanities departments all over the country--about the crucial role that literature and its contexts play in representing, challenging, and educating us about our world.

Social Science History Seminar Series

Social science history seminars bring speakers to campus to discuss their research at the intersection of history and the social sciences. These talks focus particularly on work that examines the institutions and institutional changes that affect long-term social and economic development.

Visual Culture Program Series

Caltech's visual culture program, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, features lectures, panel discussions, and other programming intended to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington, Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The William and Myrtle Harris Distinguished Lecture Series in Science and Civilization

The Harris lectures, which began in 1996, enable the history and philosophy of science program to bring to campus distinguished scientists, historians, philosophers, and other analysts of science to address concerns of mutual interest—especially their ethical implications—across the intellectual spectrum. Read more about the series here.

Writers in Residence Program

The Caltech Writers in Residence program brings writers of fiction, poetry, and popular nonfiction to campus to meet with students, visit classes, and give public readings or talks. HSS established the series in 2014 with support from the James Michelin Distinguished Visitors fund. Read more about the series and past visitors here.