Undergraduate Scholars Initiative

Prof. Suzie Clark teaching in a music classroom

The Division and Arts & Humanities and the Mahindra Humanities Center are excited to launch the Undergraduate Scholars Initiative as part of the Intergenerational Humanities Project.

Undergraduate Scholars Initiative (USI)

The USI is a new program for sophomore students that will engage with the foundational structures and skills of the humanities, with a focus on social justice, civics, and the human experience. Students who participate in the program complete a two-course sequence, during which they engage with the research program of the Intergenerational Humanities Project.

The two unique courses that make up the program are designed to deepen the study of the humanities for students from any concentration. Students who complete the required two-course sequence for the USI will earn the distinction of being named Mahindra Scholars. The two courses - intended to be taken in the sophomore year - are:

  • HUMAN 90: Making It: Mahindra Scholars Seminar is a course focused on the habits of thought that critical interpretation requires. This course will be taught in Fall 2021 by Robin Kelsey, Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography and Dean of Arts & Humanities, and Jennifer L. Roberts, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities.
  • HUMAN 93: Place and Planet: Mahindra Scholars Lab will be offered in Spring 2022 and connect enrolled undergraduates to the I-HUM theme of "Place and Planet" with a unique capstone project. It will be taught by the I-HUM faculty leaders Sarah Dimick, assistant professor of English, and Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History and an affiliate of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Graduate School of Design.

To apply to become a member of the Undergraduate Scholars Initiative, students must apply for and enroll in HUMAN 90: Making It: Mahindra Scholars Seminar in Fall 2021. Consult the course website for further details.

The Intergenerational Humanities (I-HUM) Project

The I-HUM Project is a rotating three-year-research project designed by a cohort of interdisciplinary faculty. The theme being launched in 2021-22 is "Place and Planet," led by professors Sarah Dimick and Joyce Chaplin. The project will include sophomores in the Undergraduate Scholars Initiative, faculty, current humanities postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students.

The faculty leadership cohort also includes Tiya Miles, Professor of History and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor, and Bruno Carvalho, Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures and African & African American Studies, co-director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and affiliated professor in urban planning and design at the Graduate School of Design.

The I-HUM Project will reside within the Mahindra Humanities Center.

Read more about each program in the Harvard Gazette and the Harvard Crimson.