Mellon-funded Rural Humanities initiative launches

The complex dynamics between rural and urban life have profound implications for America’s future, from the economy to the environment and beyond.

A new Rural Humanities scholarly initiative, funded for four years by a million-dollar grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will leverage Cornell’s position in central New York to reinvigorate thinking about – and active engagement with – rural communities and landscapes. The initiative will emphasize one of Cornell’s founding principles – “knowledge with a public purpose.”

“Part of what makes Cornell so unique is that we are both rural and urban, both land grant and Ivy League. This project is a wonderful fit for Cornell, which has the mission, the mindset and the collaborative approach to learning that enables us to bring together disparate areas of study,” said President Martha E. Pollack. “We’re very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its support, and excited to see the work that will come out of this initiative.”

“The humanities are essential to the ways in which we critically examine the past, illuminate the present and imagine possible futures,” said Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences. “I am particularly delighted that the Rural Humanities initiative will connect our scholars and students with community partners and the public at large for meaningful engagement.”

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.