College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > DePaul Humanities Center > About > Mission Statement
The DePaul University Humanities Center (DHC) aims to be a space for, create visibility of, and generally help to shape and promote the most cutting-edge, excellent work in the arts and humanities today. The Center fosters discussion among the greater community; nurtures current and future leaders in the humanities, arts, and culture at large; and promotes collaborative, interdisciplinary thinking that demonstrates the integral role of the humanities and arts in a life of common flourishing.
The DHC provides experiences and programming for DePaul students, faculty, staff, and the greater community that can be found nowhere else on campus, in the city, or in the Midwest. Students at DePaul who attend Center events (and who often participate in them) come away with a rich and unique experience of the day's topics, one that allows them to make connections among themes, ideas, and questions from across their courses that they might not otherwise make. Visitors from outside the DePaul community take away a sense of the vibrant and important work the university does, witnessing for themselves the expertise of our scholar-teachers and how a “life of the mind" at DePaul is never disconnected from true social, cultural, Vincentian engagement.
The vast majority of DHC programs are by design intensely interdisciplinary, collaborative, and multimedia—and virtually all programs feature the arts as an important part of the humanities' eclectic mix. The goal of the DHC is always both to delight and to instruct, and we believe that our distinctive, consciously synthetic, and arts-based approach to public programming does just that.
The DePaul Humanities Center takes those who are leaders—or on their way to being leaders—in their fields, brings them together in radically new but carefully thought-out ways, and inspires the leaders of tomorrow: leaders who will innovate with their thinking as well as their doing, knowing that ultimately such a dichotomy was never really real. All of the work that the DePaul Humanities Center does is with the goal of showing rather than saying why the humanities and arts are so centrally important to the well-being of our university and our culture in general. And the Center strives to do this in an inclusive way—inclusive both in the sense of keeping questions of diversity and social justice at the fore, but also in terms of creating an atmosphere that welcomes everyone to the table, both novice and expert.
It is the Center's firm belief that rigorous, first-rate scholarship can flourish in an environment that also reminds us why the work we do at the university is exciting and fun. The Center is committed to the idea that if we are going to discover the truth of the matter—whatever might be meant by that—the best way to do that is by thinking together, thinking from a variety of different interdisciplinary viewpoints, and remembering that thinking is never separate from doing.
We continue to be committed to providing life-changing and mind-opening experiences and programming for our students, faculty, staff, and Chicago communities that cannot be found elsewhere, but with the hope that our example will make such experiences common everywhere in the future.