The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) was founded as a multicampus research unit of the UC Office of the President under the UC Humanities Initiative, established by former UC President David P. Gardner in 1987.
In 2009, a new UC Humanities Network was developed and funded by a 5-year grant from the UC Office of Research and Graduate Studies, incorporating and expanding the original Humanities Initiative. The Network links UCHRI, a refashioned Humanities Advisory Committee, and a new UC Consortium of Humanities Centers into a dynamic new structure and vision for multicampus engagement and collaboration.
Based on the UC Irvine campus, UCHRI serves all ten campuses in the UC system, interacting with UC campus humanities centers, other campus research centers, and with individual faculty to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary humanities research and pedagogy throughout the University of California system and within the larger communities they inhabit. Through the administration of its own funding programs and those of the UC Humanities Network, UCHRI supports and showcases fellows, working groups, seminars, conferences, workshops and other research formations, on topics traditional to the humanities in disciplines such as literature, philosophy, classics, languages, and history, as well as the pressing human dimensions that arise in the social and natural sciences, technology, art, medicine, and the professions. Stressing interdisciplinary research, UCHRI bridges gaps between disciplines across the humanities and human sciences and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers that can separate the humanities from other fields.
Recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership, UCHRI also directs its own robust program of intellectual collaborations and public events focused on crucial issues for the future of higher education and the humanities: global perspectives and partnerships; the past, present and future of critical theory; California studies for the 21st century; and digital innovation for learning and research.