The Humanities Institute at the University of Montana


Drawing on a rich tradition of teaching and scholarship in the humanities at the University of Montana, the Humanities Institute fosters provocative thinking, innovative research, and sustained public discussion of the human experience. The Institute’s activities encompass traditional humanities disciplines including history, languages, literature, philosophy, and religious studies, as well as critical studies of the arts and models of inquiry that cross disciplinary boundaries and develop new approaches.

The Humanities Institute supports humanistic work that takes place throughout the University, and welcomes initiatives that bridge traditional humanities fields with the visual and performing arts, with journalism and political science, and with the natural sciences, and that generate public discussion about the importance of the humanities in the contemporary world.

Led by faculty, the Institute is funded primarily by grants and private donations, and is structured to benefit both students and faculty. The Institute provides support for a variety of endeavors at the University, including faculty working groups, lectures and panels, curricular development, grants, and promotional needs. We strive to enrich the humanistic tradition at UM, widen the scope of public engagement with the humanities, and connect with scholarship igniting interest at other institutions and around the world.

Our Work Focuses On Three Pillars:

Upcoming HI Events


Dr. Lerone Martin, "Becoming King: How a Wavering Teenager Became a Global Icon"

The President's Lecture Series and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee present, "Becoming King: How a Wavering Teenager Became a Global Icon," with Dr. Lerone Martin. The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Jan. 26  l  7:30 p.m.  l  ALI Auditorium, PJW College of Education Building  l  Zoom


Individual Faculty Research Grants

The HI is accepting applications from UM faculty to support research projects in the humanities and related fields. Grants of between $1500 and $2000 will be awarded to support UM faculty in the pursuit of their humanities-based research. Applications are open to tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty.

Application deadline: March 15, 2023


Environmental Humanities Poetry Reading - Accepting Submissions!

We invite original compositions and readings of published poetry related to the environment, the natural world, the environmental humanities, and related topics. Individuals selected will be invited to read with seasoned poets and UM faculty Chris LaTray, Cedar Brant and Sean Hill.

Deadline for submissions: March 3, 2023


Humanities Institute Book Talk w/ Dr. Christopher Preston

University of Montana's Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Christopher Preston, joins the Humanities Institute to share his latest book, Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think About Animals. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 1  l  4:00 - 5:30 p.m.  l LA 244 l Zoom


Humanities Institute Book Talk w/ Dr. Claire Arcenas

University of Montana's Professor of History, Dr. Claire Arcenas, joins the Humanities Institute to share her latest published book, America's Philosopher: John Locke in American Intellectual Life.The in-person event is free and open to the public, and also available to attend via Zoom.

Wednesday, April 5 l  4:00 - 6:30 p.m.  l  Location TBA  l  Zoom


Accepting Papers for the Richard Drake Award for Student Writing

The Richard Drake Writing Award honors excellence in writing in the humanities in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and is awarded to one undergraduate and one graduate student per year. Submit today!

Application deadline: April 1, 2023

A Special Thanks to Lawrence Pettit

The Humanities Institute and the College of Humanities and Sciences express their deepest gratitude to Lawrence Pettit, whose generous gift has supported the Humanities Institute.