CHI !!! What is it about?

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Centre for Humanities Innovation (CHI) is dedicated to the advancement and circulation of new ideas in the humanities and to expanding the transformative impact of humanistic thinking on social and technological strategies for the future. We would like to invite you to contribute to CHI’s activities; as you can see on our website, we aim to stimulate debate and foster innovation under several rubrics, and we welcome submissions in the following formats:

1. A brief manifesto on the tasks of the humanities.

2. Contributions to Minima: a Journal of Intellectual Micro–Genres. The purpose of this rubric is to restore the intellectual dignity and revolutionary potential of those genres that have been neglected or excluded from academic discourse: aphorisms, theses, manifestos, fragments, etc.

3. Repository of New Ideas. Brief exposition of a new idea (hypothesis), up to 1500 words. This repository should function as a preprint archive for the humanities.

4. Glossary of New Terms and Concepts emerging in the humanities. You are invited to describe terms coined by yourselves or by other scholars and new concepts emerging in humanistic disciplines.

You will find more detailed descriptions of these rubrics and instructions on how to submit your contributions on our website:

Our planned activities are focussed on several thematic areas, including but not limited to:

 1. The tasks and the future of the humanities.

2. The methods and genres of intellectual creativity

3. The “Third Culture”: interaction of the humanities with technological and scientific cultures.

4. Technologies of self–inscription, biography, and metabiography.

5. Heteronymic/hyperauthorial writing, proliferation of multiple writing personalities.


International humanities networks and conferences/symposia on these topics are already in the planning stages; further updates will appear via our blog and mailing lists.

We will be happy to receive your suggestions for further activities and research themes.

  You are invited to subscribe to our blog/email updates. If you have not already done so, please enter your email address on this blog:

Please send your contributions to the following addresses:


We look forward to collaborating with you in shaping the future of our disciplines and the humanities as a whole.

With best wishes from Durham,

Mikhail Epstein, Professor of Russian and Cultural Theory, Director of CHI

Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Senior Lecturer in German, Associate Director of CHI



Centre for Humanities Innovation, School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Durham University Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham,  DH1 3JT






Twitter: @centrhumanities


The Art of World-Making

My article on the role of philosophy in the construction of virtual worlds and simulated reality has been published in Philosophy Now. It is the most widely-read philosophy periodical in the English language available even at newstands. According to its website, Philosophy Now “aims to corrupt innocent citizens by convincing them that philosophy can be exciting, worthwhile and comprehensible, and also to provide some light and enjoyable reading matter for those already ensnared by the muse, such as philosophy students and academics.”

The Art of World-Making | Issue 95 | Philosophy Now
Mikhail Epstein sees a bright future for metaphysics in the hi-tech age.

Centre for Humanities Innovation opening reception and mini-conference

You are cordially invited to the Centre for Humanities Innovation opening reception and mini-conference.

The Centre aims to foster intellectual creativity in research and to encourage the creation of new ideas, concepts, terms, paradigms, mental schemes, and other products of intellectual imagination, as well as to develop collaboration between the humanities and natural and social sciences.

Date: May 16th, 2013

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30pm, with reception to follow

Location: Senate Suite, University College (Castle)


The event will include the introduction on the Centre’s activities by Centre director Prof. Mikhail Epstein, as well as brief presentations on the tasks and the future of the humanities, followed by an open discussion. We are delighted to welcome Prof. Julian Reiss from the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) to chair the discussion. The presentations will be as follows:

Gerald Moore: The Third Culture Humanities Network: Theses for a Provisional Manifesto

Caitríona Ní Dhúill: Technologies of Self-Inscription

Nick Roberts: Is There a Single Author in this Room?

Mikhail Epstein: The Transformative Humanities: What, How and Why to Transform?

The evening will conclude with a buffet reception.

The event is open to all, but as seating in the Senate Suite is limited, please reserve your place by e-mailing Ms Jennifer Nelson no later than May 14th at