The Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) at the University of Akron is now home to a new multidisciplinary institute devoted to understanding historical and contemporary issues in the human sciences. The new Institute for Human Science and Culture (IHSC), approved by UA’s Board of Trustees in May, will promote education and research in the history, preservation, documentation and interpretation of the human experience.
“The Institute for Human Science and Culture continues our commitment to offer innovative and engaging programs that promote understanding of the human condition,” says Dr. David Baker, CHP executive director.
The Center for the History of Psychology cares for, provides access to, and interprets the historical record of psychology and related human sciences.
The IHSC will incorporate educational programs and courses, special collections, exhibits and research that explore the meaning of the human experience from multiple perspectives — psychological, anthropological, artistic and historical.
The institute will house several important collections that provide a distinctive look at historical understandings and portrayals of human science and culture, including the Center for the History of Psychology Instrument and Apparatus Collection, the Cushing Memorial Library Asylum Report Collection, the Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Popular Psychology Magazine Collection and the David P. Campbell Postcard Collection.
The public can also visit the institute’s Gallery of Human Science and Culture, where visitors can enjoy interpretative exhibits and experience objects and artifacts up close. This summer, the institute will launch an exhibit on sacred spaces that examines the architecture of places of worship and delves into the meaning of such spaces. In the fall, a second exhibit will highlight Native American ethnographic art and objects from the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Collection.
Education and research will also play a central role at the institute. In addition to offering regular workshops and public lectures, the institute is planning to offer an undergraduate certificate in museum and archives studies. Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to work with experts from a variety of disciplines across the university. They will also get hands-on experience working with the collections at the institute.
Through research, education and exhibits, the institute will encourage scholars and the public to explore and interact with human science and culture, and thereby contemplate and critically reflect on the history and diversity of the human experience.
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