The Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities connects the humanities to other fields of study. Showcasing the humanities, the WIIH brings them together in dialogue with the arts, social sciences, natural and applied sciences, and professional studies: business, engineering, law, medicine, and technology. 

Based on a changing theme, the WIIH invites the Wheaton community–from inside the college, students, teachers, staff, but also from outside to participate in conversations and explore what the humanities across all disciplines have to offer. The WIIH invites scholars, artists, practitioners and other distinguished guests to share their knowledge and experience

The WIIH invites a number of distinguished guests to share their expertise in large venues and intimate settings with members of the Wheaton community. Via lectures, performances, exhibitions, and discussions, we give students and colleagues the opportunity to explore ideas more deeply by engaging with expert practitioners who are often teacher-scholars, by sharing innovative intellectual inquiries with our undergraduates and by creating a forum for thoughtful exchange in and beyond the Wheaton community.

The WIIH was established in 2012 by Touba Ghadessi and Gen Liang. The current director is Joerg Blumtritt, Professor of Practice, Digital Media and Communications.

The Humanities as Professional Practice

Each year, the WIIH develops a theme and designs activities that explore it. Conferences, art exhibitions, performances, film series, panels, and lectures bring guests to present scholarship and work. The WIIH directly injects these activities into the topics, coursework, and pedagogy of courses. The directors teach two courses based on the theme and activities of the Institute each year.  

Showcasing the humanities, the WIIH fosters dialogue with the arts, social sciences, natural and applied sciences, and professional studies (business, engineering, law, medicine, and technology). Thus, all these fields will envision and devise new ways  for individuals privileged to have a liberal arts education to contribute to the world we live in now. The WIIH brings together scholarship, creative endeavors, coursework, faculty, students, and alums in exciting and interconnected ways.

WIIH is for the Students

Students enroll in the courses tied to the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities and are considered Student Fellows of the WIIH. 

The WIIH helps to connect the classroom with the world outside college. In meeting distinguished, invited guests, attending exciting events, lectures, exhibitions, and performances, the WIIH helps unfold a broader perspective on the humanities. Students are invited to interact and connect with the participants. Alums of the WIIH may continue their professionalization by serving on the Advisory Board. 

The WIIH is a home that bridges academic studies and professional skills and helps create well-rounded students, innovators, and future leaders.

Institutional Partners


Logo of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes CHCI featuring the capital letters CHCI  Logo of the New England Humanities Consortium, featuring the capital letters NEHC in white on a turquoise background


Information for Faculty

The Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities serves to organize events at the College, encourage faculty collaboration across disciplines and divisions, fuel curricular dynamism, provide students professional development opportunities, and connect them with alums.

Advancing Wheaton’s Connections curriculum, up to two faculty co-directors from different disciplines collaborate each year to explore a theme and present programming that cut across humanities disciplines and also intersect with the arts, social sciences, applied/natural sciences, and professional studies. The WIIH’s activities model for the Wheaton community how the humanities critically contribute to other disciplines and how together they help us understand, engage with, and shape our world. The two courses that the co-directors teach are a central part of the WIIH’s interdisciplinary mission and they may be team-taught and/or their curricular assignments may be connected with each other’s. Other courses from across the campus will also be invited to participate in the activities set by the co-directors in formal and structured or informal and unstructured ways. Conferences, art exhibitions, performances, film series, panels, and lectures bring distinguished guests to present innovative scholarship and work. Faculty have opportunities to create innovative programming and curricula. They make connections with leading scholars in their fields and by inviting them to Wheaton, faculty expand on their own scholarly interests while transforming Wheaton into a site of fertile intellectual exchange.

The WIIH co-directors enable their students to take learning achieved in the classroom and apply it to real world situations. These students are fellows of the WIIH and faculty encourage them to step out of their comfort zones to employ their knowledge and test it with invited guests. To do so, students will practice professional skills and learn to absorb knowledge, disseminate it in an effective manner, and convey their informed point of view.


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