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About the centre

Message from the Director

David Howes, CISSC Director David Howes, CISSC Director

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture supports innovative Humanities-based interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work through its unique Humanities Ph.D. Program as well as through public lectures, conferences, seminars, and working groups.


Initially proposed in 2003 by new faculty at Concordia who recognized the importance of interdisciplinary exchange in the humanities, the Centre was formally established in 2007 under the aegis of the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Fine Arts.  The Centre is unique to Québec and one of a very small number of such centers in Canada. Furthermore, the Centre is the home of Concordia's highly innovative PhD in Humanities Program, which was inaugurated in 1973. The Centre supports a wide spectrum of research initiatives based in productive cross-fertilization among scholars in different fields related to society and culture under the rubric of an expanded understanding of the Humanities.


By providing opportunities for faculty and students in the humanities, fine arts, and cognate fields to meet and collaborate, the Centre creates new synergies between research and graduate teaching, promotes outstanding scholarship, and forges partnerships with the wider communities of which Concordia is part.   

The Centre is inclusive and welcomes scholars and partners in domains beyond the humanities committed to a humanist perspective on knowledge, creation, and expression in human cultures past and present.

With interpretive axes based in language, literature, religion, history, philosophy, culture and media, the humanities are uniquely positioned to interpret a world in perpetual transition. The profound and diverse challenges of the 21st century place a premium on the kinds of creative thinking that humanities disciplines encourage and are singularly poised to communicate.  As a crucible for innovative ideas and the prime laboratory for interdisciplinary research, the Centre aims to make the whole of humanities-oriented scholarship at Concordia greater than the sum of its parts.  

David Howes
Director, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Professor of Anthropology / Co-Director, Centre for Sensory Studies

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