Humanities for Humanity Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Posted Dec 14, 2018 3:15 pm

Humanities for Humanity's 10th Anniversary Celebration

Humanities for Humanity (H4H) is an inspiring and ground-breaking program that really makes a difference. Led by Prof. John Duncan (Trinity College's Director of Ethics, Society & Law) and Dean of Students Kelley Castle (Victoria College), H4H brings community members and undergraduate student mentors together to look at the world through the lenses of humanities texts. Trinity College has been offering the H4H program every year since 2007, doing so in collaboration with Victoria College since 2010. On December 12, current and past H4H participants, including community members, student mentors and faculty, gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this innovative program. (Click here to view more photos from the 10th Anniversary Celebration)

What is H4H? During the fall term of 2007, Trinity College launched a community-outreach / student-experience program called Humanities for Humanity (H4H). Prof. Duncan and then Dean of Students at Trinity Kelley Castle invited disadvantaged members of the community into the college one evening a week for the term to listen to lectures and engage in discussion about a selection of texts from late medieval Europe to contemporary Toronto - literature, history, political theory, philosophy, sociology and economics. Prof. Duncan and Dean Castle asked the former director of the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Toronto, Trinity’s then Provost and Vice-Chancellor Andy Orchard, to lecture on late medieval literature, philosopher and critic Prof. Mark Kingwell to lecture on Machiavelli, and then member of parliament and former Ontario premier Bob Rae to lecture on Hobbes, to name some of the better known contributors to the course. Along with sharing a meal together before each session, the College covered the costs of reading materials and public transit.

In its 10th year, H4H continues to run on a volunteer basis, with undergraduate student mentors (who facilitate group discussions) and distinguished faculty volunteers who deliver lectures. We want to thank all participants for their invaluable contributions to this truly unique program. 

Learn more about Humanities for Humanity: 

Engaged Scholar 2018: "Humanities for Humanity" by Prof. John Duncan

Academic Matters: Prof. Mark Kingwell praised H4H in the midst of thought-provoking article about university education. "It happens that this spring is the tenth anniversary of a program run at the University of Toronto called 'Humanities for Humanity.' My friends John Duncan and Kelley Castle, along with a host of student and faculty volunteers, have run this innovative series with extraordinary success over this decade..."

Toronto Star: “Poverty-stricken offered glimpse of academic life”

Trinity Magazine: “Freedom: Given the tools of education and space for reflection, even the poorest can change their lives and circumstances. Trinity’s Humanities for Humanity course makes all that possible – and then some – as students and mentors alike discovered" (PDF, page 32)