Dr. Jason Kelly, associate professor of British history in the School of Liberal Arts, has been appointed the inaugural director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute (IAHI). His appointment is effective as of July 1, 2012. Established in 2011, the IAHI supports campus-wide attainment of excellence in research and creative activity in arts and humanities. Its mission includes showcasing and promoting the major intellectual and scholarly contributions IUPUI faculty members from across disciplines are making in the arts and humanities. The IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute supports individual faculty members, groups, and interdisciplinary teams in their pursuit of research and creative activity through grant programs and promoting educational experiences in the arts and humanities in academic curricula across campus. In addition, the IAHI will serve as a liaison between IUPUI and the community, fostering ongoing partnerships and ventures that advance arts and humanities endeavors.
“I am thrilled to be the first director of the IAHI,” says Dr. Kelly. “IUPUI has a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of scholars who specialize in the arts and humanities. Their work has regional, national, and international impact, and the IAHI will be a resource to help them thrive. IUPUI is more than a life sciences campus. It is a university with a dynamic arts and humanities faculty as well. The mission of the IAHI is to support their scholarship and to help them enrich the cultural landscape of Indianapolis.”
According to Dr. Kelly, the arts and humanities are essential to the mission of IUPUI. They foster the critical thinking, imagination, creativity, and reflexivity that are needed in the rapidly changing world of the 21st century. IUPUI faculty members’ research in the arts and humanities informs policy, improves communities, and opens new avenues for thought. It engages students and demonstrates to them the importance of understanding the diversity of the human experience. It challenges them to consider their responsibilities as ethical citizens in a global world. “The IAHI’s mission goes beyond campus. It will play an important role in the city as Indianapolis continues to develop and grow. It will work to extend IUPUI’s relationships with community partners. Through sponsoring lectures, performances, and exhibitions, the IAHI will benefit the city and help strengthen its cultural reputation,” Dr. Kelly explains.
In the next year, the IAHI will expand its grant program and develop IUPUI’s arts and humanities programming – on campus, downtown, and online. As Director, Dr. Kelly plans to reach out to the community to build mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships. He is excited about sharing with the public the wide-ranging and innovative contributions that IUPUI arts and humanities faculty make both locally and nationally.
“I am happy that we have a person of the caliber of Dr. Jason Kelly as the inaugural director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. I expect that his many talents and enthusiasm will enable the Institute to reach its vision of being recognized nationally and internationally as an innovative leader in research and scholarship in the arts and humanities,” says Dr. Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Research.
Prior to Dr. Kelly’s appointment, IAHI was guided by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Council which reports to Vice Chancellor Varahramyan. The Council is comprised of faculty members from the Schools of Liberal Arts, Engineering and Technology, Informatics, Medicine, Herron School of Art and Design, and University Library. The Council will continue to help shape the future direction of IAHI and assist in the establishment and implementation of initiatives, programs, strategies, and resources.
Dr. Kelly was recently elected a Society of Antiquaries of London fellow, a prestigious honor that will give him the opportunity to contribute the Society’s efforts to advance and further the study and knowledge of the antiquities in London and other countries. Created in 1707, the Society of Antiquaries of London currently has more than 2,900 members, including experts in architecture, art and architectural history. Kelly’s membership in the society comes as a result of significant achievement in the study of British art history and the history of archaeology.
Dr. Kelly’s academic interests are varied and include the history of European art and architecture, the history of civil rights, and the digital humanities. He teaches courses on the history of science, gender, and historiography. His most recent book was The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment (Yale University Press, 2010).