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The School of Humanities and Social Sciences has been awarded a significant grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support teaching, research and public outreach in the field of humanities and humanistic social sciences.

This grant program will give faculty, graduate students and undergraduates the opportunity to rethink and reconsider disciplinary boundaries in the classroom, pursue critical research questions and address the urgent need for academic humanities' interventions in public debates in Egypt, the MENA region and the Global South.

Program, Events, and People

A summary of the programs within this grant is available on this site. All scheduled events are posted on this site, and the AUC Master Calendar. We also provide a list of contributors to the grant's program. If you have any questions, please send your inquiries to: or


This new grant builds on the Theory and Practice Workshops, which were also funded the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. The outcomes of these workshops are documented separately.

HUSSLab is a unit within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS) at The American University in Cairo (AUC). It was set up in 2017 to implement a three-year Mellon-funded program to support research, teaching, and public engagement in the humanities. This program will promote community outreach, faculty and student exchanges, publications, and public-oriented humanities research at AUC and its partners in Egypt and across the Global South.

This multi-institutional, global initiative coincides with a crucial transition point as AUC and other universities across the Global South consider new ways to serve their constituent communities—chief among them students—during a time of profound social, cultural, and political instability.


Our definition of humanities research and teaching is broad and includes those disciplines that seek to explore the contours of human cultures and societies past, present and future. This includes the arts, traditional humanities subjects and the non-quantitative social sciences. At AUC, these subjects are taught by faculty from the following departments:

  • Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations

  • Department of Applied Linguistics

  • Department of the Arts

  • Department of English and Comparative Literature

  • Department of History

  • Department of Philosophy

  • Department of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology

While our definition of the public humanities certainly begins with these traditional academic groupings and their traditions of expertise, we understand the public humanities as a more dynamic, problem-focused, and inchoate realm of public discourse that seeks to bring subjects of concern out from the isolated silos of academic specializations into the public sphere.

Here we bring academics into conversation with activists, we break down barriers between academic communities in the Global South and the Global North, we empower students to challenge received wisdom and redefine their own areas of interest, and we challenge academic specialists to speak to contemporary social issues of broad interest beyond the walls of academic institutions.