"With regard to HaB, the first sedcutive idea to me was to 'rehabilitate people's voices', then it was this network linking Africa and Asia [...] I sensed the possibility of creating a new path with new colleagues concerned with making their profession not a 'class' issue but an engagement at the service of current urgencies." - Abdourahmane Seck (University of Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis, Senegal)
Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World is a new education and research initiative of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, The Netherlands and principally funded by The Andrew W. Mellon, New York
Whereas in the first phase of HaB we concentrated our efforts on building a network of partners and experimenting with out-of-classroom, experiential pedagogies, in HaB 2.0 we aim to mobilize existing, stand-alone educational institutions, structures, and processes into new configurations of South-South and South-North collaboration; and to formalize and apply HaB’s in situ or place-based methodologies to real-world societal and ecological concerns, in a trans-regional setting. We envision three institutional innovations under HaB 2.0 i) A global consortium with its commitment to public humanist values in education; ii) A foundational certificate program in ‘Humanities across Boarders’ co-created and co-taught across the consortium’s geographies; and iii) an interactive, collaborative-education digital platform that can operate as HaB’s pedagogical resources repository, and a network of libraries, accessible to all members and beyond. In this way we hope to build a model of locally rooted, globally conscious higher education that has remained an aspirational ideal for many universities in the North and South attempting to achieve educational justice goals.
In the next five years, we plan to organize our partners into a membership-based consortium and institutionalize it within our respective universities to ensure the program’s sustainability beyond the grant period. Disseminating the program’s humanistic approach to teaching and learning through the consortium’s website, publications, conferences, and pedagogical events, we hope to encourage other institutions in the global South and North, and especially in the US, to join our efforts in taking HaB to a new level of global collaboration and commitment to intercultural scholarship.