Trust is the Theme for 2024-2025

Headshot of Charlie Lassiter
Charlie Lassiter

May 07, 2024
Gonzaga University Communications | Spirit Newsletter

While the Gonzaga Humanities Institute, an outgrowth of GU’s Strategic Plan, is ready to launch as soon as a director is selected, advisory board members from various departments have met and decided upon a theme for the 2024-25 academic year, trust.

“Trust is vital for social, political and economic progress and thus requires interdisciplinary work,” says Charlie Lassiter, associate professor of Philosophy and interim director of the Humanities Institute. “Understanding the many iterations of trust requires conceptual work and reflection. It likewise requires practical work to build the infrastructure and relationships for cultivating trust.

“Lots of people around Gonzaga are doing excellent work, but it doesn’t always overlap,” Lassiter says. “The goal of the theme is to find a topic or concept that people from across the university can connect their research to. Next year, we will have workshops exploring our theme of trust to help encourage faculty to explore the notion of trust in their own research.”

Lassiter says the vision for the Institute is to support interdisciplinary humanities research, especially as it’s relevant to Spokane, the Inland Northwest and beyond. “Our goal is to bring insights from the humanities to bear on pressing problems, especially as they intersect with other disciplines. We find examples of this in the ethics of AI, the relevance of critical thinking and reflection in development, and the importance of narratives and storytelling for treating mental illness.”

Humanities include Philosophy, English, Communication Studies, History, Modern Languages, Classics, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies, Native American Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies, Art, Theatre and Dance.

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