The World Humanities Report

Exploring the invaluable contribution that the humanities can make towards establishing new human values in times of increasing globalisation, greater connectivity and rising uncertainty in the face of new economic, financial and social challenges.

World Humanities Report is a landmark international initiative designed to explore the current state of the humanities and showcase the contributions of the humanities to knowledge and society. To achieve this, research teams throughout the world are identifying trends, analysing new and historic developments, and collecting examples that cut across scholarly methods, practices, and disciplines, including interdisciplinary and new approaches.

The initiative is led by the US-based Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) on behalf of the International Council of Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with support from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Teams from Africa, the Arab region, Australia, China, Europe, Latin America, North America, Russia, and South Asia will contribute chapters.

Australia’s contribution to the Report draws on several current Academy projects, including our research into the challenges facing the future humanities workforce in Australia; the changing relationships within and between university-based research institutions, industry, and the community; and recent changes to humanities policy aligned to current and future global challenges.

In the Report, the Academy will include a distinct and unique reflection on ‘Horizons for the Humanities’ on what the future might bring in the realm of humanities research and disciplinary evolution. Topics that will be explored include:

  • Indigenous knowledge – how more than 60,000 years of Australian Indigenous knowledge transforms perspectives on contemporary issues from environmental sustainability and restorative justice, to cultural competence and engaged social policy.
  • Collaboration and infrastructure – exploring new ways research is being conducted and platforms and investment needed to digitally preserve and share cultural and social data.
  • Community engagement – revealing the vital role of regional and rural Australia and primary and secondary education to increasing public value in the humanities.
  • Humanising the Future – showcasing Australian research that focuses on initiatives, debates and current progress of human/machine interactions and automated decision-making.

The Report will include three components: open access digital working papers composed by participating research teams; a published report; and a set of policy recommendations designed to inform the future framework agreement between CIPSH and UNESCO and serve as a point of reference for UNESCO’s next midterm strategy assessment. Additionally, the Report will provide a rich, evidence-based resource for Australia’s policy directions in secondary and tertiary education, university leadership and administration, research and innovation, cultural and knowledge diplomacy, and government and philanthropy funding schemes.

The World Humanities Report will launch at the end of 2020.

Expert working group

The Academy is leading the Australian contribution, with an expert working group chaired by Academy President Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA and comprising Academy Fellows Professor Kate Burridge FAHAProfessor Will Christie FAHAProfessor Louise Edwards FASSA FHKAH FAHAProfessor Annamarie Jagose FAHAProfessor Lynette Russell AM FRHistS FASSA FAHA and Professor Julian Thomas FAHA, supported by the Academy’s Director Policy & Research Dr Kylie Brass, and Research Officer Dr Iva Glisic.

Further information 

Please contact for further information.