The Portland Center for the Public Humanities at Portland State University (PCPH) promotes rigorous humanistic inquiry into the languages, histories, and ideas that shape our ways of life, as well as those that offer a means of positively transforming them. In our view, the underlying purpose of the core humanistic disciplines is to engage public life by reframing our perspectives, interrogating our assumptions, and raising questions about human thought, history, and culture. Closely aligned with Portland State’s renowned community engagement mission, PCPH deepens the city of Portland’s intellectually and culturally vibrant life by supporting a rich program of humanist inquiry that can speak to great questions of public interest. In an age of rapid cultural and social change, PCPH works to preserve the public’s consciousness of its core intellectual traditions, while also openly exploring questions about the value and significance of what is historically new or innovative.
The center seeks to let knowledge serve the Portland community in the most direct possible sense, by providing forums where intellectual inquiry and civic engagement come together. We seek partnerships with all local organizations who share these goals.