The Simpson Center’s offices are currently all online. Our staff is available by phone and email. We do our best to respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Simpson Center for the Humanities



2000 Kathleen Woodward is named Director of the Center and joins UW as Professor of English.

1997 - The Center is endowed by a major gift from Barclay and Sharon Simpson and renamed the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities in tribute to Barclay Simpson’s father.

1997 - The Center receives a competitive University Initiative Fund (UIF) for enhancement and expansion of its programs.

1987 - The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences establishes the University of Washington Center for the Humanities with a mandate to support interdisciplinary activities. Formative leadership provided by Ron Moore (Philosophy) and Leroy Searle (English and Comparative Literature).

Major Gifts

The Simpson Center is grateful to all its supporters.

2009 - Donald Petersen gives a major gift to support the Digital Humanities Commons Endowed Fund.

2009 - A gift from Homer Bliss creates the Homer Bliss Endowed Fund in the Digital Humanities.

2008 - A gift from Herbert Blau in honor of his parents establishes the Joseph and Yetta Blau Endowment to support graduate student scholarship.

2004 - A gift from Barclay and Sharon Simpson supports a three-year Simpson Professorship in the Public Humanities, modeling a locally-invested alternative to sabbatical leave.

2003 - A bequest from Yasuko Endo creates the Robert Bolles and Yasuko Endo Endowment, which supports UW humanities graduate students.

2001 - A series of gifts (2001-2009) from Fredric Danz supports the Danz Courses in the Humanities: large-scale, team-taught interdisciplinary inquiry courses for pre-major undergraduates.

Major Grants and Contracts  

2015 – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards a grant to establish Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics, a new program to take scholarship and teaching in the humanities to broader publics. 

2013 - $1.8 million Digital Humanities Challenge Grant with the National Endowment for the Humanities completed, establishing support for the Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship program.

2011 - The Center for Biological Futures at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center establishes a UW subcontract via the Center for Biological Futures in a Globalized World.

2009 - The National Endowment for the Humanities awards the Center a Digital Humanities Challenge Grant, launching the Center’s five-year fund-raising Campaign for the Digital Humanities Commons.

2006 - The Ford Foundation funds Engaging Southeast Asian Pluralism in Seattle (2006-2008).

2004 - Rockefeller Foundation funds the Project for Critical Asian Studies (2004-2008).


Affiliations with national and international organizations enlarge the Simpson Center’s scholarly networks. Their activities frequently inform and enrich our local initiatives. Some of these organizations include: