Centering the humanities 
Topics/tags: Grinnell, short
The other day, I was driving by the new HSSC and saw a sign in front
Humanities and Social Studies Center . I was puzzled,
since I’ve always referred to it as
The Humanities and Social Studies
Complex . As I thought about it, I realized that the
version is what I’ve been seeing in recent announcements from the
College, such as the Special Campus Memo about our new Dean, Anne
F. Harris [4,5].
On the one hand, that naming makes sense. After all, the building
in which I work is the Noyce Science Center . On the other, we
Center at Grinnell to mean an entity devoted to some area.
We have a Center for Prairie Studies, a Center for Teaching, Learning,
and Assessment, a Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership, and, um,
a Center for the Humanities.
I’m sure that most Grinnellians will be able to tell the two apart.
But what about outsiders?
Where can I find the Humanities Center?
The Center for the Humanities or the Humanities and Social Studies
Um, I’m not sure. I’m a guest speaker for the symposium.
Oh, that’s the Center for the Humanities. You can find it on the third
floor of the Humanities and Social Science Center .
Even without that confusion, it strikes me that
complex is a better
term. The OED
[8,9] tells me that a complex is
A group or system of different things
that are linked in a close or complicated way or
A group of similar
buildings or facilities on the same site. That seems to describe
the HSSC. I realize that it’s now one big edifice. But it consists of
at least two inner buildings with an outer wrapper.
But maybe it’s not the center. Now I’m confused. I went to look
something up and discovered that in an article in the Grinnell
it’s called the Complex. In the project overview
it’s the Center. But there’s also an update that calls it the
Is consistent naming that complex?
Postscript: Does anyone know have an authoritative answer about the name of the HSSC?
 And the social studies. But not the fine-arts humanities.
 That sign seems to have disappeared.
 Once in a while, I refer to it as
The Humanities and Social
 In particular, that memo includes the statement,
Anne will be
joining the College at a time when our academics are remarkably strong,
with unparalleled faculty, a distinctive individually advised curriculum,
and robust academic facilities, to include the Humanities and Social
Studies Center slated to open in 2020. [Emphasis mine.]
 Officially, the Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center.
 That’s a placeholder; I have no idea where in the HSSC the Center for Humanities will be housed.
 The Oxford English Dictionary.
 Or maybe that’s the EOLD - English Oxford Living Dictionary.
 That page also notes
This will be the new home of the Anthropology
department when finished. I had thought that the building would include
other departments, too.
Version 1.0 of 2019-01-06.