The Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities was established through a gift to the university honoring the globally celebrated author Jack Kerouac, and his wife Stella, who were both Lowell natives (Kerouac wrote five novels partially set in the city). The Kerouac Center is a collaborative, interdisciplinary engagement center broadly focused on literature, film, and popular culture, as well as political, social, and intellectual history, associated with Jack Kerouac and related Beat writers and artists.

The Center

  • seeks to utilize the university’s and the city’s connection to Kerouac’s life, art, and archives even as the Center reaches beyond Kerouac to investigate other Beat authors and, more generally, America in a global context during the years he wrote (1945-1969);
  • oversees (in tandem with the university library) the UMass Lowell Kerouac archive – the most comprehensive collection of Kerouac materials in the world;
  • seeks to catalyze interdisciplinary discussions on post-war topics among faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and the public with lectures, panels, readings, conferences, performances, workshops, digital humanities projects, and museum exhibits.