The humanities study diverse aspects of human life in world cultures such as the arts, languages, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. The study of the Humanities encourages interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge, problem solving, communal life, research techniques and classroom dynamics. Through a wide variety of courses offered in many departments and programs, students gain valuable skills in written communication and critical, analytical thinking. Courses in the humanities also introduce students to current interdisciplinary work that enhances past and contemporary theoretical approaches. Beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines, interdisciplinary programs raise issues surrounding race, ethnicity, gender, class, ideology, and rhetoric. By emphasizing the importance of community, the Humanities extend our vision to encompass intellectual diversity and innovative thinking.
Studying the humanities is crucial even if the outcomes are difficult to measure. Success in life demands not only mastering the technical knowledge of a profession, but also acquiring the good judgment and wisdom to choose one's paths carefully, the capacity to relate sensitively and effectively to others, and the ability to respond imaginatively to the complex personal and professional situations we confront everyday. Sustained and vigorous engagement with the Humanities encourages the kind of self-reflection necessary to honing good judgment, developing well-examined values, and becoming a thoughtful person.
Our faculty in the humanities are known for their internationally recognized research and for creating opportunities for intellectual exchange. This excellence manifests itself in the classroom through lively discussion and a genuine concern for students' pursuit of knowledge. Beyond the classroom setting, lectures, symposia, and other campus-wide events sponsored by the Humanities Council and departments and programs link the Humanities to other aspects of university and community life.