Director: Professor Christina Root
Professors: George W. Dameron, John P. Kenney
Henry G. Fairbanks Visiting Humanities Scholar: Nicholas Kahm
Interdisciplinary in approach, the Humanities Program offers a spectrum of courses exploring the intellectual history and leading ideas of western culture from antiquity through the twentieth century. All Humanities courses focus on developing students’ skills in critical thinking and analysis, expansive reading, and artistic appreciation. These courses, in their comparative study of various religious, intellectual and artistic traditions, are designed to promote an enhanced awareness of the historical and cultural contexts crucial for understanding the contemporary world, and to deepen engagement with the various ways of imagining human existence and meaning.
Since the program is designed to assist the student to think and write clearly and critically, each course includes an emphasis on writing. The primary objectives of the Humanities Program are twofold: to provide the student with an appreciation for the evolutionary development of global cultural and intellectual traditions, and, more generally, to impart a sense of what Renaissance humanists referred to as the scientia rerum—the broad vision of how specialized or technical knowledge can be integrated into a liberalizing and humanistic whole.