The Humanities Program brings world-class scholars and undergraduates together in pursuit of fundamental insights into the human condition as they arise in literature, the arts, history, philosophy and the sciences.
The Program began in the mid-twentieth century as a set of “special programs” enabling more interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching than would easily fit into the academic departments. Today the Program continues to produce new experiments in curricular coherence without being unduly constrained by methodological parochialism. The Humanities Program offers both a traditional education in classic works of Western culture and evolving course offerings reflecting cultural diversity and new theoretical approaches.
Scholars come to the Program with a wide range of expertise and interests in the humanities, from ancient Greece and classical China to medieval France to the Enlightenment, from prehistoric music-making to postmodern literary figures, from existentialism to contemporary film and media, from Romantic poetry to modernization and language in Asia. What brings these scholars together is a sense that the distinctly human world of felt experience and significance deserves serious study and sophisticated theoretical framing, and a belief that conversations drawing upon the expertise of multiple disciplines can produce a common and useful vocabulary for articulating certain insights.