What is Humanities and Cultural Studies?
The Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies is a place for adventurous scholars and students who want to understand the complex interconnections between the arts, social structures, and history. Interdisciplinary and global in scope, our courses provide students with opportunities for detailed cultural analysis in a broad historical and philosophical context. We welcome students and scholars who are dedicated, open-minded, and willing to challenge conventional intellectual boundaries.
As a student, you will be able to:
- See how Roman emperors managed their “image” with public works, monuments, festivals, and coins in the days before mass communication.
- Study how children’s toys—from board games to Barbie dolls—have registered changing ideas of childhood in American life.
- Consider the question, “Did women have a Renaissance?”, through an examination of the 15th-century humanist concept of “the dignity of man” and its gendered implications.
- Examine how Western attitudes toward food reveal new aspects of social class in modern Europe and America.
- Explore the multi-disciplinary comprehension of film as an aesthetic medium, while understanding how film has helped shape the socio-political situation of Western civilizations.
- Listen to the blues and learn how this unique American musical practice has informed so much of 20th- and 21st-century American and world culture.
In the Humanities and Cultural Studies Department, we offer two undergraduate majors (Humanities and American Studies), and two masters degrees. To find out more about the department’s course offerings and degree programs visit the Undergraduate and Graduate sections of our Web site.