The Humanities Collective is comprised of faculty from a variety of disciplines across the College who are dedicated to pedagogical and scholarly methodologies rooted in intellectual and humanistic inquiry. The Humanities examine the historical, cultural, and philosophical dimensions of human experience in the discovery and sharing of knowledge. As scholars and students of the Humanities, we situate ourselves within an active historical understanding of the world as it is and what it will become. The self-determined success of all human institutions resides in the possibilities presented to us by our historical and ethical development. The humanistic ideas of freedom, individualism, and the community have been embraced, appropriated, or opposed by diverse cultures from Europe and the Americas to Africa and Asia. Through original scholarship, campus-wide programs, and innovative teaching, the Collective seeks to foster an understanding of the origins, interpretations, and consequences of these ideas. In order for human progress to continue, we must imagine ways in which both the individual and community can aspire towards what philosophers from Epicurus to Nussbaum have called,“human flourishing.”
Academic fields in the Humanities, according to the National Endowment for the Humanities, include, but are not limited to, history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, archaeology, jurisprudence, the history, criticism, and practice of the arts, ethics, comparative religion, and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical methodologies.Â As such, the Humanities constitute the foundation of a liberal arts education.
The broader goals of the Humanities Collective are to strengthen research and teaching in the Humanities; to support interdisciplinary collaboration among humanities faculty and faculty in other disciplines; to encourage its goals among students, faculty, and the larger Dickinson community; and to create a greater role for the Humanities in an increasingly material and technologically-driven world.