Message from the Chair

There is no denying that we stand at an important juncture in the world’s history.   Recent social and political developments in North America and Europe highlight the need for a thoughtful citizenry with a wide historical understanding of the world—one that is capable of critical analysis and self-reflection.

The Department of Humanities in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies is responsive to the needs of the changing world in which we live. From their first to fourth year, our students acquire the qualities and critical skills necessary not only for further study, but also for employment and community involvement. By providing training in interdisciplinary humanities; encouraging academic initiative and responsibility; and building capacity for decision making and team work, our courses prepare students for engaged and mature citizenship and position them for success in university and beyond.

Founded on the principles of liberal education, the Department is unique in Canada. No other Canadian university has a department that provides students with interdisciplinary courses and programs that together offer a comprehensive introduction to the humanities as an integrated field of study. The Department's curriculum is thus informed by a powerful vision of interdisciplinary study that few departments in North America can match.

With over fifty full-time faculty members, students benefit from a wide range of courses that count toward a BA (Major or Minor) in Humanities or an International BA degree. The Department is also home to 11 undergraduate degree programs that are framed by the same core values as the Humanities Major but allow focus in more concentrated thematic, regional or cultural areas: Canadian Studies, Children's Studies, Classical Studies, Culture & Expression, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Hellenic Studies, Individualized Studies, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies and US Studies.

In addition, the Department is known for its award winning teachers and researchers. In two consecutive years, Humanities faculty (Kabita Chakraborty in 2016 and Andrea Davis in 2017) received the President's university-wide teaching award in the full-time and senior full-time categories. Between 2015 and 2017 our faculty published over 30 books (including peer-reviewed manuscripts, fiction and translations) and were awarded over a million dollars in research funding.

As an interdisciplinary teacher and researcher, I value the role the Department plays in advancing inclusivity and diversity of thought, and in encouraging self-reflection and engaged scholarship. I'm happy to provide a more detailed introduction to our courses and programs and to answer any questions you have.

Warmest regards,

Andrea A. Davis, PhD
Chair, Department of Humanities