The humanities include the disciplines which study philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. The department teaches students to ask how works of the humanities have been shaped by their historical and cultural contexts, and how they in turn have influenced readers and audiences. The department supports study of the humanities in the cultures of Europe and North America, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominately Islamic areas. Its courses give attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and in the modern period.
The Department of Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary humanities department. The department’s mission is to support excellent interdisciplinary programs for teaching, learning, and scholarship in the humanities. The department meets this mission through its GUR courses, its B.A. Humanities majors, its minors, by administering the Student-Faculty Designed Major in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and by participation in interdisciplinary programs of other departments and centers in the university.