Experience, Engage, Work in the Humanities 

Acquiring one of the most essential skills – learning how to question -- is at the heart of the study of the humanities at Franklin & Marshall College.

We recognize that in whatever path of life students choose, the ability to understand differing values, identify conflicts in thinking and reasoning, and find answers to complex questions is essential for cultivating qualities of innovation and leadership.

That's why we emphasize study in intimate classes, with the student-to-faculty ratio in some humanities majors, such as philosophy, as small as 5:1. And we also offer opportunities for field study and research that students might usually expect to pursue in the sciences or other fields. Students at F&M experience and engage with the questions that students elsewhere might only read about.

Students studying classics, for example, have kneeled alongside faculty with chisels in hand, digging at an archaeological site in Tuscany to find answers buried for millennia; and a student of philosophy traveled to Israel with an F&M professor to present a published paper they co-authored on the subject of emotions.

This is part of the distinctiveness  in our approach to the humanities. Study at F&M spans the full range of study of human culture and the human experience, from classical archaeology to literature, to philosophy and cultural studies, and through languages. 

We offer courses in 11 languages, ranging from introductory language courses to upper-level seminars taught in other languages on topics such as literature and film.

F&M embraces the principle that students who are linguistically, intellectually and culturally equipped to communicate successfully are better prepared to thrive in our multicultural society, both in the United States and around the world.

Story 8/28/2014

Mapping Deserted Greek Villages for Cultural and...

An F&M professor and his student researcher used the latest tool in archeology, the drone, to capture aerial photos in a survey of abandoned Greek villages.

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Story 2/16/2012

Student, Professor Take Research Findings to Israel

Professor of Philosophy Bennett Helm and senior Dan Kaplan traveled to Israel to present a paper they co-authored that explored emotions through a metaphysical lens. 

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Humanities for Life

Students Study Arabic for Life Beyond F&M 
  • After War student documentary

Two Franklin & Marshall students have been selected for the U.S. Department of State's prestigious Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic abroad hope to apply their language skills to their professional careers.  Religious Studies major Morgan Kincade traveled to Jordan and psychology major Brenna Snyder traveled to Morocco as part of a select group of 550 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country in a program designed to promote use of critical language beyond college.

Did you know ...

Some of the world's most prominent leaders in all sectors of business and industry majored in the humanities as undergraduates at colleges across the country:

  • Founder of the CNN and TBS cable TV networks, Ted Turner, was a classics major
  • Former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner was a double major in English and theatre
  • Former CEO of MTV, Judy McGrath, and the former CEO of Avon cosmetics, Andrea Jung, were both English majors

Among graduates of F&M:

  • Former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Stan Brand graduated with a major in English
  • Actor Treat Williams of the TV series "Heartland" and "Everwood" majored in drama (now configured as a major in theatre)

The Pulse of the Humanities at F&M

Story 10/21/2016

Documentarian Looks at a Century of Italian Films Featuring...

“Salambô,” an Italian film made in 1914, starred Domenic Gaido, the first Italian black actor whose story director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu tells in his new documentary, “Blaxploitalian,” which screens Oct...

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Story 9/22/2016

Is Being Muslim and Being American Incompatible?

“The question itself is absurd,” said Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at ​Emory University....

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Story 9/22/2016

Sharing Experiences, Conversation, Not Moral Political...

Finding reasons for individuals of different colors and cultures to share experiences moves them closer to understanding one another, rather than moral and political debates that rarely, if ever,...

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Story 9/20/2016

Pictures at Exhibitions: The Latest at The Phillips

From pastel drawings of the marble panels on Greece’s Parthenon in Athens to the painted and penciled works by alumni and faculty, the Phillips Museum of Art presents a fall of fascinating exhibits.  

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Story 9/8/2016

F&M Helps Celebrate Tuscany’s "Day of the Etruscans"

In Florence, Italy, they are celebrating the discovery of a large sandstone slab inscribed with an ancient Etruscan text, uncovered in 2015 by Franklin & Marshall College students and others at the...

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Story 8/31/2016

Africana Studies Examines the Continent's Influence on the...

From an exhibit on North African women writers to a lecture on American Muslims to a film on "Blaxploitation" in Italian cinema, F&M's Africana Studies Program has organized a series of events for...

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Story 7/27/2016

Can Living With Two Languages Make You Smarter?

To determine whether there are cognitive benefits to being bilingual, a Franklin & Marshall College professor and her Hackman student scholar are examining research participants in areas such as...

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Story 6/15/2016

Examining the Habits of Mind

Associate Professor of Philosophy Lee Franklin guides first-year F&M students through a lesson in his Connections course, "What is the Examined Life?"

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Story 5/24/2016

College Links Up with Internet2, Faster Connection to...

Franklin & Marshall College has joined Internet2. It is the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network. 

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