The challenges of the 21st century demand humanistic thought. Leaders and citizens must integrate information from diverse fields to forge creative solutions in collaboration with others, and implement them with moral concern for the lives they affect.
Accordingly, 21st-century liberal arts education must be centered on: interdisciplinarity, fostering flexible understanding that bridges disciplines; collaboration, developing skills of listening and communication that enable creative cooperation; and community, cultivating empathy and ethical sensitivity for others.
With these as our core principles, the Humanities Initiative at F&M promotes humanistic inquiry as the core of liberal arts education for the 21st century, via initiatives that foster humanistic thought and demonstrate the relevance of the humanities throughout students’ undergraduate experience and faculty members’ intellectual lives.
The Humanities Initiative Directors & Student Advisory Board
The Humanities Initiative at F&M welcomes and encourages student participation. The Student Advisory Board provides a vehicle for interested F&M students to directly engage in leadership of Humanities-related activities at F&M, as well as to provide the student voice and perspective for the Humanities Initiative Co-Directors. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Co-Directors for more information.
Humanities Initiative Co - Directors
Peter Jaros, Associate Professor of English - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Stone, Associate Professor of Russian and Russian Studies - email@example.com
Fields of Study
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.
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.
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. Recent studies bear this out, showing humanities majors excelling across a variety of academic, career and life skill measures. Use the links below to further explore the many benefits of studying the humanities.
Develop Valued Skills
Humanities majors are highly valued by employers for the skills they posess.Read more
Enjoy Lifelong Benefits
Humanities majors enjoy benefits that extend into all facets of life after college.Read more
Prominent leaders with a background in the humanities can be found in every sector of business and industry today. The National Humanities Alliance website curates an ever-expanding list with additional names of humanities graduates at the top of their respective fields.
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Brian Norcross is senior director of music & conducting studies. Who is his favorite student? All of them.Read More
Liberal Arts is the Future of Work
Liberal arts colleges and educational leaders from around the country will gather at F&M June 1-3 for a conference to imagine the workplace of tomorrow.Read More
'97 Alum Reconnects with A Cappella Roots
Music producer Ed Chung '97 returned to campus in April to record and produce an album with The Poor Richards, F&M's oldest a cappella group.Read More
Faculty Meet the Machine
A brave new world of artificial Intelligence (AI) opened in the classroom this year so we sat down with ChatGPT-4 and two professors to discuss the future.Read More