The Humanities are critical to public life and public education. Humanists define and debate moral and social values; they interpret literary texts and historical documents; they analyze works of art and they explore ideas; and they teach us not only what these things mean, but why they are important. The Humanities cultivate the skills essential to active citizenship—careful reading, informed debate, an awareness of our place in a complex world at a critical moment in time. The Humanities teach us to think and to question, how to read and how to see. The Humanities help us understand what we create and what we believe, what we value and what we fear; they help us map the tangled histories of where we have been and navigate the possibilities of the roads ahead. Our award-winning researchers, teachers, and students are committed to advancing the public good and public access to knowledge in the classroom, on campus, and in our local, national, and global communities.
The Humanities Division at Rutgers University-New Brunswick consists of 19 departments and programs as well as 13 centers, institutes, and initiatives. It is the most intellectually diverse unit in the School of Arts and Sciences, and it boasts some of the top-ranked fields in the nation. There are more than 400 full-time faculty members in the Humanities, and nearly 500 part-time instructors, including teaching assistants, expert lecturers, and visiting professors, artists, and practitioners whose accomplishments outside the university enrich our courses and programs. We serve upwards of 50,000 students each year in seminars, workshops, labs, and lectures that draw students from all over the New Brunswick campus.
The Humanities help us understand the present in light of the past. They help us think about how we arrived at this moment and who brought us here. They help us analyze the words and images that persuade and incite. And they help us use words and images to defend and create. We need the Humanities to help us establish models of civic leadership and to help us educate ourselves and our community so that we can be the leaders we want to see.
Rutgers Humanities is a preeminent interdisciplinary research hub and a wellspring of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching. We provide knowledge across a range of fields, but our core mission is to help shape independent judgment and personal expression. As such, the Humanities plays a central role in the well-rounded education of all students and contributes to the creation of informed, actively engaged global citizens, prepared for the realities of the 21st century.