Humanities fields help us understand – and even thrive in – a world of rapidly increasing complexity. They explore ever-changing meanings of the human itself and challenge the boundaries of the known world. Humanistic inquiry delves into problems of belonging that our technologizing era forces us to confront: it helps us understand who we are, how we fit together in culture and society, how we got where we are, and where we are going. It draws on the accumulated wisdom of the past and educates the imaginations of the future.
As a global university in New York City, NYU offers superb opportunities for such world-expanding inquiry. In NYU’s Humanities departments and programs – many of them among the top-ranked in the US and beyond – curricula enlarge our sense of the here and now by demonstrating our intricate interrelatedness with other times, other people, other places. In fields that range from Art History to East Asian Studies, Philosophy to Music, Hellenic Studies to Social and Cultural Analysis, Religious Studies to Creative Writing to Digital Humanities, and many more, students not only receive specialized training but also learn broader, transferable skills of critical thinking, persuasive argumentation, and effective communication that are crucial for active participation in civil society – or for changing the world.
Humanities fields are not only at the center of a liberal arts education but are also foundational to the professions. To the medical doctor they provide ethics; to the lawyer, the long and varied histories and traditions of justice; to the business person, the critical understanding of value.
I invite you to scroll through these pages to discover the many dimensions of the Humanities at NYU. Explore the intriguing classes, the challenging programs of study, the path-breaking research pursued by our students and faculty, and the dynamic culture of creativity that is NYU.
Dean for the Humanities