At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, we strive to give knowledge leadership in a wide and diverse range of research and teaching programs, including: anthropology, archaeology, art history, classics, communication, criminology, cultural studies, drama, history, international relations, journalism, languages, linguistics, literature, media studies, music, political science, philosophy, sociology, and world religions.
Why do these subjects matter? One answer is that without them universities would not have evolved. After all, it was the humanities that have vigorously defended free and independent thought, when for centuries governments treated scholarship with suspicion. Inside the mini republics of learning established in the oldest faculties of arts and humanities, knowledge flourished as revealed truth made way for justified beliefs. Later, as the social sciences developed, the power of privilege was eroded by ideas of progress, fairness, and equality.
The relevance of the humanities has not diminished over time. Indeed, it is possible to make a persuasive case that they matter more than ever. That is why the disciplines that make up HaSS are critical drivers of the University’s mission to generate ‘knowledge leadership for a better world.'
Often knowledge leadership requires building partnerships with fields of inquiry outside of the immediate concerns of the Faculty – working with scientists to understand the impact of climate change, working with law specialists, working with economists to better grasp the relationship between private interests and the public good. These wider conversations are held by researchers in lively seminar programs, and are reflected in the joint programs offered in HaSS.
Professor Tim Dunne
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences