The departments and programs of the Humanities Division are committed to the study of human meaning as it is expressed in diverse languages, explained in diverse literatures, and reflected upon from diverse philosophical and religious perspectives. Students seek to understand the values and purposes that make practices and systems worthwhile. In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to critically consider how individuals and communities make sense of their world is an essential skill. Explore majors, minors, concentrations, and academic programs in the humanities.
American English Institute
Chinese Flagship Program
Comics and Cartoon Studies
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World-Class Faculty in the Humanities
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish
Leah Middlebrook is an academic expert in the early modern literature of Spain, France, and England. A former Fulbright Scholar and Mellon Fellow, Leah has published and taught on subjects ranging from Petrarchism to the art of the sonnet to Cervantes.
More recently, she has begun to divide her time between a book on lyric poetry and classical myth and a new area of interest: Twenty-first century Spanish writing in the wake of the European economic crisis.
In addition to her primary research fields, Leah finds real joy in reading literature with UO students. She received the Herman Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Oregon in 2016. She received the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching at the junior faculty level in 2007.
Professor and Philip H. Knight Chair of English and Creative Writing, Comics and Cartoon Studies Program
Mat Johnson’s writing “addresses comtemporary race and social issues with wicked humor,” as described by the United States Artists organization, which awarded Johnson its James Baldwin Fellowship in 2007.
Mat's novel Loving Day (2015) graced the cover of the New York Times Book Review and won the American Book award, and 2022’s Invisible Things, his fifth, won praise from the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and NPR’s Fresh Air, where he’s become a regular contributor.
Along with teaching creative writing to undergrads and graduate students, Johnson's published five graphic novels and is a faculty member in the Comics and Cartoon Studies program. When he’s not on campus, Johnson’s at work on scripts for Apple TV+ and Netflix, among other producers.
Professor of Philosophy
Colin Koopman's research and teaching focuses on the politics of information and data, in particular on issues of privacy and surveillance. Colin is interested in the ethical and political problems that arise out of information collection, data analytics and the vast distribution mechanisms they enable. His research looks at the history of how information has come to track, define and constitute us—how it's become so important to who we are.
From a metaphilosophical perspective, Colin always attempts to challenge himself (and his collaborators and students) to practice philosophy through a style of pluralism that draws widely on diverse figures, traditions, disciplines, and themes.
School of Global Studies and Languages
At the School of Global Studies and Languages (GSL), UO students engage with diverse cultures, languages, histories, and lifeways across the world. Students of the humanities, from Cinema Studies to Religious Studies, will broaden and deepen their education in their field by viewing it—and experiencing it—through a global lens. GSL prepares our graduates for life after college with an interdisciplinary curriculum, innovative language teaching, abundant learning opportunities outside the classroom, and paths of study that lead to many options for real-world careers.
Research in the Humanities
Inquiry in humanities fields centers around our collective human experience. Our stories are told in many forms, be it a script, a screenplay, a religious text, in literature or in folktales. Researchers in the humanities employ tools of analysis to explore the long history and rapidly changing landscape of ideas, values and beliefs that coalesce in a different sort of knowledge about reality and human life.
Explore Other Majors and Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences
Meet our Dean
The departments and programs of the Humanities Division share a commitment to the study of human experience as it is expressed in diverse languages and cultures throughout history and across the world. A Humanities education encourages students to think creatively, independently, and critically about the human past, present, and future. Whether they choose to focus on cinema, classical languages, or philosophical ideas, Humanities students learn to reason, to build arguments, to write and communicate with confidence and conviction, and to view the world and its challenges from multiple perspectives.
Our College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing students with a genuine liberal arts education, which means that we strive to expose students to more than one way of knowing. We want our students to appreciate the profound differences—and the no-less profound similarities—in the way a philosopher, a biologist, and a political scientist approach the same questions about the human condition. The unique lens provided by the Humanities departments and programs at UO is an essential part of that liberal arts education, which we believe prepares students to live meaningful lives in the world.
Divisional Associate Dean, Humanities
Happening at CAS
A new, innovative earthquake center led by the University of Oregon is receiving a five-year, $15-million grant from the National Science Foundation to understand the Cascadia subduction zone and improve earthquake resiliency in the Pacific Northwest. https://t.co/LkntO5ugTq pic.twitter.com/fhxWrNe2le
— UO College of Arts and Sciences (@uocas) September 11, 2023
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Experience the dynamic forces that shape Oregon’s landscapes, climate, and ecosystems. Meet giant salmon, Ice Age sloths, and other amazing animals from across the millennia. Through interactive displays and rare specimens, you’ll go deep into Oregon’s past and join a conversation about our collective future.
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Delve into Oregon’s story, from the archaeology of the First Americans to the dynamic cultures of today’s Tribes.
Combining interactive displays with world-class anthropological collections, Oregon—Where Past is Present shares 14,000 years of Oregon stories, and invites you to tell your own. Explore the galleries, try your hand at ancient weaving styles, test your skills as an archaeologist, and much more.
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
In the 1960s – 1990s, hundreds of young women who identified as lesbians came to Eugene. They founded organization's central to the city and provided leadership for community service agencies. They created lesbian magazines, photographs, music, films, dance performances, theater, and art. They influenced Oregon's political landscape and contributed to the larger LGBTQ movement.
Come discover stories about the Eugene lesbian community from the women who created and sustained it.
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Prepare to be enchanted by the allure of the “Iris-Surreal” exhibit, a stunning collection of 25 Iris photographs by photographer, Greg Geisy, that fuse botanical elegance with artistic imagination. This exceptional exhibit is a celebration of vibrant colors, intricate details, and a touch of surrealism that will transport visitors into a world of artistic wonderment. Law School Gallery