Humanities

Man stands on stage and performs during a theatre play.

 

 

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.

 


News from Humanities

May 7, 2024
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE, SPANISH - Leah Middlebrook, associate professor of comparative literature and Spanish for the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed as the new director of the Oregon Humanities Center. Her new position starts July 1, 2024. Middlebrook brings a rich humanities background to the position and she said the position is an honor she takes seriously.
May 7, 2024
LINGUISTICS - A historian and a linguist have received National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) awards, a prestigious honor that goes to only 16% of applicants in a given year. The grants were awarded to Gabriela Pérez Báez, associate professor of linguistics and director of the Language Revitalization Lab, and Arafaat Valiani, an associate professor in the Department of History and affiliated faculty in the Global Health program.
May 1, 2024
FOLKLORE AND PUBLIC CULTURE - Nearly 50 years after his death, Steve Prefontaine still motivates Eugene and University of Oregon runners to honor him. Professor Daniel Wojcik remembers running with the iconic runner in the May-June issue of CAS Connection.

All news »

We Love Our Supporters

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Your Gift Changes Lives

Gifts to the College of Arts and Sciences can help our students make the most of their college careers. To do this, CAS needs your support. Your contributions help us ensure that teaching, research, advising, mentoring, and support services are fully available to every student. Thank you!

Give to CAS

World-Class Faculty in the Humanities

associate professor of comparative literature Leah Middlebrook smiles at camera

Leah Middlebrook

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.

portrait of Mat Johnson in suit standing on building patio

Mat Johnson

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.

 

colin koopman, philosophy professor, poses in front of bookshelves

Colin Koopman

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.

Read his interview in The New York Times Magazine with David Marchese about data politics and related topics discussed in his latest book, How We Became Our Data.

 

Paris, France cityscape at night

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.

Explore the GSL

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.

Harry Wonham  
Divisional Associate Dean, Humanities

harry wonham

Happening at CAS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UO College of Arts & Sciences (@uocas) • Instagram photos and videos

May 18
2024 MFA Terminal Project Exhibitions Round 1

Please join us for the first of two MFA Terminal Project exhibitions! On view will be work by Ashley Campbell, Sydney Lee, and Noa Taylor. Help us celebrate the work and...
2024 MFA Terminal Project Exhibitions Round 1
May 17–19
Ditch Projects

Please join us for the first of two MFA Terminal Project exhibitions! On view will be work by Ashley Campbell, Sydney Lee, and Noa Taylor. Help us celebrate the work and tremendous accomplishment of these three artists as they reach the culmination point of three rigorous years of study at UO!

May 18
2024 Student Organization Leadership Graduation Cord

Did you hold a student organization officer/leadership position? Are you graduating Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024? If so, you are eligible to receive a FREE...
2024 Student Organization Leadership Graduation Cord
March 27–June 30

Did you hold a student organization officer/leadership position? Are you graduating Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024? If so, you are eligible to receive a FREE Student Organization Leader Cord. To receive your cord, fill out this form https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1zRIfukUZUz1EGO before July 1, 2024.  

To be eligible for a Student Organization Leadership Cord a student must:   

be graduating Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024,   be in a UO Student Club that is officially registered or recognized and verified through the Engage system,   hold a Student Leadership position and that position should be indicated in the Engage system,  fill out the form completely,   submit it by July 1, 2024, and  have not been given a student organization leadership cord in a previous year. 

Cords can be picked up or mailed to you, your choice. Questions about cords should be directed to Center for Student Involvement csi@uoregon.edu, 541-346-2631 

May 18
Ablaze (With Destruction and Abundance)

Presented by the Center for Art Research Adam DeSorbo: Ablaze (With Destruction and Abundance) March 1- May 19, 2024 CFAR billboard project at 510 Oak Street,...
Ablaze (With Destruction and Abundance)
March 1–May 19
510 Oak

Presented by the Center for Art Research

Adam DeSorbo: Ablaze (With Destruction and Abundance)

March 1- May 19, 2024 CFAR billboard project at 510 Oak Street, Eugene, OR 97403

Ablaze (With Destruction and Abundance) depicts ochre-tinted maple leaves nailed to wood planks that have been strengthened through a traditional Japanese charring process known as the Yakisugi method. The burned boards and maple leaves allude to transitional states, both benign and seasonal, and the more destructive forces of increasing wildfire activity. The embedded relationship between preservation and destruction as it relates to the Anthropocene brings our paradoxical tendencies as a species into full relief. The image is activated through original text by the artist, making explicit the process of grieving a burning world. The interaction between the image and the text proposes an embrace of our ecological cracking, the necessity to witness, the urge to preserve, and the radical act of finding joy while existing in the cracks.

This CFAR billboard project is supported by the University of Oregon Department of ARt’s Center for Art Research in conjunction with the exhibition series Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World.

May 18
Craft Center Visiting Artist Exhibit: Frank Gosar

The Craft Center is excited to welcome our spring 2024 visiting artist, Frank Gosar. Frank has been creating pottery for over 30 years as Off Center Ceramics. His work will be on...
Craft Center Visiting Artist Exhibit: Frank Gosar
April 1–June 7
Erb Memorial Union (EMU) Craft Center Gallery, Floor 2

The Craft Center is excited to welcome our spring 2024 visiting artist, Frank Gosar. Frank has been creating pottery for over 30 years as Off Center Ceramics. His work will be on view in the Craft Center Gallery from April 1 - June 7. 

Frank will also be teaching two workshops with the Craft Center this term, "Brush Making and Ceramic Painting" and "Potter's Tool Kit." For more information or to register, please visit https://craftcenter.uoregon.edu/workshops.

(The Craft Center Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Erb Memorial Union just past the Adell McMillan Gallery. Please check the Erb Memorial Union website for site hours.)