Arts & Humanities

The humanities embrace the complexity of a rapidly changing world and inspire us to seek to understand it. The humanities ask difficult questions. They call our attention to our past and to the experience of people, cultures, and ways of thinking that are different from our own. They invite us to imagine, create and perform. They give us tools for analysis and interpretation, and the power to express what we see and feel. The humanities offer us pathways to deeper understanding and, with it, the possibility of richer, more meaningful and productive lives.

The humanities at Cornell live at the heart of the liberal arts mission of the College of Arts & Sciences and are central to the university’s research and educational aspirations.

What Makes Us Human?

What Makes Us Human podcast logo

What Makes Us Human?

The A&S Humanities Podcast

The latest thinking from across the disciplines.

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Season Five: What Do We Know About Inequality?

Arts and Humanities News

Transformative Humanities

Transformative Humanities

The Transformative Humanities project asks Cornell faculty to talk about their own life-changing encounters with great works in the arts and humanities and how these works have transformed their scholarship and their lives. Here are their contributions.

 Pedro Erber

Erber on Sakai's "Question of Japanese Thought"

Transformative Humanities
 Nick Salvato

Salvato on Woolf's "Orlando"

Transformative Humanities
 Steven Strogatz

Strogatz on Camus and Sartre

Transformative Humanities
 Andrea Bachner

Bachner on Butler's "Gender Trouble"

Transformative Humanities
 Laurent Saloff-Coste

Saloff-Coste on Chastel

Transformative Humanities
 William Kennedy

Kennedy on Vergil's "Aeneid"

Transformative Humanities
 Ross Brann

Brann on "The Cairo Geniza"

Transformative Humanities
 Noliwe Rooks

Rooks on Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"

Transformative Humanities
 Mary Beth Norton

Norton on Bradstreet and Frost

Transformative Humanities
 Kate Manne

Manne on Williams' "Moral Luck"

Transformative Humanities
 Jonathan Boyarin

Boyarin on Benjamin's "Illuminations"

Transformative Humanities
 James Cutting

Cutting on "The Sound of Music"

Transformative Humanities
 Debra Castillo

Castillo on Glickman's "Una tal Raquel"

Transformative Humanities
 Daniel Schwarz

Schwarz on Joyce's "Ulysses"

Transformative Humanities
 Cynthia Robinson

Robinson on Millais' "Ophelia"

Transformative Humanities
 Courtney Roby

Roby on "The Mynas Codex"

Transformative Humanities
 Annette Richards

Richards on Bach's Passacaglia in C minor

Transformative Humanities

Big Ideas in the Humanities

Big Ideas in the Humanities

The Big Ideas project brings together scholars from various disciplines to discuss emerging themes in the humanities. In the spring of 2016, during the New Century for Humanities celebrations leading up to the Klarman Hall Dedication, the College organized a series of panel discussions to address some of these common themes. The following features expand on these discussions to show how faculty from across the college are exploring these subjects.

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Engaged Art and Its Critique

Contemporary Art

Understanding the mind

Philosophy of Mind
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