At a research university such as UR, it is easy to forget what the humanities have to offer.
With our unique curriculum, it is easy for students to leave the school having taken only three humanities courses in four years. Since President Joel Seligman allocated $100,000 to create the Humanities Fund in 2006, however, the Humanities Project committee has worked to bring subjects such as art, music and philosophy to the forefront.
The Humanities Project has brought speakers to campus, held movie showings and created two new classes available for students. With Seligman’s recent announcement that he will both continue and increase funding for the project for the remainder of his presidency, it is likely that even more interesting events will be held in the years to come. Seligman, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering Peter Lennie and the Humanities Project committee should be commended for their commitment to ensuring that students have every opportunity to become well-rounded scholars.
With such a wide variety of interesting events being held here, it is a shame that they are not highly publicized to students. While David Cole’s lecture on the War on Terror Tuesday night drew a relatively large crowd, the lack of flyer posting for something so relevant to students was puzzling. Other events held in conjunction with the Humanities Project, such as the Carrie Mae Weems art exhibit and the lecture on women in music by Judith Tick, are publicized with flyers around campus, but these fail to promote the Humanities Project itself anywhere besides the tiny print in the corner. If it were made blatantly clear that these events were part of the Humanities Project, interest among students would grow, eventually leading to larger crowds.
The humanities are a vital part of any institution of higher learning, and the Humanities Project does an incredible job of illuminating this field. The project is a great undertaking for UR, and its effects should be clearly visible to students.