The humanities have chronicled and critiqued the imaginative, creative, and intellectual development of people the world over from the time that we began recording our thoughts, aspirations, successes and failures. From ancient cultures to the present, philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language have been the traditional disciplines for understanding our place in the world. At our center we see the humanities exercising an even broader reach. Its impact is obvious in art, architecture, music, and theater, yet it has equally significant influence in law, medicine, business, science, and social work. A sense of the human experience informs studies in all of these areas and engagement with the humanities enforces our comprehension of what we have done and what we might do.
Traditionally, American universities have centered study of the humanities within a group of academic departments asked to deal with these questions. At FIU we see the humanities as an integral feature in the identity of every unit on our campus, and community. Our university is in the community, not adjacent to it, and our interest in the humanities necessarily entails engagement with the community.