The humanities are usually understood as a set of academic disciplines that seek to examine and interpret the human experience — that of individuals as well as entire cultures. The Humanities at Rice engage in the discovery, preservation, and communication of the past and present in order to more deeply understand contemporary society while fostering the imagination of a new future. Yet, we also live and thrive in new spaces beyond the disciplines in our collaborative and interdisciplinary centers, programs and minors, which form the foundation for the more fully integrated and "connective humanities" we seek to expand.
This connective ambition aims to support cutting-edge research, to innovate and transform the Humanities undergraduate classroom, and to advance our PhD programs to national pre-eminence through cross-disciplinary hiring initiatives, joint faculty appointments, co-taught courses that conjoin disciplines, and a new infrastructure of support for collaborative research. This connective ambition extends beyond our classrooms to local institutions and publics that build upon the location of Rice in Houston and its ties to the Texas Medical Center, to the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and other cultural institutions, as well as Houston’s vast landscape of ethnic and religious communities.
We invite you to join us in exploring some of the biggest questions of our time — on who is at the center of the study of medicine; on ethics and morality in the face of disaster; on the place of law and politics in the future of democracy; on the digital arts that connect the arts and engineering; on the substance of real justice; and on the shape and consequence of a life well lived.