Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Humanities Initiative

Columbia University’s thirteen humanities departments are among the pillars upholding the stellar reputation of both the College and the University. Long known for housing a remarkable array of public intellectuals, Columbia humanities departments bring the world’s best art and ideas to the attention of those within the university and beyond.
The humanities help us to connect the past, present, and future. Each year, Columbia humanities professors introduce students to works both timeless and timely that change how they see the world and prepare them to lead in a world that is constantly changing.
In 2014-15, the humanities faculty identified key areas for innovation. Some of these proposed changes will strengthen traditional areas of excellence; others will allow us to expand into important emerging areas. Our vision is that ten years from now, students would leave at least half of all humanities courses having mastered a digital or computational skill. Exciting new courses based on cutting-edge research will rethink the history of communication and connect the arts of storytelling to the most pressing challenges facing us today. A visiting scholars program will enable Columbia students to encounter the world’s great teachers without ever leaving Morningside Heights, while a new emphasis on experiential and service learning will extend the Columbia classroom into the city of New York.


Global Humanities

The humanities are born global. Our mission is to teach and research the languages, literature, music, art, ideas, and beliefs of the world, and to understand how globalization affects not just markets and networks but also culture and everyday life.
Begun in 2014, the Global Humanities projects aim to make our teaching and research global in both form and content. Students and faculty become global by learning languages; by collaborating with thinkers from around the world; and by experiencing the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists within as well as across locales, nations, and regions.

The Humanities Initiative

Initiatives focusing on:

Undergraduate Opportunities

New Courses

Public Outreach and Education


Visiting Professors

Graduate Students

Postdoctoral Fellows

Humanities Fellows Program

New Collaborative Programs

Faculty Support

Support for Collaborative Teaching

Infrastructure and Space