Humanities at Brown

Brown University has long offered a unique focus in the humanities, building on knowledge with a spirit of innovation and adventure. At Brown, the humanities examine and interpret the human condition through language, literature, philosophy, religion, and the arts. They explore human existence and offer a creative expression of the human experience.

" I discovered my concentration almost entirely by accident, or rather, by virtue of the Open Curriculum. I came to Brown with a desire to study literature but without a concrete idea of what kind of work I wanted to do with it. During shopping period of my freshman fall, I was in the market for a fourth class and just happened to step into a first-year Arabic seminar. The rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love with the language and decided to incorporate it officially into my studies at Brown, declaring a concentration Comparative Literature in English and Arabic last spring. Brown has offered me the opportunity not only to nurture an existing passion of mine (that is, examining literature and its impact on human cultures) but also to discover a new one." 
Jamie Meader '17
Comparative Literature

"I took a class on British romanticism my freshman year, and my experience in the course made me decide to concentrate in English. In English classes, a student learns more than the academic elements of studying literature. In reading about the experiences of characters from different time periods, living under very different circumstances, a reader can learn empathy — possibly the most impressive and far-reaching effect of compelling narrative. 
I am pursuing a double concentration in English and Public Health. 
I love how Brown encourages interdisciplinary studies. It was by taking advantage of the open curriculum that I realized my passion for literature; Brown's emphasis on intellectual curiosity and exploration will serve its alumni well as they move beyond classroom learning. The skills gained in studying the humanities are not always as quantifiable as those in other fields, and they might be more difficult to categorize on a resume. But empathy, critical thinking, nuanced analysis, and creativity, among others, should prove valuable in a professional setting. I am proud to call myself an English concentrator, and I thank Brown for valuing the humanities." 
Marina Renton ' 17
English and Public Health 

"I've always been a puzzles kind of guy. Whether it be math, chess, language or sudoku, I love to tear about the pieces and put them all elegantly back together. In high school, I discovered Latin, a whole new puzzle with fascinating pieces and links to ancient history and culture. Having declared both Classics and Computer Science concentrations, I now encounter confusion and a quizzical "Ahhh" when I share this news with others. Brown specifically allows me to take full advantage of my multifaceted interests by allowing a double concentration, but also encouraging interdisciplinary work. Through making a video game for a Roman History course, or taking a CS course on Computational Linguistics, I connect seemingly separate fields and create a more valuable understanding of each." 
Max Rosenwasser '17
Classics and Computer Science 

EXPLORE the humanties at Brown: American StudiesArchaeology & The Ancient World, ClassicsComparative LiteratureContemplative StudiesEarly CulturesEast Asian StudiesEgyptology & AssyriologyEnglishEthnic StudiesFrench & Francophone Studies, German StudiesHealth & Human Biology, Hispanic Literatures & CulturesHistory of Art & ArchitectureItalian StudiesJudaic StudiesLinguisticsLiterary ArtsMedieval CulturesModern Culture & MediaMusicPhilosphyPortuguese & Brazilian StudiesReligious StudiesRenaissance & Early Modern StudiesSlavic StudiesTheatre Arts Performance Studies, and Visual Art.