We don’t measure the universe; we study how humankind has thought about our place in it over the millennia.
The humanities disciplines—literature, history, languages, anthropology, and others—investigate the human condition in different times and different places from a variety of perspectives.
The ability to understand the world from the perspective of others is a skill that must be learned, not an innate trait. In a multicultural democracy such as ours, the humanities provide the tools we need to engage in dialogue with others, to think critically about ideas—our own and others’—and to listen critically to the society around us, from the street corner to the world’s news.
That is why the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences created the Humanities Institute in 2005. The institute was conceived as a meeting ground for the several humanities disciplines, an opportunity for them to interact and see where their different lines of inquiry might touch and open new ideas to each other. And beyond being a theater for pure thought, the institute was created to do things—to start conversations and engage the public.
Now that the Humanities Institute is well established, we are embarking on a campaign to secure our future and expand our programs.