Our mission is to nurture the humanities locally and globally, engage diverse perspectives past and present, and enrich public dialogue with humanistic approaches.
We seek to foster creative scholarship, transformative teaching, and intellectual collaboration by bringing humanities departments and programs into dialogue with arts and sciences.
The Humanities Council is the academic home to the undergraduate certificate program in Humanistic Studies, the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities, the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, and the Program in Journalism, which brings distinguished journalists and nonfiction writers to teach undergraduate seminars each year.
We also support certificate programs in American Studies, European Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Medieval Studies, along with initiatives in the Ancient World, Classical Philosophy, Canadian Studies, Film Studies, and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.
The Council fosters intellectual exchange within and across the humanities and brings the campus together for major intellectual occasions such as the Gauss Seminars in Criticism, the annual Belknap Visitor in the Humanities Council, the Stewart Seminars in Religion, the Eberhard L. Faber IV Lectures, and the annual Humanities Colloquium.
The ongoing programs of the Council are overseen by an Executive Committee representing a broad spectrum of the Council’s activities. These activities include a program of Visiting Fellows—distinguished scholars from around the world who spend a period of time in residence in Princeton participating in the life of the University; the Council’s Research Professors, a small group of faculty members in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences who devote a year to intensive research and discussion; the Behrman Professors, who dedicate three years to teaching in the Humanistic Studies Program; the Old Dominion Faculty Fellows, members of the faculty from all four divisions who come together for monthly seminars; and the Behrman Fellows, associate professors who meet regularly for discussion. The Council also hosts a series of Faculty Seminars to share work in progress and for interdisciplinary conversation about recently published work.
The Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Chair in the Humanities brings a senior scholar to Princeton on a permanent shared appointment between a department and the council.
Membership in the Humanities Council is open to chairs and directors of all humanities departments, centers, programs, and committees, as well as the dean of the School of Architecture, the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and one representative from each of the other two divisions: natural and social sciences. This group meets periodically to discuss matters affecting the humanities at Princeton and to advise the chair, the deans, and the president on policy issues.
See a list of the Humanities Council’s participating members, including 16 humanities departments and more than 30 interdisciplinary centers, programs, and committees.
The Council Chair and Executive Director lead an administrative team that is responsible for day-to-day operations and activities.
To see a list of previous Council Chairs and Executive Directors, click here.