The departments and programs in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria share a common purpose: a commitment to the critical understanding of human thought, culture and society as they develop in time. Operating with a dual mission/mandate within the overall context of a liberal arts education, we offer undergraduate degree programs in which students have the opportunity to experience a broad exposure to an outstanding education going well beyond traditional definitions of humanities disciplines through our diverse and internationally-oriented programmatic offerings. We define our strength and focus in this broad definition of the liberal arts. We also offer graduate degree programs in disciplines in which our researchers excel. Research in the humanities strives to build knowledge and skills so that we may ultimately improve the quality of our social, economic and cultural life. By examining the evolving nature of the society we live in and addressing emerging challenges and opportunities, researchers in the humanities promote the notion of an "educated imagination," an understanding of ourselves, of our heritage and of our place in the world in the larger context of human history and cultural diversity. A country that neglects the histories, cultures and languages of the people who make it up (and those who continue to bring new elements to it) fails to produce informed public debate and decision-making on important social, cultural and political issues. The value of humanities education and research resides in the spirit of critical inquiry which such investigations represent, maintaining that every aspect of human existence is worthy of respect, serious attention and critical evaluation.
Dr. John Archibald
Dean, Faculty of Humanities