The mission of the Center is to recognize and support the humanities at Western Michigan University. As a gathering place for dialogue, the Center acts an incubator for the exchange of ideas among faculty, emeriti, alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, and people in the wider community. Through the understanding of diverse cultural, professional, political, and intellectual landscapes, we nurture engaged and vital academic life.
The humanities provide fundamental intellectual resources for exploring the issues of our day. Rooted in diverse perspectives, the humanities comprise the classics, languages, literature, philosophy, ethics, history, jurisprudence, religion, archaeology, cultural studies, the social sciences, such as cultural anthropology, economics, geography, political science, and sociology, and have close links to the study of visual and performing arts, the sciences, engineering, business, and health sciences. Moreover, the humanities cross disciplinary boundaries, taking up questions about the meaning of human existence that transcend the thinking of any single field of study.
The deep wellsprings of humanities scholarship have long been honored in higher education, but are too often neglected, taken for granted, or regarded as the self-sufficient domains of academic specialists. Within the culture of the university, we all stand to gain from successful measures to encourage, encounter, and learn from the many forms of humanities scholarship that, as a learning community, we are able to share. A university culture that opens such pathways of appreciative understanding will both nurture diverse particular strands of scholarship in the humanities and enhance formation of connections across the university, with our students, and in our wider community.