About the Humanities Council

The Humanities Council promotes the values of interdisciplinary learning and the liberal arts for the students, faculty, the campus, and the community. The council supports and inspires humanities-based scholarship and programming at Appalachian State University, emphasizing the relationship between the humanities and other fields of inquiry. We bring together scholars from different areas of expertise for lectures, symposia, collaborative research projects, and other activities.


What do Humanities Council members do?

The Humanities Council meets once each month during the academic year. As a member of the Humanities Council, you will have the opportunity to serve on committees, attend, plan and promote our programs and events, and be an advocate for the centrality of the humanities to a liberal arts education.

How do I become a Humanities Council member?

According to the Humanities Council Bylaws, "The maximum membership of the Humanities Council shall be 14. Members shall consist of the Director from a Humanities program or department, the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, an interdisciplinary group of faculty most of whom represent Humanities programs and departments, and when deemed necessary by the Director, other members of the campus community who bring important expertise to the Council."

"The Director shall appoint members of the Council for an initial three-year term with a possibility of renewal for three additional years at the discretion of the Director. The Director may seek input from the Council in the selection process...."

Interested in becoming a member of the Humanities Council? Contact Nancy Love at lovens@appstate.edu

Definitions of the Humanities

Ken Burns, The Jefferson Lecture, National Endowment for the Humanities, May 9, 2016:

"They [the Humanities] are an indelible reminder of our common bonds."

"The United States of America is an enduring humanistic experiment."

"The humanities help make us smarter. From them, we can appreciate the complexities and undertow of our history, politics and culture. They suggest that knowledge and experience matter, that there are no easy solutions, that nothing is just black and white."

The National Endowment for the Humanities defines the humanities as including but not limited to

“the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.” 

Quoted on the NC Humanities Council website.  From Don Michael Randel, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in a March 10, 2009, panel discussion at George Washington University sponsored by The American Academy of Arts & Sciences:

“What we really hope for is a certain quality of mind…a way in which the mind never ceases to be full of wonder of the world and all its people.”