UVic Humanities Institute
University of Victoria

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Associate Dean Research

Alex D'Arcy

Research Coordinator

Lytton McDonnell


Open your mind, transform our world.

The Humanities are concerned with the complex, ever-evolving questions of what it means to be human. They speak to issues of human dignity, creativity, thought, and value amidst myriad peoples and places. Hence, the Humanities build the foundations of freedom, well-being, and justice; they cultivate an ethic of social engagement, intellectual openness, incisive critique, and moral courage.

The Humanities equip us to make critical and difficult choices, to recognize the difference between what is right and what is easy, and to take responsibility for our choices as constitutive of ourselves. The Humanities enable us to reflect on how we are, and how we have been, shaped by our language, our culture, our technology, our environment, and to recognize the richness offered by diversity, difference, distance, and place. They force us to challenge those things that we take for granted. They require disciplined awareness, courageous compassion, and skillful curiosity.

The Humanities are at the foundation of the university’s historic mission to make humanity better. They inspire the university to move beyond the provision of instrumental skills, to move beyond the commodification of learning as training, and to embody the highest ideal that education elevates the human condition itself.