Otterbein's Humanities programming began in 1984 when we were one of thirteen colleges and universities, nationwide, to receive a 1984 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Our Humanities Advisory Committee (HAC) allocates the income from this endowment to supporting activities and publications in the area of humanities through classes, speakers, awards, and more.
The committee hosts speakers who give lectures, visit classrooms, and meet with interested faculty.
The committee funds summer writing awards that recognize faculty who are engaged in turning their research into publications, and who devote their summers to working on articles, book chapters, and monographs.
The Humanities Advisory Committee partners with other campus groups and committees to support programming related to the humanities. The committee partners with academic departments to help support humanities-related activities such as trips to humanities-related cultural events or off-campus lectures for faculty and students.
The Chautauqua Institution
The Humanities Committee co-sponsors, along with the Integrative Studies Program, a three-day retreat for faculty at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. The topic of this retreat is the nature and value of a liberal arts education. This retreat enables faculty to have conversations about what a liberal art education is, why it is valuable, and how we can work to improve the education that our students receive.
Aegis Humanities Journal
Aegis publishes scholarly student essays and book reviews that advance the presence and values of the humanities on campus and beyond.
What are the Humanities?
The Definition of the Humanities by The National Endowment for the Humanities
In the act that established the National Endowment for the Humanities, the term humanities included, but is not limited to, study of the following disciplines: history; philosophy; languages; linguistics; literature; archeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory, and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.
Work in the creative or performing arts - such as the writing of fiction or poetry, painting, sculpture, musical composition or performance, acting, directing, and dance - is not eligible for support by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Those interested in support in these areas should write or call the National Endowment for the Arts. Critical, historical, and theoretical studies of the arts, however, are eligible for NEH support.
Studies in the social sciences that are historical or philosophical in approach or that involve questions of interpretation or criticism traditionally in the humanities are also eligible for NEH support, as are studies that use the disciplines of the humanities to interpret, analyze, or assess science and technology.