Discover the Humanities
American University’s humanities curriculum cultivates a wide variety of skills including critical thinking, innovation, and collaboration.
American Studies (BA, Minor) examines American institutions, cultures, and society, while also inviting students to engage in community research and service in Washington, DC, and the metropolitan area.
Arabic Studies (BA, Minor), offered through the Department of World Languages and Cultures, helps students attain proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking the Arabic language, while also fostering in students a higher degree of cultural proficiency.
Arab World Studies (BA, minor) is an interdisciplinary major, offered through the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies, that offers students the opportunity to learn about Arab societies from multiple perspectives.
Art History (MA, BA, Minor) provides historical study in period specializations in European and American art from the early Renaissance through the present, as well as Asian art and other non-Western topics.
Asian Studies (BA, Minor, Grad Cert, Ugrad Cert) aims to understand Asia in a dynamic global context: enhancing students’ understanding of historical and contemporary global culture and politics by enabling students to engage with an extensive and intensive study of Asia in the past and present.
Creative Writing (MFA, minor) workshops provide a rigorous yet supportive environment where students explore a range of approaches to the art and craft of fiction, nonfiction, media, and poetry. Students pursuing the Literature BA can select Creative Writing as their specialization.
French Studies and French Language & Area Studies (BA, Minor), offered through the Department of World Languages and Cultures, help students develop fluency, critical-historical understanding of the Francophone world, and intercultural awareness.
The History (Minor, BA, MA, PhD) program at American University introduces history broadly, then allows students to pursue study and research in areas that interest them, developing original work and a unique and deep specialization.
Through the Jewish Studies Program (Minor, BA), students may train for a career in the Jewish community or in Jewish education, learn about Jewish issues and opportunities for Jewish public service, and develop a deeper understanding of American and world Jewry.
Literature (Minor, BA) students in any of the four tracks (Literary Studies, Cinema Studies, Transcultural Studies, or Creative Writing) garner excellent writing and communication skills. They know how to learn, to analyze and comprehend other viewpoints, and to argue for ideas.
The Spanish Studies and Spanish Language and Area Studies programs (Minor, BA) offer a variety of courses focusing on the Spanish language and Latin American area studies from a variety of disciplines.
The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program (Undergraduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate, MA) will prepare you to begin or advance your career in teaching English as a second language or English as a foreign language in the US or abroad.
- Video: The Crisis in Ukraine: Faculty Roundtable and Teach-In
- American Magazine interviewed biographer James McGrath Morris (CAS/BA ’96) following his new book Tony Hillerman: A Life.
- Patricia Park wrote I'm Done Being Your Model Minority for the NYTimes.
- Sara Clarke Kaplan (ARPC) spoke to NPR about Black History Month: Why Is February Black History Month?
- The latest book by Naomi S. Baron (Linguistics), How We Read Now, was selected as a finalist for the 2022 PROSE Awards.
- Jin Y. Park (Philosophy & Religion) was elected Vice President of the American Academy of Religion and has been awarded the Uberoi Foundation Religious Studies Grant for her project “Buddhism and Nonviolence.”
- Writing MFA alumna Valzhyna Mort won the 2021 International Griffin Prize for her third poetry collection, Music for the Dead and Resurrected (FSG, 2020), which was named one of the best poetry books of 2020 by The New York Times.
- Abdallah Hendawy (Arab World Studies) published a new book, Bleeding Hearts: From Passionate Activism to Violent Insurgency in Egypt.
Image from Plans to Prosper You at AU Museum Project Space.