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message from the dean:

The social mission of the arts and humanities at UC San Diego is central to a great public university. They teach us how to read and write and show us ways of teaching others to live fully and creatively in society…
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Office of the Dean
Division of Arts and Humanities
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive # 0406
La Jolla, CA 92093-0406

tel: (858) 534-6270
fax: (858) 534-0091
dean-ah@ucsd.edu

Message from the Dean


The social mission of the arts and humanities at UC San Diego is central to a great public university. They teach us how to read and write and show us ways of teaching others to live fully and creatively in society. But they also teach us how to work with our imaginations, how to find beauty in experience, and how to reflect critically on that experience.

 

Our departments have been vital to the campus since its beginnings fifty years ago. UCSD's founders brought a stellar faculty of writers and critics, philosophers and historians, artists, musicians and performers to the campus. This faculty built departments that remain as innovative today as they were at their founding. At the heart of these departments, then as now, is teaching undergraduates, training future scholars, and fostering creative life.

Our programs are unique and ranked among the best in the country. The Literature Department brings together scholars, teachers, and creative writers to nourish a global understanding of poetry, fiction, and drama in society. In Visual Arts, Music, and Theater and Dance, scholars and students are pushing the barriers of creativity, working with advanced applications in computer technology and digital inquiry. Philosophers investigate approaches from cognitive science to look anew at consciousness, freedom, and personal responsibility. Historians are opening new archives to bring the past to life, whether that past happened in Mexico or China, Florence or California, the Middle East or the Midwest.

The faculty of Arts and Humanities is remarkably distinguished. Among its members are Guggenheim and MacArthur Prize Fellows, winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award, and grantees from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and many other organizations. They have won recognition, too, not just for scholarship, but for their teaching and their service to the university. At present, four out of the six College Provosts come from the Division of Arts and Humanities - a signal presence in undergraduate education here.

In a large public university, the arts and humanities sustain a diverse student and faculty community by taking us to places - real and imagined - that we have never been before. To understand past cultures or distant societies is to gain understanding into our own here and now. And to live on the international border, as we do in San Diego, is to be made aware of how we need both creative arts and critical inquiry to work rewardingly with others.

Welcome to the Division of Arts and Humanities at UCSD. Visit our website to explore our programs and faculty. But visit us for real and see the work of teachers in the studio, the classroom, and the library on a campus that is as unique in setting and in architecture as it is in intellectual and creative pursuit.

Seth Lerer
Distinguished Professor of Literature
Dean of Arts and Humanities