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The Humanities Initiative at Carnegie Mellon

The Humanities Initiative is a collaboration of Carnegie Mellon's humanities departments to produce alumni who have the skills to solve real-world problems, the flexibility to adapt to changing technology and markets, and a respect for intellectual and cultural diversity. The Humanities Initiative sets H&SS apart from traditional liberal arts schools by providing humanities students with a multi-disciplinary, technologically enriched curriculum that is unparalleled elsewhere. And by enhancing the university's core curriculum, the Humanities Initiative will broaden the education of all Carnegie Mellon students. 

The Humanities Initiative has three main components: The Humanities Scholars Program, The Humanities Center and The Center for the Arts in Society.  

The Humanities Scholars Program, open by invitation to students admitted to H&SS, brings together faculty across different humanities disciplines to create distinctive, interdisciplinary courses. These courses are often team-taught, allowing students access not only to the expertise of different faculty members, but unique insight into the interdisciplinary dialogues that make university life intellectually exciting. They provide an opportunity for students to explore connections among different disciplines and to work collaboratively with faculty mentors. The students have the option to live in the same dormitory cluster their first year at Carnegie Mellon in order to create a vibrant community of scholars. 

The Humanities Center is a collaborative research center that includes faculty in all four humanities departments: English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy. Its goals are to strengthen research and teaching in the humanities; to foster collaborations among the humanities faculty and between humanities faculty and faculty in other disciplines; and to nurture a greater role for the humanities in an increasingly technological and global society. The center sponsors conferences and lecture series, supports and promotes humanities research, and brings to campus distinguished scholars and lecturers.

The Center for the Arts in Society is a multi-disciplinary research and education center that brings together scholars from the humanities, social sciences and arts who are interested in studies of culture and society, and the history and production of the arts. It is a collaboration of H&SS and the College of Fine Arts. Each year, the Center brings visiting scholars in residence to Carnegie Mellon, and it sponsors a regular series of events including panel discussions, faculty presentations and guest lectures. The center sponsors the Arts in Society minor. 

For more information about these programs, contact Shilo Raube, Director of Media Relations ( or (412) 268-6094), or talk with the H&SS Academic Advisory Center.  



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  Scott Sandage Helps "Modern Family's" Jesse Tyler Ferguson Learn His Family History on "Who Do You Think You Are?"
Premiering at 9 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, July 30, the episode will show Sandage helping Ferguson uncover the life of his great-grandfather whom trouble seemed to follow at every turn. Read more.
  Save the Date: Celebrating the Work of Steven Klepper
The Dietrich College and Department of Social and Decision Sciences will hold an academic conference and community memorial event on October 17, 2014 to celebrate the work of Steven Klepper. Read more (pdf).
  Dietrich College News: May 2014
Features this month include new psychology research, "Lucky After Dark," the 2014 Adamson Student Writing Awards, alumni news, commencement photos and much more. Read Dietrich College News.
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Published in Psychological Science, CMU's Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman looked at whether classroom displays affected children's ability to maintain focus during instruction and to learn the lesson content. They found that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed. Read more.   Watch a video.
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The program provides summer funding to rising seniors in the Dietrich College's senior honors program as they undertake early-stage research and development of their thesis topics. In this video, the four students participating in program's inaugural year discuss their projects which range from relationship research to anthropology and ethnography studies. Watch the videoFind out more about the program.
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  Richard Scheines Appointed Dean of Dietrich College
Scheines, professor and head of the Department of Philosophy, has been selected to lead the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences as dean, effective July 1, 2014. He will succeed John Lehoczky, who has served as dean since 2000 and will return to the Department of Statistics’ faculty. Read more.
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  Video: The Humanities at Carnegie Mellon University
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to have distinguished faculty and talented students who are leading the humanities into the 21st century. In this short video, Dietrich College faculty, staff and alumni talk about the college’s excellence in the humanities. Watch the video.

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