Department of Humanities

The Department of Humanities is committed to connecting students with the enduring value of the humanities — the study of human cultural expressions in art, history, languages, literatures, writing, and philosophy across the globe. 

An art installation featuring many small paintings done for an artist talk with Abhilasha Natarajan

Studying Humanities at Simmons

In addition to learning the humanistic skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking, students will develop an appreciation of the diversity of social, cultural, moral, and aesthetic values in human experience. A humanities-based education provides students with multiple career capabilities that are vital for our increasingly complex world.

Department of Humanities in the News

Book covers from the 2024 Horn Book winners: Do You Remember, Remember Us, The Mona Lisa Vanishes, and Kin

Children’s Literature Professor Helps Select Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners

The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards “recognize and reward excellence in literature for children and young adults.” As the School Library Journal reported, Professor and Graduate Program Director of Children’s Literature Cathryn Mercier chaired a group of judges who determined the 2024 awardees.

The cover of "Natural Magic: Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and the Dawn of Modern Science", flanked by photos of Emily Dickinson and Charles Darwin

The Boston Globe Praises Literature Professor’s Daring New Book

A recent article in The Boston Globe commends Natural Magic: Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and the Dawn of Modern Science (Princeton University Press, 2024) by Professor of Literature and Writing Renée Bergland.

Professor Sheldon George, Professor Homi K. Bhabha, and Assistant Professor Patrick Sylvain

Professor Homi K. Bhabha Delivers 2024 Robert M. Gay Memorial Lecture

Professor Homi K. Bhabha, the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, was this year’s featured speaker for the Robert M. Gay Memorial Lecture. In his conversation with Simmons faculty and students, Bhabha emphasized the importance of dialogue with people from different backgrounds and points of view on their terms.

Sex and the City Cast

Professor Suzanne Leonard Discusses “Sex and the City’s” Toxic Masculinity in Los Angeles Times

“Audiences [today] are much more aware of the dangers of toxic masculinity, and that doesn't read as sexy anymore. I think you have more sophisticated feminist viewers,” says Leonard.

A basic map of Haiti

Assistant Professor Patrick Sylvain Offers Insights into Crisis in Haiti

After armed groups overran Port-au-Prince, thereby displacing thousands of residents and hindering access to food, Haiti’s government declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2024. According to Sylvain, Haiti must cultivate strong leadership to overcome the current crisis.

Lawrence L. Langer

Remembering Professor Emeritus Lawrence “Larry” Langer

The recent passing of beloved Professor Emeritus of English Lawrence “Larry” Langer has deeply saddened everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him as a colleague, teacher, and mentor during a distinguished Simmons career that spanned over three decades.

Illustration from the Daoyin tu demonstrating exercises for improving health, as part of the “nourishing life” branch of Chinese medicine

Assistant Professor of History Yunxin Li Examines Gendered Foundations of Ancient Chinese Medicine

In a recent article published in The Bulletin of the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, Assistant Professor of History Yunxin Li explores the role of women and gender in the theory and practice of medicine in ancient China. She spoke with us about her research and what she will reflect on during Women’s History Month.

The cupola of the Main College Building on the Simmons campus with a Pride flag in the foreground

LGBTQ+ Community at Simmons

Associate Professor Sarah Leonard, who teaches the Seminar in the History of Women and Gender: “Queer Histories,” sees Simmons as an inclusive community.