What is the Humanities House? At the core, the Humanities House is about making connections, engaging students, and reaching out to communities.
It all starts with our basic belief that immersion in the Humanities helps a person become more passionate, open-minded, empathetic, critical, and intellectually creative. These are the kinds of qualities and habits of mind, we believe, that are crucial to achieving excellence in one’s personal, professional, and social life. We also believe that immersion in the Humanities is transformational, inspiring a person to commit themselves to forging a life path infused with meaning and purpose, not only for themselves, but for others. These commitments and beliefs led us to realize that in order to provide maximum immersion experiences in the Humanities, we would need:
- A physical space to serve as the campus hub of Humanities activity. So we took over the Parsonage, widely considered to be one of the Drury’s most historical and beautiful residential properties. We converted it into the Humanities House.
- Central involvement of our students. So in addition to serving as the physical location of Drury’s Humanities and Ethics Center, the Humanities House also serves as a 6-person high-impact residential learning experience for our best and brightest Humanities students.
Attracting students from across the division – from English, Communication, Philosophy, Religion, History, and Languages – scholars-in-residence living in the House have a central role in learning about and promoting the Humanities. Immersed in an interdisciplinary immersion effort that reaches far beyond the experiences students have in the classroom, our scholar-residents work very closely with the division’s faculty to plan events, to think about possible themes for our speaker series, and for our university book reading club. Our students also participate actively in the faculty discussion series on teaching and learning, gaining a valuable “behind the scenes” look at how faculty think about (and rethink) teaching and scholarship in the face of the challenges and opportunities facing the Humanities in the present and the future. Pulling these experiences together into a coherent marketable message, our scholars-in-residence are importantly in charge of designing and maintaining our social media, assuring that we promote and give visibility to, the Humanities in the right ways. This means playing a role in contributing to the division’s group blog, and in maintaining our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts in creative ways that assure that our marketing has an engaging, informative, and fun public face.
If you are looking for an interdisciplinary, high-immersion experience, and looking to work very closely with faculty across the departments, this is an experience not to be missed.
As two current residents put it:
I am proud to report that my semester here has been both lively and enjoyable. The amenities are as good, if not better, than anything on campus—with the exception U-Suites. The location is excellent! It’s far enough from campus that noise is never a problem but close enough that everything is within a ten minute walk. The kitchen is top notch and having your own parking place is a wonderful, magnificent experience. The “Humanities” part of the house has been exciting as well. The house plays host to a varied group of events ranging from small scale meetings to departmental gatherings. This has allowed me to easily participate in activities that I might not have known about and I’ve been exposed to a great deal of the Humanities that I might not have encountered. My blogging on the Humanities site and social media work has been equally eye-opening but it’s also a valuable experience for someone who interested in pursuing writing as a career. – Brian Hendershot
“Living in the Humanities House means you get to be at the center of the action. You become a key member of the division and you give a lot of input to what goes on in the house and what directions the society takes. One of the hardest things about being involved in a student group is getting to all the meetings and activities as well as staying on top of homework and whatever else you have to keep track of. Living in the Humanities House means that a lot of organizational events occur right in your living room, and all you have to do is walk down the stairs. The events are also usually closely related to something you’re studying as a humanities major, so it’s easy to contribute and follow the discussions, and in turn you can use the society activities to assist with projects in classes by referencing the discussions or using them as a starting point for further research. Getting to see your professors outside of the formality of the classroom is an important experience; they’ll talk about different subjects and you’ll see that they’re well-rounded and also have interests outside their professional areas of study. You’ll learn a lot more and form stronger relationships with your teachers so that they can also be your friends. It’s nice to live right next to other humanities majors who are typically enrolled in similar classes. It makes it easy to ask for advice or get help on assignments, as well as keep track of your schedule and plan ahead.” – Caleb Zimmersheid
To view the application for residency, click here:
If you are interested in living in the Humanities House, please contact Dr. Chris Panza at email@example.com.
In the meantime, stop by the House during one of its events, and check it out! While you are here, though, check out some pictures of the digs: