WPI Plans for Fall Opening Latest Information

Integral to the WPI Plan, the university’s signature approach to undergraduate education, the Humanities & Arts Department plays a considerable role in each student’s journey here.   

The aim is to educate well-rounded, globally aware graduates with exceptional analytical skills and sensitivity to culture and context. The way is to offer a major, minors, concentrations, courses, and a required immersive experience. The result is that all WPI undergraduates get a chance to embrace their inner musician, thespian, poet, artist, linguist, or philosopher.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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AV/GC Alumni Weekend VIRTUAL CHOIR

WPI's Choral Groups Unite

Current and former members of two of WPI's choral groups--Glee Club and Alden Voices--came together virtually during the spring to unite on a moving rendition of To My Old Brown Earth, led by Professor Joshua Rohde.

WPI Concert Band Virtual Concert 2020

Banding Together

Members of the WPI Concert Band reconnected in D-term in a virtual concert that involved each member recording their own parts from home. Together they bridged the distance and performed three numbers: Machine Awakes by Steve Bryant, Loch Lomond by Frank Ticheli , andFirst Suite in Eb by Gustav Holst.

Explore Your Passion

Humanities & Arts Requirement

All WPI students complete the Humanities & Arts requirement. The goal is for every student to graduate with a broader perspective than that provided solely by the study of science and technology. Students will be exposed to art, theatre, music, and other forms of creative expression by completing six courses—including a seminar or practicum requirement—of their choice.

Why study the humanities when there is work to be done? Because this is where the nuance is, and maybe this is where the real information is.
Professor Frederick W. Bianchi
The humanities and arts gives you the reassurance that other people have asked the same questions in various ways since human beings first appeared on the Earth.
Professor Wesley T. Mott
I do believe that the study of music of other cultures does help give us insights into the culture. Music can transcend barriers between cultures, between governments, between different backgrounds.
Teaching Professor Douglas G. Weeks
One of the wonderful things about art is that it can create things that don’t exist in the real world, and that maybe don’t exist yet – it has a visionary quality that in some ways can lay the groundwork for things to come.
Associate Professor Joshua Rosenstock
Poetry teaches us how to ask questions about ourselves, our lives, about other lives. How have other people loved, hoped, dreamed, struggled; how they met their obligations or failed to; what legacy have they left.
Associate Professor James Cocola
Sometimes it’s just a matter of learning that we are not alone.
Professor Kristin Boudreau, Department Head
Academic Theatre Programs

Where Creativity and Expression Meet

New Voices is the nation’s longest continuously running collegiate new and original play festival. Since 1982 the festival has featured performances of original, unpublished scripts from the WPI community. In 2006, New Voices became established in the Little Theatre, the university’s first dedicated theatrical space—an intimate 99-seat black-box-style facility.

Featured Faculty

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Joel J. Brattin

Joel J. Brattin

Professor of English

Born in Michigan in 1956, I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978, earning my PhD at Stanford University in 1985. I have enjoyed teaching British literature at WPI since 1990. I like the intelligence and good work ethic of WPI students; I especially enjoy the opportunity to meet and interact with students in small groups and on an individual basis. The bulk of my scholarly work falls into three principal areas.

Jennifer  deWinter

Jennifer deWinter

Professor-Arts, Communications, and Humanities

Jennifer deWinter has long been interested in how culture (which is local) moves internationally. She has spent a number of years analyzing anime, comics, and computer games as part of global media flows in order to understand how concepts such as "art," "culture," and "entertainment" are negotiated. In 2003, Professor deWinter joined the Learning Games Initiative, a group of scholars and game designers dedicated to the general study of games and the use of games to teach concepts and skills in particular.

Roger S. Gottlieb

Roger S. Gottlieb

Professor of Philosophy

Roger S. Gottlieb is the author or editor of twenty books and more than 150 articles. He is internationally known for his work on religious environmentalism, spirituality in an age of environmental crisis, environmental ethics, and the role of religion in a democratic society. He has edited six academic book series, serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals, is contributing editor to Tikkun Magazine, and has appeared online on Patheos, Huffington, Grist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Real Clear Religion, and many others.

Aarti Smith Madan

Aarti Smith Madan

Associate Professor

Aarti Smith Madan is an Associate Professor of Spanish & International Studies in the Department of Humanities and Arts at WPI. Her research centers on the ways spatial practices inform the production and consumption of literature, film, and art in Latin America. In her recently published monograph, Lines of Geography in Latin American Narrative: National Territory, National Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Professor Madan unearths the literary roots of the discipline of geography in nineteenth-century Latin America.

V J Manzo

V.J. Manzo

Associate Professor- Arts, Communications, and Humanities

V.J. Manzo (Ph.D. Temple University, M.M. New York University) is Associate Professor of Music at WPI. He is a composer and guitarist with research interests in theory and composition, artificial intelligence, interactive music systems, and music cognition. V.J. is author of several books published by Oxford University Press including Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Foundations of Music Technology, and co-author of Interactive Composition and Environmental Sound Artists.

Michelle  Ephraim

Michelle Ephraim

Associate Professor

Michelle Ephraim is the Shakespeare scholar at WPI. She is the author of Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Routledge, 2008) as well as numerous articles on 16th- and 17th-century literature. Professor Ephraim also teaches writing courses on Creative Nonfiction and Speculative Fiction (Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy). Her essays have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Lilith, Tikkun, The Morning News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Joseph  Cullon

Joseph F. Cullon

Associate Teaching Professor-Arts, Communications, and Humanities

One of Professor Cullon's students recently called him "strangely fascinating." He knew that he was strange but he was happy to learn that a student found his approach to teaching fascinating. He likes to encourage students to see history not as a mass of dead facts but as a vital mode of inquiry and a moral project that has the potential to inform the present as much as illuminate the past.

Katharine L McIntyre

Katharine L McIntyre

Assistant Professor

Dr. McIntyre’s research interests include fiction and creative nonfiction, collaborative writing, narrative theory, literary magazine publishing, the contemporary novel, the intersection of literary and genre fiction, and the gothic. Her fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Denver Quarterly, the Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, and the Cimarron Review. She has a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014 and a Special Mention in the 2016 Pushcart Prize anthology. She is the managing editor of the literary journal The Worcester Review.

Kristin  Boudreau

Kristin Boudreau

Professor

My research interests include literature and culture, humanities and STEM integration, and engineering education. These areas are unified by broad concerns for justice, inclusion, and social progress. My literary scholarship considers the ways literature helps to advance social progress and justice, while my educational research investigates educational environments and works to develop pedagogies and content that open STEM education to broader populations by bringing the humanities and arts to scientific and technical subjects.

News & Stories

A screen shot of "Simulator: Fighting Against Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia." alt
A screen shot of "Simulator: Fighting Against Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia." Image by Shano Liang.
July 07, 2020
The Minecraft version of the WPI campus. alt
The Minecraft version of the WPI campus.
June 03, 2020

Career Opportunities

The skills that students acquire in the Humanities & Arts (HUA) program provide them with a distinct advantage in their chosen fields, which range from careers in environmental studies and public health to writing and performing. For more information on how students put their talents to use after graduation, see the career outlook for HUA graduates.

Media Coverage

In addition to collecting and donating protective supplies like masks and gloves to local hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak, WPI is also offering other services, such as printing supplies via 3-D printers, MassLive reported.

WBUR mentioned Associate Professor of Interactive Media and Game Development and Humanities & Arts Joshua Rosenstock's Fermentophone exhibit at the Harvard Museum of Natural History as one of the 5 Things To Do This Weekend.