About the Department


Why Humanities?

Why Humanities?

Can we afford to support the humanities and arts when the world's problems so desperately need our attention? Faculty from Worcester Polytechnic Institute explain why we can't afford to neglect them.

Looking at Life Beyond Technology and Science

At WPI, engagement with the humanities and arts provides the perfect balance to the technological and scientific topics that command considerable attention in the world today.

While we offer several majors, minors, and concentrations, you don’t have to major in a Humanities & Arts discipline to reap the full benefits of what the department has to offer. Here you can study mathematics, an engineering discipline, or one of the life sciences while still embracing your inner musician, poet, artist or philosopher. And through your engagement with the humanities and arts, you’ll learn to understand the often-subtle nuances of language, cultures, and unique individual perspectives that will make you a more well-rounded person and professional – no matter what path you choose to travel.

Creative Productions & Performances

Each year faculty members and students participate in several major musical productions, including seasonal concerts by our stage band, orchestra, chorus, jazz ensemble, brass ensemble, string quartet, and percussion ensemble. There are also numerous highly regarded theatrical productions and performances by Vox, Masque, and New Voices, the country’s oldest continuously running collegiate play festival of original works, currently in its 30th year.

Conducting Global Research

Humanities & Arts (HUA) faculty members are involved in groundbreaking research at home and abroad. In addition to the many professors who serve as advisors at IQP Project Centers, the department also has HUA-centric project centers in London and Morocco. Our Inquiry Seminars and Practicums allow students to study such diverse topics as early American history, the gothic imagination, philosophy of film, music technology, playwriting, the philosophy of technology, Darwin and society, and Asian history.

 
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  • hua-boudreau-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Kristin Boudreau
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Dean
    Head, Department of Humanities & Arts

    Professor Boudreau teaches writing courses and the Great Problems Seminar’s "Feed the World.” Her research involves literature and cultural transformations.

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  • hua-bianchi-profile

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Frederick W. Bianchi
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor

    As director of computer music research, Professor Bianchi works with students from all disciplines. His particular focus is Virtual Orchestra technology and multichannel sound design.

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  • hua-brattin-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Joel J. Brattin
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor

    Professor Brattin has taught British literature at WPI since 1990. He likes the intelligence and good work ethic of WPI students and especially enjoys meeting and interacting with them.

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  • ess-clark-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Constance Clark
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Professor

    Professor Clark teaches the history of science and technology. She is especially interested in the context of people doing science, and communication (and miscommunication) about science.

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  • hua-ephraim-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Michelle Ephraim
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Professor

    Professor Ephraim is WPI’s Shakespeare scholar and the author of Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage. She teaches creative and expository writing.

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  • hua-falco-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Rich Falco
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Instructor

    Richard Falco serves as director of Jazz Studies and is an active teacher and performer. The WPI Stage Band and Jazz Ensemble embrace their roles as international jazz ambassadors.

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  • hua-farbrook-profile

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Joseph Farbrook
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Professor

    Professor Farbrook enjoys teaching at WPI because of the exciting and innovative approaches students across disciplines take when tackling an artistic problem or concept.

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  • ess-profile-gottlieb

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Roger S. Gottlieb
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor

    Professor Gottlieb combines analytic intelligence, a personal and humorously engaging style, and an inspiring message of personal responsibility, social change, and spiritual vision.

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  • huas-ljungquist-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Kent P. Ljungquist
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor

    Professor Ljungquist teaches courses and seminars on supernatural fiction. What fascinates him are forms of literary expression that help readers get outside themselves.

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  • hua-mott-profile

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Wesley T. Mott
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor

    Professor Mott particularly enjoys WPI’s opportunities to blend teaching, scholarship, and professional and public service on the writers who matter most to him.

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  • hua-rudolph-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Jennifer M. Rudolph
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Professor

    Professor Rudolph incorporates her research into her teaching, because she says doing so helps students realize that scholarship should be part of ongoing debate.

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  • ess-formal-sanbonmatsu

    Faculty Profile

    Name: John Sanbonmatsu
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Associate Professor

    Professor Sanbonmatsu is interested in critical social theory and political philosophy. He loves to talk about philosophy and the meaning of life with whoever is interested.

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  • hua-vick-formal

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Susan Vick
    Department: Humanities & Arts
    Title: Professor/Director of Theatre

    Professor Vick directs the academic theatre programs at WPI, including taking artistic leadership of major productions and projects performed in the Little Theatre.

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