Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Student Quotes

"To me, the value of the humanities in general, and philosophy in particular, is not found in any specific discovery, but rather in the critical and studied way in which someone educated in the humanities engages with others. Those educated in the liberal arts are aware of the narrative they are a part of, are conscious of how that narrative intersects with the narratives of others, and I think this leads to humility about their opinions, and a willingness to engage in discussion with those who hold differing views." - David Isaac, Philosophy

"Undoubtedly, the best part of Comparative Literature is the diversity of courses offered. Not only do some courses analyse a specific time period such as the Baroque, Medieval, or Romantic periods but several courses cover very specific topics such as Utopias, German Fairy Tales and Homophobic Discourses. Each of these courses challenges you to rethink your perceptions of yourself and the world around you and generates a sense of global understanding. But why is all of this relevant? Because it’s tough to understand a culture that we weren’t born into or didn’t grow up in. Although the internet is connecting us in ways in which we were unable to connect before, we all live in very distinct and separate cultures and the one error we tend to make is analysing an issue of a different culture from the perspective of the culture and time we are inherently familiar with. A good example of this would be the homophobic laws legislated in Russia over the past year. Many people have reacted to them as if they were just legislated in Canada where LGBT rights have come very far over the past 20 years. What many fail to do is take an introspective look into Russian culture to understand their perceptions of sexuality, public displays of affection, and so forth which brings forth a misunderstanding of why and how these laws came into existence. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to slight over-reactions and the impression that these laws are much worse than they actually are. Studying Comparative Literature gives you the tools to demystify issues like these, and it enables you to observe them from a perspective that is culturally relevant."- Kaitlyn Purvis, Comparative Literature