Humanities is the collective term for the study of the human condition—particularly aspects of human society and culture. It encompasses many distinct disciplines, including history, music, philosophy, and literature. In contrast to the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences, the humanities focus on research, using methods that take primarily critical or comparative approaches with a significant historical element.
The study of literature enables students to think in complex ways by learning to make connections, weigh evidence, raise questions, and analyze details.
The humanities include history, ancient and modern languages, literature, human geography, anthropology, law, politics, religion, music, and art. Humanities–Literature teaches and develops techniques of critical thinking and rational analysis through the great literatures of the world, with broad application in all fields of society.
In Humanities–Literature, students scrutinize (and debate) a wide variety of texts; learn about literary movements and periods; and study the critical approaches that have shaped the way we view literature, world cultures, and our world. Humanities–Literature is an essential basis for academic writing, the publishing world, journalism, advertising, the media, and even the worlds of management and law—wherever strong communication and written English skills are top priorities.
As the degree we offer is in Humanities–Literature rather than simply Literature, students take a broader range of courses in the humanities, encouraging an interdisciplinary focus. This is especially beneficial because literature has so many connections with other subjects.
Florida Tech regularly offers electives focused on topics such as science fiction, film, crime fiction, science and technology, and monsters in fiction.
In addition, all Humanities–Literature majors are required to complete a capstone project—a two-semester research project in their senior year. This requires the student to work independently, and prepare a written thesis and an oral presentation on a substantial topic. Not only does this cultivate intellectual autonomy, it also develops written and verbal communication skills that are indispensable in a wide range of workplaces.
A degree in Humanities–Literature is a superb foundation for graduate programs in multiple disciplines, both within the humanities and beyond.
Angela Tenga, assistant professor of the School of Arts and Communication, is a past president of the Florida College English Association. She teaches classes in literature, composition, popular culture, and history, and her many publications reflect her research in undead fiction, serial violence in popular culture, and Arthurian literature. She has also worked as a professional investment writer in the United States and in Europe.
Lisa Perdigao, chair of the Humanities program and professor of the School of Arts and Communication, teaches courses in American and British literature, children’s and adolescent literature, cultural studies, film, and television. She received the Award for Excellence in Research in 2014, the Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008, and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005. Her work focuses on death and resurrection in literature, film, television, and comics; the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the culture of convergence; comic book adaptations in film and television; identity politics in the Whedonverses; and the struggle with language and identity in young adult literature. She is a past recipient of the university's Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Alan Rosiene, associate head of the School of Arts and Communication and program chair of English and Languages, has also received the university's Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching, and is a three-time recipient of the President’s Award for University Excellence. His classes include Civilization 1 and 2 (Ancient through Medieval, and Renaissance through Modern) as well as science fiction literature and film, and he oversees the senior capstone project.
All our classes our fairly small—usually fewer than 25 students per class. Since there are comparatively few Humanities majors, professors get to know their students well, and there are many opportunities for one-on-one contact with faculty.
Studying abroad not only broadens your worldview, but increases your marketability in today’s global marketplace, making your résumé more attractive to future employers and graduate schools. When you study abroad with a Florida Tech program, you can be sure that it is of high quality, safe, and helps you fulfill academic requirements needed for graduation.
The Oxford Study Abroad program is an excellent fit for Humanities–Literature majors. Imagine studying J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis's works within their old college walls! Attend Shakespearean plays by the riverside in Oxford, London, and Stratford! If Shakespeare's not your cup of tea, perhaps discussing Virginia Woolf, or the post-WWI American expats who wrote and worked in Europe, or even Beowulf in a café or while biking along the Thames is more your style.
The average college simply cannot beat Florida Tech's location. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us). The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides a variety of internship and employment opportunities.
Located near the beautiful Indian River, with Atlantic Ocean beaches only a short drive away, as well as Central Florida attractions such Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. Florida Tech has a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities. Florida Tech is the perfect choice for your Humanities–Literature degree.
A recent senior capstone project traced the trajectory of dystopian literature from adult to young adult fiction, while another focused on the shifting role of a prominent character in Irish mythology.
Previous students have participated in the Undergraduate Research Forum at the annual South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) conference. There is also an Undergraduate Student Essay Award open to all the students on those panels.
Many campus organizations are particularly well-suited to Humanities–Literature majors. The Crimson, Florida Tech’s student-run newspaper, provides many opportunities for undergrads interested in journalism. Kaleidoscope, Florida Tech’s literary magazine, which gives students a glimpse into the world of publishing, is published annually. It is written and edited by students, and student editors receive course credit for this work. You may also benefit from the Prelaw Society, for students who plan to pursue graduate law degrees; from working at our own television and radio stations; or from other student organizations.
Students often go on to find work in a wide variety of well-paying professions:
Employers in many different fields are looking for people who are creative, innovative, and good communicators. Case in point: in recent years, the publishing industry has seen much disruption, thanks in part to the digital revolution. While traditional print publishing companies (including newspapers and magazines) are becoming smaller or struggling to survive, those who have adapted to the world of digital publishing are continuing to thrive—and employers are in desperate need of graduates with the skills to help them keep evolving.
Digital publishing overlaps strongly with journalism, whether the print media (magazines, newspapers, or news websites) or the broadcast media (television, radio, podcasts and videos, etc.)—as well as academia, with its worldwide dependence on scholarly electronic journals (e.g., scientific periodicals). Graduates with Humanities–Literature degrees who pursue a career in publishing may be involved in a variety of areas, including writing, production, editorial, administration, marketing, and public relations.
Besides publishing and journalism, you might consider the public sector—an umbrella term for state-funded roles in the public domain—which is responsible for hiring large numbers of administrators, civil service workers, and government workers every year. This can give you a vast array of options in terms of travel, personal growth, and career progression. Humanities–Literature degree graduates may be particularly well suited to public sector roles in English-speaking countries, thanks to their highly developed spoken and written communication skills, their ability to research and analyze complex written information, and their strength in contextualizing issues based on historical, political, cultural, and social conditions.