Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities

2013: The Humanities Give Back: The Humanities in Professional Fields

The Humanities Give Back: The Humanities in Professional Fields




2013 Saw the inauguration of the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities. Co-founders of the WIIH, Professor Touba Ghadessi and Professor Yueng-Gen Liang, directed this year's program and dedicated themselves to this years theme, The Humanities Give Back. See their description of this year's theme below.

The humanities lead to practical skills in the professional world. The intellectual flexibility young adults gain through a humanistic liberal arts education prepares them for leadership roles in the twenty-first century. The Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities’ inaugural theme of 2013 showcases the real benefits of infusing professional fields with the humanities.

Humanists are trained as deliberate and holistic thinkers.  As such, they deploy analytical skills that enhance professional fields by making them more directly meaningful to human experience.  The humanities historicize and contextualize knowledge.  They consider multiple perspectives, thus empowering professional fields to identify diverse interests and needs in order to transform the global community. By embracing a humanistic approach, practicing professionals become more effective at envisioning and devising the responsibilities and privileges that individuals have in their lives.

The WIIH will effectuate this dialogue by gathering experts in the fields of business, engineering, law, medicine, and science-technology who are incorporating the humanities as a coherent aspect of their practice. These events will demonstrate the constructive ways in which the professional fields and the humanities—both independently and in conjunction with each other—can push the rigid boundaries that have defined them until now.

In conjunction with this theme, Professors Liang and Ghadessi each designed and taught a course which corresponded to this theme. Students who enrolled in these courses automatically became fellows of the institute, and gained the opportunity to apply the skills they learned to a professional setting.

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