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The social mission of the arts and humanities at UC San Diego is central to a great public university. They teach us how to read and write and show us ways of teaching others to live fully and creatively in society…
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Office of the Dean
Division of Arts and Humanities
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive # 0406
La Jolla, CA 92093-0406

tel: (858) 534-6270
fax: (858) 534-0091

The Divison of
Arts and Humanities

A large and thriving academic enterprise at UCSD, the Division of Arts and Humanities has been an important aspect of the educational program at UCSD since its founding and has been a center for experimentation in teaching and research in a variety of fields - offering programs in History, Philosophy, Literature, Music, Theatre and Dance, and Visual Arts.

UCSD scholars in the humanities and the arts are pioneers in new research leading to deeper and more profound understanding of civilization and humankind’s role in the world. All working professionals, the visual artists, music performers, composers, writers, dancers, choreographers and theatre professionals continue to actively pursue personal work in the international arena, while teaching and inspiring future generations of creative thinkers.

Quality of Academic Programs

UCSD’s Arts and Humanities programs are annually ranked among the highest in the country. Fine arts multimedia, video and film programs have been ranked among the top fifteen in the nation.

Theatre & Dance ranked 3rd and Latin American History ranked 12th nationally by US News & World Report.

The Departments of Literature and Philosophy were also ranked in the top 20 nationwide by the National Research Council.

Quality of Faculty

Nancy Cartwright, a professor in the Philosophy Department, was also a MacArthur Fellow. Her principal research interests are History and philosophy of science (especially physics and economics), causal inference, and objectivity in science. She is also a professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is the author of How the Laws of Physics Lie (1983) and Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement (1989), and co-author, with Jordi Cat, Lola Fleck and Thomas Uebel, of Otto Neurath: Philosophy Between Science and Politics (1995).

Anthony Davis, Rand Steiger and Bertram Turetzky, Professors of Music at UCSD, were selected as recipients of the 2002-2003 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards (ASCAP). The New York-based society awards artists who support the growth and development of our nation's musical future through recognition and seed money for further research and development.

In 2002, Marcel Hénaff, philosopher, anthropologist, and professor in the Department of Literature received the prestigious Grand Prix de Philosophie de l' Académie Francaise for his book Le Prix de la Vérité: le don, l'argent, la philosophie (The Price of Truth: gift, money, philosophy).

The Pulitzer Prize in Music was awarded in 1989 to Professor Roger Reynolds, for Whispers Out of Time, a work for string orchestra. Reynolds was the founder of the UCSD Center for Music Experiment which eventually became the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts.

In 1984, UCSD Music Professor Bernand Rands also received the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Latin American history scholar Ramon Eduardo Ruiz was the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the government's highest accolade in scholarship, in 1998.

The Department of Visual Arts was founded by leaders of the important art movements of the Twentieth Century, and the UCSD Visual Arts faculty in art practice have a distinguished record of international exhibitions in prestigious venues such as the Venice Biennale, Whitney Museum of American Art (including numerous Whitney Biennial exhibitions and in the defining "The American Century" exhibition in 2000); the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and many other museums, galleries, and film, video, and new media festivals all over the world. Guggenheim Fellowships and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships are among the prestigious grants UCSD faculty has received.

Over the past decade, UCSD's Visual Arts program and Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) have been leaders in the new field of digital arts (also known as new media), which encompasses such new forms of artistic production as DVDs, robotics, virtual reality, net art, and computer music. One of the oldest and most respected digital arts research programs in the nation, CRCA will deliver vastly greater resources to creative artists working in the digital arena through its association with the recently established Calit2. Many faculty members are associated with CRCA and were instrumental in establishing the UC Digital Arts Research Network (UCDARNet), an interdisciplinary multi-campus research group that facilitates collaborative projects by digital arts.

UCSD's professional resident faculty in Theatre and Dance has repeatedly garnered many impressive awards, including Tony Awards, OBIE awards, Drama Desk awards, Jefferson awards, L.A. Critics Circle, L.A. Ovation awards, and the Olivier Award for Excellence in Theatre. Their extensive credits include professional work in over 100 theatres in 14 countries.

Since 1985, the Department of Theatre and Dance has had a unique professional relationship with the La Jolla Playhouse. The La Jolla Playhouse (Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, 1993) is in residence at UCSD for extended seasons each year (May through December) and shares facilities at the Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts. MFA students in acting, design, directing, and stage management are each guaranteed at least one paid professional residency with the La Jolla Playhouse. UCSD's Professional Theatre Training Program is one of only a handful of programs nationally to have a distinct affiliation with a professional theatre.