Our vision and mission statement

colonial legacies field school
The Colonial Legacies field school in South Africa exemplifies one way our faculty strives to embody our vision and mission.

Read our vision and mission to learn about what guides us in the Faculty of Humanities. 

Vision: what are the humanities?

The humanities are concerned with the complex, ever-evolving questions of what it means to be human.  They speak to issues of human dignity, creativity, thought, and value amidst myriad peoples and places. Hence, the humanities build the foundations of freedom, well-being, and justice; they cultivate an ethic of social engagement, intellectual openness, incisive critique, and moral courage. 

The humanities equip us to make critical and difficult choices, to recognize the difference between what is right and what is easy, and to take responsibility for our choices as constitutive of ourselves. The humanities enable us to reflect on how we are, and how we have been, shaped by our language, our culture, our technology, our environment, and to recognize the richness offered by diversity, difference, distance, and place. They force us to challenge those things that we take for granted. They require disciplined awareness, courageous compassion, and skillful curiosity.

The humanities are at the foundation of the university’s historic mission to make humanity better. They inspire the university to move beyond the provision of instrumental skills, to move beyond the commodification of learning as training, and to embody the highest ideal that education elevates the human condition itself.

Mission: the humanities at UVic

Enrich Human Dignity: fundamental research and teaching about what it means (and has meant) to be human, and a commitment to enact change to improve conditions for humanity

Provoke Critical Inquiry: fundamental research and teaching about the meaning and methods of reason and critique, including their cultural and historical plurality, and a commitment to uphold these values in society today

Engage Myriad Voices: fundamental research and teaching about the interaction between time, place and knowledge, including its expression through language, and a commitment to a de-colonized and diverse global society

Inspire Innovative Expression: fundamental research and teaching about multifarious modes of human expression, including the full plurality of media, and a commitment to creative interventions in society