Identities

Few human beings are truly alone. Most of us are embedded from birth in families, communities, institutions, tribes or clans whose expectations and values help to shape our individual expectations and values throughout life. From these groups we may learn how to think about who we are and where we belong. Or we may discover how we do not fit into certain molds and learn to resist them. The influences on us may be harmonious or contradictory. They may attach our sense of self—or identity—to a particular geographical place or instead urge us to wander. Together such influences may link individual identities to a distinct culture, complete with narratives about origins and a set of practices to live by. Or they may shape identities that are flexible and adaptable to multiple cultural arrangements. 

Humanists engage in the study and exploration of these forces and individual interpretations of them as a key element in figuring out how humans make meaning of their existence. Humanists also study varied cultural systems and the concept of culture, recognizing that the idea of cultural stability may mask the inevitability of change.

From the study of the philosophical and spiritual expression of the self in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies to the exploration of identities in the world in programs ranging from the School of Social Transformation to the Department of English, from the Center for Political Thought and Leadership to the Hispanic Research Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, many of our programs encourage students—and the rest of our world—to think and reflect deeply upon our individual purpose in the world. 

Project Humanities brings together individuals and communities, within and around ASU, to instill passion and knowledge of humanities study, research, and humanist thought.
The Center for Political Thought and Leadership expresses the university’s commitment to training a new generation of citizens and leaders prepared for the 21st century and civic education in the broader community.
Department of English's mission is to study, create, and teach spoken, written, visual and digital communication practices and texts of every sort, ranging from the imaginative to those functioning in civic, social, personal, academic and professional communities, and to mentor others to do likewise.
The Hispanic Research Center conducts basic and applied research on a broad range of topics related to Hispanic studies, disseminates research findings to the academic community and the public, provides public service in areas of importance to Hispanics, and holds a major art history archive of Chicana/o artists that is available for study by researchers and students.
At the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, we explore our diverse heritage, traditions, beliefs and history, and express their relevance through application in every day life.
School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies offers a broad range of programs, with 17 bachelor’s degrees, 17 minors and certificates, and one graduate program. Our students are actively engaged with our esteemed faculty who are Emmy- and Grammy award-winning artists and leading researchers in many interdisciplinary fields.
The School of Social Transformation is a transdisciplinary collective of programs offering degrees and certificates in African and African American studies, Asian Pacific American studies, social and cultural pedagogy, justice and social inquiry, women and gender studies.