Learning: Humanities & The Arts

A Mount Holyoke education is a whole lot more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Maybe you want to study the anthropology of dance or environmental politics. The humanities and the arts come alive in our classrooms. Experience it yourself.

Grid of five videos

Top video

Professor of Dance Jim Coleman:

"I feel like there's a lot of support from the administration, from the College. Certainly the idea that the arts are integral to the liberal arts. This idea of educating the whole person. Of the more intuitive, subjective, logistic modes of knowing and expressing what the arts are about, I think, mesh very interestingly with the more rational, scientific modes of knowledge and expression of the humanities and sciences here. Certainly I think students find an interesting balance with the two. And that kind of mix of ideas and art making, of thinking about the work and making the work, is very appealing to me. I love teaching here because those are the kind of students I'm teaching."

(Video: student artwork; groups of faculty and students interacting around campus; Professor Coleman talking; a ballet class; students rehearsing onstage)

Second row left


"In one class I took, Women Writing Cultural Diaspora with Professor Stevens, I brought in some of my artwork that I had from South Africa and she displayed it in class and I felt really good about it. And when I came back from South Africa, there were professors . . . who approached me and asked me, 'Can you please come and talk to some of the students in my class about your experience in South Africa.'"

(Video: a student speaking directly to the camera)

Second row right:

Professor of Theatre Arts Roger Babb:

"You're thinking about something that's inside. Do you know what I mean? Here's what you do: You're directing everything out, and looking at something. . . 'In the future things will be different.' Like that. As opposed to internal. But you want to separate yourself from her. And here, you want to play to this one, over the back . . . like they're doing in their scene."

(Video: Professor Babb directing students during a scene rehearsal in the lobby of Rooke Theatre)

Bottom row left:


"I came in as a prospective music and theatre person; I had done a lot of work in theatre in high school. And I just fell in love with the music department, and I met the directors and a lot of other women who were first-years on campus and that led into taking music theory the next semester, and it just spirals into then being in three different ensembles and two different lessons: I take voice lessons and piano lessons once a week each. I pretty much live in the building now. I just loved it so much that I want to continue with it."

(Video: a student speaking directly into the camera)

Bottom row right:


So I work now at the CDC [Career Development Center]; I have done this for a few years. And I'm also a SAW mentor, so I work with the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program at the Weissman Center for Leadership as a peer mentor for a French class. What I've done at Mount Holyoke is to design a major in postcolonial literature, Anglophone and Francophone, so before I left I decided that I was going to take the courses that would form the French complement of the major in Montpellier in the south of France, which is where I spent a year. So I did that, and came back, and am doing the English part of it."

(Video: two students working together at the CDC, and one student speaking directly into the camera)

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About This Site

This transcript is a companion to the Mount Holyoke College Tour, a multimedia site presenting the Mount Holyoke experience through photos, audio clips, and video clips. The corresponding page on the multimedia tour is Humanities & the Arts. If you have suggestions about how to improve the accessibility of this site, please contact us.