Dean’s message

Welcome to the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University! Our work as teachers, researchers, and creators is focussed on the human experience as it has been lived, is lived, and can be lived.  Our goals are simple: to teach our students as human beings and prepare them to face whatever the future holds; to expand and enrich human understanding through our research and creative work; and to treat others (each other and those beyond our walls) humanely and well as we do the first two things.

Brock is one of the few universities in Canada to have a Faculty of Humanities, and to have made this kind of structural and organizational commitment to understanding and enhancing the human experience.  This kind of commitment speaks volumes about the commitments that Brock makes to the work of students, faculty, and staff as they work together for the good of humanity.

In addition to being Dean of the Faculty, I am a Professor of Classics, and have frequently taught Greek mythology.  One of the most compelling stories is that of Pandora who, after being created by the gods and delivered to earth, was given a jar into which she was forbidden to look.  Of course she had to look; she opened the jar, and all the ills that afflict humanity were released: famine and draught, disease and cruelty and war were released, and all other things that cause us to suffer flew out.  Pandora looked into the jar after the evils of creation flew out and swarmed through the world, and saw one small thing left inside.  That small winged creature was Hope.

There are times, in the life of individuals and the world, when Hope is all that’s left in the jar.  When all the news is full of despair and difficulty, or when our personal lives are crashing down around us, or when we need to support friends or family members who are suffering, Hope and optimism can be all we have left to us.

How, then, can we feed Hope?  How can we help it to flourish and grow into action and impact?

Hope is fed by empathy and perspective.  It is nourished by communication and knowledge.  It is supported by enthusiasm and a healthy scepticism.

Empathy and perspective, communication and knowledge, enthusiasm and a healthy scepticism, are the things that result from studying in the areas that make up the Humanities.  And Brock University leads you to these through an education that is personal and responsive.

I invite you to explore Brock Humanities; feed Hope; save the world.

Carol U. Merriam, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Humanities