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Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Liberal arts education is at the heart of the University of Denver. Our faculty, staff and students come together in a shared quest for knowledge of the human condition.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dean of AHSS

 Fall Quarter 2015

mcintoshWelcome to the divisions of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Denver.

This fall we welcome to campus more than 150 graduate students and 450 first year students who have pre-declared a major in AHSS. Under the guidance of our accomplished faculty and staff, these students will join their AHSS peers and engage in academic projects as diverse as our 13 departments, two schools and multiple centers and institutes.  They have come here to study areas ranging from studio art to sociology, religious studies to psychology or musicology to English. 

It’s also my pleasure to welcome 20 new AHSS faculty to the University who join 220+ returning faculty. Professors often use the summer months to pursue research or creative endeavors. AHSS faculty figure among the best trained artists and scholars in the nation. Some professors work in the field, others in labs, studios, archives and libraries throughout the world. Their findings influence their syllabi, course assignments, and out-of-class collaborations with students.

In fact, many professors will integrate their latest research into First-Year Seminar (FSEM) courses. FSEMS get started during a week-long orientation program called Discoveries Week during which students register for classes, meet their new roommates, tour the campus and nearby Denver metropolis and more. 

Professors select FSEM course topics based on their own scholarship and enthusiasm. They take care to work closely with the freshmen to hone the kinds of academic skills that prepare them for success in college, including writing, critical reading and thinking, discussion and debate.

There are nearly 90 FSEMs that students can choose from, and I’m proud that most are taught by AHSS faculty. The topics range from U.S. immigration to the psychology of video games to the history of global hip hop. ‘Rock Theatricality,’ taught by Sarah Crockarell, visiting assistant professor in the department of theatre, looks particularly intriguing to me.

I really wish I could take that one. Crockarell’s syllabus says that her students will examine the ways that rock music uses theatricality to perform revolutionary ideas, from Elvis’ salacious hip-wiggling to the brutality of death metal!

This fall I’m very pleased that all students will be able to enjoy the newly created AHSS Student Study Space in Sturm Hall (room 201). The leaders on the AHSS Student Advisory Council advocated to the dean’s office and architect’s office about the need for a space like this. We agreed with them. The new space is a place for students to casually study, attend workshops or just hang out. I’m told there will be spontaneous distributions of free coffee, too! (I’m the dean, and I don’t even know when. So if you see it’s a free coffee day, come find me. I’m in Sturm 457.)

Seriously, the workshops taking place in Sturm 201 are important. I encourage all students to attend them so you can get grad school and career advice, find an alumni mentor, search for internships and more. Even outside of the classroom, we’re here to help you succeed.

I invite prospective students, parents, alumni and friends to visit our impressive facilities, explore our robust course offerings and meet the expert memb­­­ers of our academic community.  Don’t hesitate to contact the members of my office or me if you have any questions or comments.

Take care,

Danny McIntosh, Dean