Open through December 5, 2016

50 Years of Fluency in the Human Conversation

The College of Humanities at Brigham Young University promotes the study and practice of the humanities, in particular literature, languages, philosophy, art history, and linguistics. Our scholarship enhances the human conversation across divergent cultures, times, tongues, and peoples. We prepare students to face the changing demands of the workplace and the community. As we celebrate our first 50 years we invite all to look forward to a future rich with connections made possible through the humanities.

Dean’s Statement

“Education in the humanities—fields such as literature, classics, foreign languages, linguistics, philosophy, and art history—has played a central role at Brigham Young University since its founding in 1875. Fifty years ago the College of Humanities became its own academic unit, and over the past five decades it has developed into a unique collection of departments and programs that touches every student at BYU.

“A central part of what we do in the College can be summed up in one word: conversation. Originally used to describe keeping company with others, becoming familiar with the unknown, the term conversation shares Latin roots with the word conversion, both suggesting a turn towards a new way of seeing and interacting with the world. In the humanities we learn how to see things in new ways, read unfamiliar texts and scripts, come to know others as human beings and children of God rather than stereotypes. We study the varieties of human accomplishment, in particular how that variety is shared across time and space using languages of all kinds.

“Such study prepares our students for the rapidly globalizing world. As one panel in the exhibit notes, ‘the humanities offers a broad education that applies to a multitude of contexts and throughout a lifetime. Humanities graduates enter a global marketplace with foreign language and intercultural expertise, communication skills, and above all intellectual flexibility and creativity.’

“We invite you to take a tour of the exhibit and learn more about the humanities and how a humanities education at BYU does, indeed, make the world our campus.”

—J. Scott Miller, Dean, College of Humanities

Photos of the Installation



  • John Rosenberg, exhibition co-curator, former dean, College of Humanities
  • Melinda Semadeni, exhibition co-curator, assistant dean, College of Humanities
  • Amanda Fronk, curatorial research assistant, College of Humanities
  • Karianne Ortiz, curatorial research assistant, College of Humanities
  • Kim Reid, curatorial research assistant, College of Humanities
  • Eric Howard, exhibition designer, Lee Library
  • Emily Ludlow, assistant exhibition designer, Lee Library
  • Heather M. Seferovich, coordinating curator, Education in Zion Gallery
  • Russ Taylor, associate university librarian, Lee Library and advisory committee chair, Education in Zion Gallery
  • Cali O’Connell, promotions and outreach unit, Lee Library and advisory committee member, Education in Zion Gallery

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