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The arts, humanities and social sciences teach critical and creative thinking and complex problem-solving skills that will help our graduates to lead and succeed in an increasingly global, interconnected world. They bring understanding and context to our world.

After careful consideration, the steering committee chose six themes to highlight the work at Carolina that helps us understand and address these critical issues of our time.


Social Justice

The arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences allow us to recognize disadvantages and injustices and to work toward a more equal and fair society through action and advocacy. They also provide critical perspectives, and enable us to consider potential trade-offs and ethical dilemmas.


An Enlightened Citizenry

Open inquiry and creative activities in these fields can help strengthen a democratic society, providing a well-rounded view of the world and its history and culture, and informing our decisions as we engage in civic responsibilities.


Tolerance and Understanding

Tolerance facilitates the recognition of similarities and differences with others. Understanding different cultures and beliefs enables us to appreciate varied worldviews, establishing connections that can build stronger, more inclusive and diverse communities, or allowing us to respect differences.


Global Engagement

The world is increasingly more interconnected due to many factors such as the internet, mass media, global trade and travel. Learning a foreign language or becoming exposed to other cultures teaches us how to become more aware global citizens with a nuanced understanding of our own, able to succeed in a broad range of work and life environments.


Food and the Environment

How do people’s traditions around food differ, and how do their environments influence them? The arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences help us think critically about pressing topics such as food ethics, sustainability and food insecurity. This theme offers synergies with the university’s two-year campus-wide theme, Food for All: Local and Global Perspectives.



Whether stories are borne out of our own histories and experiences or from our imagination, we interpret and create them whether we are writing novels or plays, performing poetry slams or rap, making films or exploring the narrative potential of other media. Every storyteller needs a receptive and responsive audience.