Humanities and Arts study aspects of human society, culture, and artistic expression. The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, history, human geography, law, politics, religion, and art.

The humanities help us understand societies through their languages, histories, arts and cultures. Humanities and Arts students build skills in critical reading, thinking and writing.

Portrait of Hope GiddingsHope Giddings '20, she/her/hers

Art History / Visual Culture Studies / Media Studies

I love the ways my major encourages me to think critically about visual culture and rhetoric.

Favorite classes in major: Architectural History of Walla Walla / Advanced Filmmaking

Favorite class out of major: Intro to Gender Studies


Portrait of Chloe DaikhChloe Daikh '21, she/her/hers

Classics and History

I started taking Latin in 6th grade and have always loved it so classics made sense for me. I decided to do a double major in history when I took a class with Sarah Davies in the Fall 2018 semester and also loved it.

Favorite classes in majors: Ancient Theatre and the Advanced Latin Seminar for Classics / Hail Caesar: The Roman Revolution / 20th Century Europe

Favorite class out of major: Approaches to the Study of Literature

Portrait of Sarah MurphySarah Murphy '21, she/her/hers


I chose to study classics because I am a total grammar nerd and love to learn how ancient people thought. I appreciate how engaged the professors are and I know they are teaching me skills that I will continue to use the rest of my life. Classics is a wonderful basis for any career because it teaches you how to think critically, identify subtle connections, and ultimately question your suppositions.

Favorite class in major: Ancient Greek

Favorite class out of major: Chamber Singers


Portrait of Michelle FosterMichelle Foster '20, she/her/hers


I chose to major in English because I enjoy reading literature, and that's a big part of being an English major! I love the moments in class when we're discussing a text and examining it really closely, and suddenly you notice a clever use of language or new connections within the text that change the way you've been interpreting it, and these kinds of discoveries just make studying the text more exciting.

Favorite classes in major: Modern-Contemporary American Literature / Creative Writing / any fiction course

Favorite class out of major: Chinese


Noah Dunn '21, he/him/his

Environmental Humanities

My two greatest loves have always been writing and the outdoors, which are brought together in  environmental humanities. While the interdisciplinary structure of the environmental studies program has ensured that I expand my interactions with the natural world, the rigorous humanities-specific courses have challenged my understanding of that same world and my place in it, all while honing my skills as a reader, writer, and thinker. 

Favorite class in major: (Re)Thinking Environment
Favorite class out of major: Advanced Creative Writing—Fiction

Salvatore Goldblatt '20, he/him/his

Gender Studies

I chose to minor in gender studies because of how deeply personal it is. Gender is intertwined with everything around us in society today, and to be able to dive into it is fascinating. I love being able to share my experiences and hear the experiences of others in the class. Our unique identities work well in our discussions of many unique subject matters, and I feel like I gain a new perspective with every class that I take.

Favorite classes in majorWomen in Sport and Social Bodies of Gender

Favorite class out of majorBallet


Noah Dunn '21, he/him/his

German Studies

I was drawn to this field by the Germanic heritage on both branches of my family tree. After studying German all through high school and studying in Munich the summer after my graduation, I fell in love with the language, people, places, and culture. My understanding and appreciation of these have been expanded by the many richly interdisciplinary opportunities afforded to me by German Studies program at Whitman and better prepared me to be a liberal arts student and citizen of a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

Favorite classes in major: Benjamin, Brecht, Bauhaus

Favorite class out of major: Advanced Creative Writing—Fiction

Portrait of Eli HollidayEli Holliday '20, he/him/his

History / Philosophy

I chose philosophy because philosophy dares to ask the big questions, and takes nothing for granted. Everything from the very nature of what it is we owe to each other, what it means to be a human being, and even what it means to be are investigated in philosophy. Deep thought and stimulating conversation are mainstays of the major.

Favorite class in major: Cosmopolitanism

Favorite class out of major: World Theatre


Portrait of Isabella Sherwood-ReidIsabella Sherwood-Reid '20, she/her/hers

Religous Studies

I like to think of religion as the perfect liberal arts degree- it encompasses history, literature, psychology, sociology, art, anthropology, any subject you're interested in relates to religious studies here at Whitman! I love the variety and diversity in the Religion Department and how I'm able to study so many different things with a central focus on world views and their applicability.

Favorite class in major: Sorry, Not Sorry: Ethics of Apologies

Favorite class not in major: The Making of England: Roman Invasion to the Wars of the Roses


Portrait of Cameron ConnerCameron Conner '20

Rhetoric, Writing and Public Discourse / Politics

I chose to be a rhetoric major because it frames the way I see the world in a whole new light. I love communicating with those around me and rhetoric helps me do so on a more authentic level while observing the way power functions in our society.

Favorite class in major: Rhetoric of Incarceration and Civic Engagement

Favorite class out of major: The History of America in Vietnam

Portrait of Jay TysonJean Yvonne (Jay) Tyson '21, they/them/theirs

Theatre / Film and Media Studies

It's easy to feel at home at HJT, and working in theatrical design provides the most creatively stimulating opportunities I've experienced alongside loads of chances to learn diverse skills.

Favorite class in major: Foundations of Design

Favorite class out of major: Study of Jazz