- Professor of English
I was a math major in college, but William Faulkner and Zora Neale Hurston eventually lured me away from differential calculus and linear algebra. And actually the leap wasn’t that great: Both disciplines are vital elements of the Liberal Arts, and both are crucial to growing as a human and as a member of society. You can’t have a good understanding of the world around you if you don’t understand how it works – and math and the sciences are how you gain that understanding. And you won’t know what to do with that understanding if your thinking lacks historical, social, philosophical, and ethical grounding. That’s what literature provides. Exploring the lives and experiences – real and imagined – of others gives us a wider scope in which to see the world, broadening our perspective and giving us greater wisdom. In addition, reading novels is entertaining, delightful, and the best way to spend an afternoon – I can prove it to you.