Divisions & Units - Arts & Humanities

Pianist found his path at Berkeley, returns to lead Ojai music fest

June 15, 2017
When Vijay Iyer came to UC Berkeley in the early 1990s, he didn’t know he would go on to become what the New Yorker referred to as “the most lauded piano player in jazz.” Iyer was 21, and a doctoral student in physics. But after a couple years, he knew he had to follow a new path. He went on to receive an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music in 1998.

Music professor wins prestigious Kyoto Prize

June 20, 2017
Richard Taruskin, a UC Berkeley emeritus professor of music, has won a 2017 Kyoto Prize for his contributions to the study, performance and critical discourse of early music, modern Russian music and Western music history.

Walls, spies, East Berlin and the California Book Award

June 5, 2017
Anne Nesbet joins an illustrious list of UC Berkeley professors to receive a California Book Award gold medal, and is the first to earn the honor for a work of fiction.

Divisions of L&S

Arts & Humanities

The division seeks to inspire students to seek for truth and explore creative ideas about our world and its diverse cultures through courses in literature, arts, languages, and philosophy.

Arts & Humanities Graduate Diversity Office

AlbertoWelcome to the Outreach and Diversity Office of the Arts & Humanities Division in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley. If you are a prospective or continuing diversity student interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in any of the Arts & Humanities departments at Berkeley or beyond, this office is set up to meet your needs.

UC Berkeley to open first university center for Silk Road study in North America

May 3, 2017
UC Berkeley is opening the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for Silk Road Studies, the first institutionalized center in the U.S. dedicated to the study of the historical trading networks serially known as the Silk Road, thanks to a $5 million gift by two branches of the Tang family.

History, museum and languages benefit from NEH awards for Berkeley projects

December 15, 2016
The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced awards to support UC Berkeley research on American slavery, rehousing of classical artifacts and translating Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphs and other scripts.

A Gift to Iranian Studies and Beyond

To attract and retain top-flight faculty across all 10 campuses, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced a $50 million matching fund program in 2014 that aims to establish 100 new endowed faculty chairs within five years. Seizing the opportunity to support excellence, Berkeley donors have quickly stepped forward. In less than two years, five out of an anticipated eight chairs have been created at Cal, and a sixth chair is in progress.

Ancient Egyptian doctor returns to Hearst Museum

December 14, 2016
The three-ton lid of the coffin of an ancient Egyptian doctor has been carefully removed from storage and maneuvered into a new resting place at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley professor Thomas Laqueur wins historical literature prize

November 30, 2016

UC Berkeley history professor Thomas Laqueur has won the 2016 Cundill Prize for Historical Literature for his latest book, The Work of the Dead. The prize, announced late Thursday at McGill University in Quebec, is one of the world’s biggest international awards for a nonfiction book. It is given to an author whose work has had profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history.