Chair's Message


The School of Humanities was founded on twin non-negotiable priorities; to offer inspiring and high calibre education at all levels; and to participate in exciting research conversations that have international impact in myriad ways.   These priorities continue to guide all the major developmental decisions in the school, even as we actively participate in the broader teaching and research aspirations of NTU.

The presence of the humanities greatly enhances the educational and intellectual landscapes of major universities with aspirations to act as global hubs of diversified, interdisciplinary research. NTU’s status as a major international research university is greatly facilitated by the continued development of an inclusive and informed investment in humanistic subject areas, which all major universities now agree to be essential.  NTU’s School of Humanities is therefore well-positioned to be an influential contributor to the evolution of Singapore’s research landscape over the coming years. The continued development of a rich humanistic research landscape in NTU demonstrates the multifaceted creative energy in the university and enhances its reputation. Globally, there has always been an acute awareness of the enormous importance of cultural forms, of the arts, of the richness of our literary and linguistic inheritances, and of the fundamental importance of philosophical thinking to all other value systems. The humanities contribute not merely to substantive knowledge about cultures including their histories and belief systems, they also develop fundamental cosmopolitan dispositions such as empathy and openness towards difference, a capacity to negotiate ethical ambiguities, and an engaged concern with forms of social and global injustice. This is reflected in the myriad ways that modern, developed societies invest in culture and linguistic-based research through their educational systems.

Through its engagement with the humanities, NTU already makes a major contribution to the cultural, social and educational landscape of Singapore. Faculty in SoH’s Chinese, Creative Writing, English, History, Linguistics & Multilingual Studies, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Translation Studies, and LCC (Language and Communication Centre) consistently produce impactful high-calibre research within and beyond their disciplines and make active international contributions to their fields at the highest levels. They also offer innovative single and double majors, a wide array of exciting minors and second majors, and a broad array of postgraduates programmes; in all cases they feature both rich disciplinary depth as well as an openness to interfaces between disciplines in many areas of study. The school is committed to a fluid and open educational landscape, to debate and genuine engagement, and to the humanistic aspiration to consistently develop critical and creative ways of seeing and thinking.

Professor KK Luke
Acting Chair