Welcome to the Arts and Humanities at UC Santa Barbara!
When I tell people that I am the dean of humanities and fine arts, I often get a slightly puzzled look. I can almost see the question forming in their minds -- what exactly are the arts and humanities?
Humanists and artists explore how individuals, societies, and cultures make sense of the world. We are like code-breakers, trying to understand the messages embodied in literature, art, music, history, philosophy, and religion. To put it most directly, humanists and artists are in the business of understanding significance and meaning.
To understand significance and meaning in different contexts, we have 22 departments and programs in the humanities and fine arts at UCSB, offering 29 different undergraduate degrees. You can perform on stage as an actor, dancer, or musician; you can travel to Greece for archeological digs, or intern in Washington, D.C., or Sacramento to help change public policy. The cultures and societies of the world -- and their varied pasts -- are all open for your exploration.
A degree in the arts and humanities will allow you to pursue your passions and ambitions. The ability to grapple with challenging and difficult ideas -- and then translate those ideas into your own words and thoughts -- is indispensable training for many different careers. That is why we have highly successful alumni in teaching, business, and public service.
Please explore our website, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
—John Majewski, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts
Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts
John Majewski is the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Professor in the Department of History, where he has taught since 1995. He has been an Associate Dean for the division and served as the History Department Chair from 2009 to 2012. Dr. Majewski was a member of the Letters & Science Faculty Executive Committee and the Committee on Research, and served for five years on the campus Program Review Panel. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA, where he won the Allan Nevins Prize in American Economic History for the best dissertation on an American subject. He also received a Howard Foundation Mid-Career Fellowship, the Hubbell Prize for an article on Civil War History, and an Andrew Mellon Research Fellowship from the Virginia Historical Society. His areas of specialization include American economic, social, and legal history; Southern history, and the U.S. Civil War. Dr. Majewski earned the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003. He is the author of A House Dividing: Economic Development in Pennsylvania and Virginia Before the Civil War(Cambridge University Press, 2000), Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Imagination of the Confederate Nation (UNC Press, 2009), and numerous articles, reviews, and book chapters.