How to Become a Humanities Professor

Ann Millett-Gallant is a humanities and liberal studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned a PhD in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Her current research crosses the disciplines of art history and disability studies, in which she analyzes representations of the disabled body in art and visual culture. She has taught classes in a variety of subjects, including art history; English composition; cultural studies; and visual studies, such as photography, performance, and commercial images. Ann is also a member of the Southeast College Art Conference and the Society for Disability Studies.

What is humanities and liberal studies?

It’s the interdisciplinary study of human culture, societies, and the arts.

What do you find most interesting about humanities and liberal studies?

The ways in which many ideas and subjects overlap.

Are there subfields of humanities and liberal studies that students might not be aware of?

Many are not aware of one of my areas of specialty, disability studies, which examines disability as a social construct and identity, as well as a vital component of human diversity.

What careers do students commonly pursue with a degree in humanities and liberal studies?

A variety of careers dealing with people and requiring good written and verbal communication skills.

Is a graduate degree preferable for a career in humanities and liberal studies, or can someone enter the field with a bachelor’s degree?

It would depend on the career someone pursues. The liberal studies can provide a solid basis for many kinds of professional degrees and training.

What personality traits do you think a student should have in order to be successful in a humanities and liberal studies program?

Inquisitive, open-minded, creative, and empathetic.

What electives would you recommend that a student in a humanities and liberal studies program take?

Classes in the visual and performing arts are always stimulating and give students perspectives on many forms of material culture.

What study tips would you give to a student to help him or her succeed in a humanities and liberal studies program?

Keep up with and review class readings. Also, form questions about the subjects you study and bring them to your class discussions and assignments.

Do you think humanities and liberal studies is a subject that can be studied online, or is a traditional class environment ideal?

I believe humanities and liberal studies can be studied online, as well as in the classroom. Online, students have the ability to interact with students from all over the world. The humanities and liberal studies courses online and in the classroom ask students to utilize and strengthen their analytical and written communication skills.