Meet Our Students

I kept seeing Humanities Seminars brochures at the River Library, but was so busy with my young kids that I couldn't take any courses.  Now, with both my kids in school, I've plunged in-- first Professor Medine on Shakespeare, now Professor Classen on The Medieval Quest.  Both are great!  All week I look forward to the seminar.  It gets me out of the house and lets me exercise my brain!  I get to meet nice people and add more books to my ever-expanding "must-read" list.

“For four years now, I have been taking classes such as Greek Gods and Goddesses, the Spanish Civil War, and 19th-Century French Art.  I feel as though I've traveled around the world!  The classes are amazing, and the professors possess such incredible knowledge and obvious passion that each subject comes alive.  Come and join us!”

“My involvement with the Humanities Seminar Program has meant a great deal. As a career biologist, I maintained a fairly focused view. I thought I had little time for a great deal of discretionary reading. HSP has provided opportunities to explore subjects I would not have had access to otherwise. I doubt that I could have successfully tackled Joyce’s Ulysses or Dante’s Paradiso on my own. Importantly, I have been able to explore subjects about which I have long been curious, e.g., Islam, the Turks, and science fiction. I highly recommend the Humanities Seminars Program.”


"Top, award winning professors; classmates with a lifetime of experience.  Sign up early; classes fill quickly."

“I have taken two classes with the Humanities Seminars program, and so I am an enthusiastic 'newbie.' Each class has been highly informative with knowledgeable professors who add wit and humor to their lectures. In addition, my fellow classmates are amazing. There are always interesting points or questions raised. I look forward to participating in many more classes in the future!"

“I discovered the Humanities Seminars Program in 2009, a very difficult year for me. It was just the tonic I needed. I eagerly anticipate each set of offerings and look forward to being challenged, stimulated, and yes, entertained. Learning can be fun!  And where else can one be exposed to such superb instructors as Malcolm Compitello, David Soren, Pat Willerton, and Richard Poss, to name just a few."


The History of HSP

Housed in the Dorothy Rubel Room in The University of Arizona’s Helen S. Schaefer Building — also home of The University of Arizona Poetry Center - the Humanities Seminars Program offers the community a wide range of classes from astronomy to archeology and from Shakespeare to film noir.  The Seminars have been one of the university’s most successful self-supporting functions.  Enrollments have grown to the point where classes are now offered year-round.  During its 34-year history, 374 not-for-credit seminars have been offered to close to 22,000 community members.

The program is the brainchild of Dorothy Rubel.  Prior to her move to Tucson, Ms. Rubel was active in the University of Chicago’s Public Lecture Program, which featured classes for the community and its senior citizens in the arts, classics (ancient Greek and Latin subjects) and general humanistic studies.

When she arrived in Tucson, Ms. Rubel quickly discovered that no such programs existed here and she began an almost decade-long effort to lobby the UA to create a town-and-gown program in which the university’s top professors would teach the same type of classes offered in Chicago to community “students” in Tucson.  There would be no examinations, but reading assignments would be given and discussion encouraged. ... Read More