Manuel Lucena - Faculty Story | IE

Manuel Lucena

About me

I was born in Madrid but have lived all over the world—Spain, Colombia, Panama, the UK and the US—and have traveled to many different countries. My parents were journalists and anthropologists, and that, along with my international upbringing, has had an impact on my fascination with the humanities. I studied the history of the Americas at Oxford University and after that, I moved to Venezuela to work in anthropology research. While I’ve moved around a lot, I would consider my time in Venezuela as a key element in my approach to global humanities. In my free time, I like to read and travel—I’m a very curious person.

shapeManuel Lucena
case2Humanities Professor

"The humanities are about liberty—it’s an important part of the human experience."

Manuel Lucena

Using the humanities to understand the world around us

Teaching the humanities wasn’t something that Manuel always dreamed of—the career path chose him, more than anything. He describes it as a natural result of his experiences living in various countries around the world, and his mother being a bit of a nomad. Growing up, Manuel and his family would often move around, and this led to him not always knowing where he was or where he belonged. As the years went on, he became fascinated by anthropology and its “human factor”.

And this human factor is exactly what fascinated Manuel. He considers liberty to be a key part of the human experience in the world in which we live, and describes how we are all survivors of multiple crises and traumas, enriched by kindness and the resilience of our ancestors. The humanities fascinate Manuel thanks to their complexity—at first it isn’t always clear what they are about, but delving more deeply can bring greater clarity. He also believes that a lot can be revealed through the power of conversation.

To Manuel, the Bachelor in Humanities is important in today’s world as the humanities are the only tool we have to turn globalization into a positive force to drive civilization rather than disaster. With the humanities, Manuel believes we have the power to prevent violence and wars that are rooted in old principles and identities. 

Manuel Lucena - Faculty Story | IEAnd in terms of the future, the humanities have a lot to bring to the table when it comes to knowledge and communication and their ability to create positive change. Manuel believes that the humanities have the power to help us make sense of these key areas—even if not always in a complete sense. It’s making the effort that can make a big difference—something that is alluded to in a quote by Manuel’s professor at Oxford University, John H. Elliott: “I was somebody who tried to understand.”

As with any program at IE University, the Bachelor in Humanities is career-focused and helps train students for the careers they aspire to. Manuel plays a key role in this as a professor of the Bachelor in Humanities, and he helps guide students in the right direction to fulfill their aspirations and make a positive impact in the world. To Manuel, the program helps students forge a range of careers including in the areas of diplomacy, heritage, preservation of monuments, museums, global change and education. With such a varied scope, the humanities will certainly play an important role in our increasingly globalized world.

Check out in detail Manuel Lucena's academic and corporate experience

Abstract image for bachelor in humanities header
Slide 1 of 1

"The humanities are about liberty—it’s an important part of the human experience."

Manuel Lucena

Humanities professor