Humanities and Justice (BA)

Humanities and Justice (BA)


The Humanities and Justice major offers students the opportunity to explore fundamental questions about justice from a humanistic, interdisciplinary perspective. Rooted in history, literature and philosophy, Humanities and Justice prepares students for basic inquiry and advanced research into issues of justice that lie behind social policy and criminal justice as well as broader problems of social morality and equity. Its courses are designed to help students develop the skills of careful reading, critical thinking and clear writing that are necessary for the pursuit of any professional career. This major provides an excellent preparation for law school and other professional programs, for graduate school in the humanities, and for careers in law, education, public policy and criminal justice.

The Humanities and Justice curriculum involves a sequence of five interdisciplinary core courses in Humanities and Justice (designated with the HJS prefix), six courses from a list of humanities courses, and a choice of one of two courses on theory.

Credits required. 36

Coordinator. Spring and Summer 2017: Professor Hyunhee Park, Department of History (212.237.8291,
Fall 2017: Professor Stephen Russell, Department of History (212.237.8290, 
Spring 2018: Professor Hyunhee Park, Department of History (212.237.8291, Students must review their course of study with major faculty.

Advising resources. Four-year Academic Plan

Prerequisites. ENG 201; one of the general education courses in literature, history, or philosophy; one of the general education courses in the social sciences, and upper–sophomore class standing.

Please note: POL 101 (or GOV 101) is a prerequisite for POL 375 and LAW 203 or POL 301 is a prerequisite for LAW 301. Part III of the major requires either POL 375 (or GOV 375) or LAW 301.

Additional information. Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or changed to this major in September 2014 or thereafter must complete the major in the form presented here. Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose the form shown here or the earlier version of the major. A copy of the earlier version may be obtained in the 2013–2014 Undergraduate Bulletin.

Senior–level requirement. Students must complete HJS 410 Reading Scholarship in Humanities and Justice and HJS 415 Thesis in Humanities and Justice Studies.

PART ONE. REQUIRED COURSES                                                            Subtotal: 9 credits

HJS 250 Justice in the Western Traditions
HJS 310 Comparative Perspectives on Justice
HJS 315 Research Methods in Humanities and Justice Studies

PART TWO. HUMANITIES AND JUSTICE ELECTIVES                     Subtotal: 18 credits

Students take six advanced elective courses in one or more of the humanities disciplines in order to explore how the fundamental assumptions, methods and general subject matter of these disciplines relate to issues of justice. These courses will be chosen by the student with faculty advisement, from the following list. Permission by the Humanities and Justice Coordinator is required for any course not listed below in Categories A, B, or C to count toward the major. A minimum of 12 credits must be taken at the 300–level or above.

HIS 217 History of NYC
HIS 219 Violence and Social Change in America
HIS 224 A History of Crime in New York City
HIS 240 Historiography
HIS 252 Warfare in the Ancient Near East and Egypt
HIS 254 History of Ancient Greece and Rome 
HIS 256 History of Muslim Societies and Communities
HIS 260/LLS 260 History of Contemporary Cuba
HIS 264 China to 1650
HIS 265/LLS 265 Class, Race, and Family in Latin American History
HIS 270 Marriage in Medieval Europe
HIS 274 China: 1650-Present
HIS 277 American Legal History
HIS 282 Selected Topics in History
HIS 320 The History of Crime and Punishment in the United States
HIS 323 History of Lynching and Collective Violence
HIS 325 Criminal Justice in European Society, 1750 to the Present
HIS 340 Modern Military History from the Eighteenth Century to the Present
HIS 354 Law and Society in Ancient Athens and Rome
HIS 364/GEN 364 History of Gender and Sexuality: Prehistory to 1650
HIS 374 Premodern Punishment
HIS 375 Female Felons in the Premodern World
HIS 381 Social History of Catholicism in the Modern World
HIS 383 History of Terrorism
HJS 380 Selected Topics in Humanities and Justice
ISP 273 The Stories We Tell
ISP 321 Moral, Legal, and Ethical Dilemmas that Shape the USA
ISP 322 Making Waves: Troublemakers, Gadflies and Whistleblowers
ISP 335 Violence in the Pursuit of Justice 
LIT 219 The Word as Weapon
LIT 223/AFR 223 African-American Literature
LIT 265 Foundations of U.S. Lation/a Literature
LIT 287 Selected Topics in Literature
LIT 300 Text and Context
LIT 305 Foundations of Literature and Law
LIT 311 Literature and Ethics
LIT 313 Shakespeare
LIT 314 Shakespeare and Justice
LIT 315 American Literature and the Law
LIT 316 Gender and Identity in Western Literary Traditions
LIT 326 Crime, Pusnishment, and Justice in U.S. Literature
LIT 327 Crime and Punishment in World Literature
LIT 340/AFR340 African American Experience in America: Comparative Racial Perspectives
LIT 342 Perspectives on Literature and Human Rights
LIT 346 Cultures in Conflict
LIT 380 Advanced Selected Topics in Literature
LLS 322 Latina/o Struggles for Civil Rights and Social Justice
PHI 203 Political Philosophy
PHI 205 Philosophy of Religion
PHI 210 Ethical Theory
PHI 302 The Philosophy of Rights
PHI 304 Philosophy of the Mind
PHI 310/LAW 310 Ethics and Law
PHI 315 Philosophy of the Rule of Law: Theory and Practice
PHI 317 Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective
PHI 322/CRJ 322 Judicial and Correctional Ethics
PHI 326 Topics in the History of Modern Thought
PHI 340 Utopian Thought
PHI 423/POL 423 Selected Topics in Justice
SPA 308 The Theme of Justice in Spanish Literature
SPA 335 The Theme of Justice in Latin American Literature and Film

HIS 282, LIT 287, LIT 380: HIS 282 Selected Topics in History, LIT 287 Selected Topics in Literature, LIT 380 Advanced Selected Topics in Literature and LIT 401 Special Topics may be used to satisfy the six-course requirement of the Disciplinary Component when the topic is applicable to the Humanities and Justice major. To approve these courses for inclusion in the major, students and/or faculty must petition the program coordinator.


Select one
LAW 301 Jurisprudence
POL 375 Law, Order, Justice and Society

PART FOUR. PROBLEMS  AND RESEARCH                                           Subtotal 6 credits

Both are required
HJS 410 Reading Scholarship in Humanities and Justice
HJS 415 Thesis in Humanities and Justice Studies

                                                                                                                    Total Credit Hours: 36

                                                                                                                        Last Updated: 3/30/17