About Us

Welcome to Humanities!

The Humanities Department at SJSU is a prominent center for innovative and interdisciplinary study and research. We offer three different BA Programs for our students: the Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation BA; the Creative Arts BA; and the Humanities BA, in which students pursue a concentration in American Studies, Liberal Arts, or Comparative Religious Studies.

The Liberal Studies Teacher Prep BA offers several pathways toward becoming a teacher in the State of California. In the last few years, we have opened up new pathways that allow eligible students to complete the credential and that reduce barriers to becoming a teacher. We are especially excited about the Bilingual (Spanish/English) Pathway as it will help to grow the numbers of bilingual teachers in the state.

The Creative Arts BA is a cutting-edge program in the interdisciplinary arts in which student pay close attention to the creative process and the use of the arts for social justice. (Consider the role of murals in the #BLM Movement, for example.)

Our traditional Humanities curriculum has grown from offering an integrated perspective on western civilization to embracing a more global view that responds to developments in global human rights, social justice, immigration, technology, the arts, cultures, education, and communications. The Department is currently pivoting towards the New Humanities, especially the Digital Humanities, Environmental Humanities, Global Humanities, and Human-Animal Studies. These exciting new directions provide students with additional toolkits that will further help them to address some of the most important questions of our time—what is the role of technology in our lives and what role does the Humanities play in developing an ethics for a tech-intensive world? How can humans work to imagine, develop, and educate for sustainable and equitable futures? How do the Humanities help us to analyze and critique transnational flows of migration, commerce, de/colonization, and culture? What can thinking about nonhuman animals teach us about culture, ecology, and the exercise of power? What does responsibility towards one another look like on local and global levels? How can we respond with vision and compassion to global patterns of displacement, dispossession, and migration?

This new turn for the Department is perhaps most evident in our two newest courses:

Our faculty in all of these areas are well-published and committed to serious scholarship and creative work as well as to forms of public scholarship and the scholarship of engagement, which often reach a wider audience. We are teacher-scholars who are experts at the use of high-impact practices and who are able to inspire our students. This is important because student learning is at the core of the Department's mission. 

The Humanities Department is also home to several minor programs and to two team-taught, multiple-semester General Education Programs: the lower-division American Cultures GE sequence and the Humanities Honors Program, which has both lower and upper-division Humanities Honors GE course sequences.

Thank you for your interest in the Humanities Department at SJSU!