Our mission statement
The Department offers major and minor programs that aim to examine in non-prescriptive fashion the culture, ideas and values of earlier civilizations with a view to promoting an understanding of the recurrent patterns but also enormous diversity of human culture, as well as an appreciation of the ways in which the past forms a basis for, and continuity with, the present.
These investigations aim to prepare students to become engaged citizens capable of bringing a historical and critical perspective to bear on questions (such as those pertaining to race, gender, class etc.) that beset modern societies as much as they did those of the past. Students will acquire obsolescence-proof cognitive skills transferable to a wide spectrum of careers in current and evolving national and global economies, being provided not simply with “training” but with an education that overrides socio-economic disadvantages and equips them for top-flight positions. Their sound academic grounding will be such that those who wish to pursue graduate studies in Classics or a Humanities-related field will be poised for mentoring into a graduate program of their choice. The department will continue to function as a source of trained Latin teachers for New Jersey’s high schools and of K-6 teachers with concentrations in the Humanities. Finally, the department will also continue to provide and expand completion opportunities for both current undergraduates and adult learners seeking to return to college to complete a degree.
The Department supports its aspirations with a diverse pool of full-time and adjunct faculty committed to teach, research, and serve in ways that promote our mission at the level of both campus and wider community, local, national, and international.
Examine the human experience
Classics and General Humanities examine the culture, ideas and values of earlier Western and related civilizations both in their original time periods and as they have been appropriated and transmuted by later cultures, especially American. The common goals of our programs are to develop a sense of how to conduct critical inquiry into past cultures and modern manifestations of their ideas and values; to impart a feeling for the recurring patterns but also enormous diversity of human culture; and to explore how past cultures form the basis for modern cultures and cultural attitudes.