The Humanities major combines a rigorous general education in the humanities with a concentrated focus on a particular discipline or theme. The requirements for the major are designed to allow students to construct a program of study that fits their own intellectual interests.

The curriculum is cross-cultural in foundation and reflects the interdisciplinary strength of our faculty in areas including history, philosophy, literature, religion, film and media, and cultural studies. Humanities students engage with Asian, African, European, American, and Oceanian cultures and intellectual traditions. They learn to employ multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to engage with a wide range of different sources. Rather than developing career-specific skills, the Humanities major provides students with very general skills in reading, writing, interpretation, analysis and argument that are both highly valuable and highly transferable. Humanities majors graduate with the capacity to critically engage with our globalizing world, to contribute to contemporary scholarship, and to pursue a wide range of careers.

In the Humanities core courses, students acquire a set of methods for humanistic inquiry. Students then develop an area of thematic or disciplinary focus by taking courses in Shanghai and other NYU sites in consultation with faculty advisors. In the senior year, they take the Capstone Course and produce a final thesis to showcase their intellectual development.

Degree Requirements - 2018-19 Bulletin
Not every course listed is taught every semester, and in any given semester other courses may be offered that fulfill this requirement. Requirements may be met through equivalent courses in the Global Network with prior approval.

* = offered in Spring 19' in Shanghai

Critical Concepts (Choose One)
GCHN-SHU 275 Memory Politics in China *
PHIL-SHU 80 Philosophy of Mind *
PHIL-SHU 150 Central Problems in Philosophy *
HUMN-SHU 185 Gender and Migration in Islam *
HUMN-SHU 200-001 Topics in Humanities: Religion, Politics  and  Society in the Modern Middle East *
HUMN-SHU 200-002 Topics in Humanities: Bible as Literature *
HUMN-SHU 200-003 Topics in Humanities: Existentialism and Phenomenology *
GCHN-SHU 110 The Concept of China 
CCST-SHU 131 Introduction to the Use of Scientific Data in Historical Research
HIST-SHU 232 Moments of Europe
HIST-SHU 303 Histories and Politics of Noise
HUMN-SHU 240 Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
PHIL-SHU 40 Ethics 
PHIL-SHU 90 Philosophy of Science
PHIL-SHU 130 Philosophy of Technology 
Digital Approaches (Choose One)
HUMN-SHU 168 Penning the Self(ie): Writing the Human Condition *
SCA-SHU 9364 Global Connections: Shanghai *
GCHN-SHU 210 Topics in Digital Humanities: The Cultivated City 
INTM-SHU 265-001 Topics in Digital Humanities: Acoustic Ethnography of the Yangtze River Delta 
INTM-SHU 295-001 Digital Media and Culture 
HIST-SHU 239 New York: History of the City
INTM-SHU 184 Communities in Net Literature
INTM-SHU 193 Chinese Cyberculture
INTM-SHU 225 Media and Participation
INTM-SHU 249 Street Life & Street Food in the 21st Century City
INTM-SHU 250 Special Topics in Digital Humanities: Street Food and Urban Farming
INTM-SHU 295-002 Topics Seminar: From Cyborgs to Siri: Gender, Tech & Media 
PHIL-SHU 130 Philosophy of Technology
CRWR-SHU 159 Introduction to Creative Writing *
GCHN-SHU 234 Dunhuang and Its Global Connections *
HUMN-SHU 200-002 Topics in Humanities: Bible as Literature *
HUMN-SHU 200-004 Topics in Humanities: Art, Art History, and Art Theory: An Introduction *
PHIL-SHU 150 Central Problems in Philosophy *
CCCF-SHU 128 Contemporary Art & New Media 
CIII-SHU 103 Cultural Foundations for Liberal Studies 
CRWR-SHU 245  Intermediate Fiction Workshop: Speculative Fictions 
GCHN-SHU 110 The Concept of China 
GCHN-SHU 210  Topics in Digital Humanities: The Cultivated City 
HIST-SHU 110 U.S. History Through Literature and Film 
PHIL-SHU 105 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy 
SIII-SHU 103 Social Foundations for Liberal Studies 
CCSF-SHU 122 Traditional Chinese Wisdom 
CRWR-SHU 221 Intermediate Poetry Workshop 
HIST-SHU 156 Europe Since 1945 
HIST-SHU 200 Topics in History: Global Commodities, Commerce and  Culture: 1400-1800 
LIT-SHU 226 History of Chinese Cinemas 
LIT-SHU 246 Introduction to Gender and Feminism in African Literature 
CRWR-SHU 220 Craft Course. Out of the Whirlwind: A Study of Narrative Perspective
GCHN-SHU 164 The Stuff of Legends: The Many Meanings of the Early Silk Road(s)
HIST-SHU 126 World History Part I
HIST-SHU 153 History of Modern China since 1840
CCCF-SHU 121 History of Chinese Cinema
HIST-SHU 120 The Mongol Conquest
HIST-SHU 127 World History - Part II
HUMN-SHU 229 (CCCF-SHU 129) Masters of Asian Cinema
SOCS-SHU 129 Taboo and Pollution
NOTE: 3 or more of the 6 Topic courses should demonstrate a degree of focus and coherence, and will serve as the basis of senior-year thesis.
ART-SHU 629 The Villain *
CCSF-SHU 123 Contemporary Chinese Political Thought *
GCHN-SHU 263 Voices from the Margin: Modern Chinese and Sinophone Writers *
GCHN-SHU 264 Chinese Migrant and Diasporic Networks *
GCHN-SHU 275 Memory Politics in China *
GCHN-SHU 283 Reading and Viewing Modern China *
CRWR-SHU 200-001  Topics in Creative Writing: Collaborative Writing & the Dynamics of Power *
CRWR-SHU 200B-001 Topics in Creative Writing: Intermediate Fiction - Story Structure *
CRWR-SHU 200B-002 Topics in Creative Writing: Adaptation for the Stage - Playwriting *
HIST-SHU 210 History of Death, Dying, and Grief: The Impact of Modern War *
HIST-SHU 313 China Goes Global: How China and the World Changed Each Other *
HUMN-SHU 200-004 Topics in Humanities: Art, Art History, and Art Theory: An Introduction *
HUMN-SHU 366 (266) Shanghai Stories *
RELS-SHU 9270 Religion and Society in China: Ghosts, Gods, Buddhas and Ancestors *
PHIL-SHU 91 Philosophy of Biology *
PHIL-SHU 80 Philosophy of Mind *
HIST-SHU 208 War and Peace: Europe Since 1900 
HIST-SHU 225 Global Space Age 
HIST-SHU 312 China Encounters the World 
HUMN-SHU 997 Humanities Independent Study 
PHIL-SHU 200-001 Topics in Epistemology: The Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology 
SOCS-SHU 229 Capitalism, Socialism, Communism: Theory and Practice 
SOCS-SHU 272 The U.S. Constitution: Is It Relevant to China? 
SOCS-SHU 300C Topics in Law & Politics: Law and Land in the US and China 
SOCS-SHU 341 Cross-Strait Relations 
CCSF-SHU 124 Growing Shanghai, Shrinking Detroit
CCCF-SHU 130 Screening Childhood
GCHN-SHU 200-001 Topics in GCS: Changing Status of Women in China 
GCHN-SHU 200-002 Topics: Politics of History and Memory in China 
GCHN-SHU 224 Chinese Maritime History
GCHN-SHU 232 From  Qing  to the Republic: Social Debates in China
GCHN-SHU 252 20th-Century East Asia-U.S. Relations 
HIST-SHU 250 China at the Center? An Exploration of Chinese Foreign Relations 
HIST-SHU 303 Histories and Politics of Noise 
HIST-SHU 209 Witches, Magic and the Witch Hunts in the Atlantic World, 1400-1700
HIST-SHU 226 5000 Years of Chinese History: Fact or Fiction?
HIST-SHU 240 The Soviet Empire
HIST-SHU 302 History of Water
HIST-SHU 312 China Encounters the World
HIST-SHU 325 The New Cold War History
HIST-SHU 329 Futures of the Twentieth Century
HIST-SHU 351 From Human Sacrifices to Illicit Sex at a Funeral: A History of Violence and Crime in Ancient China
HIST-SHU 379 The Social Life of Things: Functions of Material Culture in Ancient Chinese Society and Beyond
HUMN-SHU 202 Literary Interpretation
HUMN-SHU 210 Modern South Asia
HUMN-SHU 211 The Making of the Muslim Middle East
HUMN-SHU 212 Africa since 1940
HUMN-SHU 213 The Age of Euro-American Empires
HUMN-SHU 225 Topics in Asia-Pacific History Asia-Pacific History in the 20th Century
HUMN-SHU 230 Topics in the Humanities: Global Modernisms
HUMN-SHU 230-001 Aesthetics and Literature
HUMN-SHU 231 Contemporary Art and Theory in North America and Europe
INTM-SHU 295-001 Topics Seminar: Digital Media and Culture 
INTM-SHU 295-002 Topics Seminar: From Cyborgs to Siri: Gender, Tech & Media 
LIT-SHU 225 Global Shakespeare
LIT-SHU 245 Literature and Science in the Renaissance
PHIL-SHU 40 Ethics
PHIL-SHU 76 Epistemology
PHIL-SHU 90 Philosophy of Science
PHIL-SHU 130 Philosophy of Technology 
PHIL-SHU 200 Topics in Epistemology: Memory 
SOCS-SHU 275 US-China Relations
SOCS-SHU 318 Ethnographic Methods 
SOCS-SHU 339 Comparative Revolutions
WRIT-SHU 209 Forms of the Personal Narrative: Writing the “I” in the World
WRIT-SHU 219 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
HUMN-SHU 401      Capstone Seminar *


Recommended Spring 2019 Courses

For First-Year Students: 

  • Writing as Inquiry
  • One Core Curriculum
  • One Humanities Core Courses - Digital Approaches or Critical Concepts
  • English for Academic Purposes for Chinese students/Chinese course for International students


For Second-Year Students:

  • One Core Curriculum
  • One Humanities Core Course/Survey Course
  • One Humanities Topic course
  • One Core Curriculum or Language course



Faculty Mentors

Professor Shirin Edwin Room 1202 

| Email: see2@nyu.eduProfile


Professor Brad Weslake Room 961 | Email: | Profile


Professor Duane Corpis Room 1219 | Email: | Profile


Professor Tzu-hui Celina Hung Room 1221 | Email: | Profile


Professor Alexander C.T. Geppert Room 1213 | Email: | Profile

Minor in Humanities
Any four 4-credit classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major courses.
Minor in History
Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major History courses.
Minor in Literature
Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major Literature courses.
Minor in Philosophy

Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major Philosophy courses.