Humanities Track

 2014 Humanities Honor Students

The Humanities Honors Track provides an exploration of the interdisciplinary relations between literature, history, and philosophy. It is open to students from all majors in the University who wish to enrich their major field of study with this broader cultural context or who enjoy the life of the mind in reading, discussing and writing about ideas.

The Humanities Track provides a direction for the examination of human, social, and universal nature that connects with the social and natural science but that also has its own value. Drawing from the realms of literature, art, music, philosophy, history, languages, and religion, this track allows the student to examine a wide variety of human ideas, actions, values, and creative productions from Classical Greece to our current Modern and Post-Modern era.

Like other Tracks, the Humanities Honors Track functions like a minor in the student’s curriculum, providing a distinct set of courses to enrich the student’s major and the general university experience. The initial work in the Track focuses upon foundational ideas and themes in Western culture, while the research projects encompass whatever culture(s) that suits the student’s interests. Many students have explored the culture of their ancestors, as others have looked at Greek poetry or modern jazz.

Students complete a year-long Seminar (Seminars 1 & 2) examining the connections between literature, history, and philosophy in Western culture and then take one Colloquium limited to one cultural period, such as Classical Greece and Rome, Medieval, Enlightenment, or Contemporary. The culmination of the study is the year-long research and thesis project usually in the senior year, offering the opportunity to work independently with the guidance of a selected faculty member.

The completion of this project provides not only a fitting expression of the student’s college accomplishments, but also a valuable representation of their abilities for graduate school and future employers. There are courses available for both daytime and evening students. 


The Track is Ideal For:

  • Students of all majors
  • Students who enjoy reading, discussing, and writing about ideas




All students take TWO of the following four Seminars:

Humanities Honors Seminar I (HUMH 1990)

Representations of Humanity Past and Present

Humanities Honors Seminar II (HUMH 2000)

Representations of Humanity Past and Present

Humanities Honors Seminar III (HUMH 2010)-Evening

Humanities and Technology in Today’s World

Humanities Honors Seminar IV (HUMH 2020)-Evening

Representations of Humanities through Historical Perspectives 


Plus ONE of the following four Colloquia: 

The 20th Century and Its Discontents (HUMH 3000)

The Enlightenment: Origins of Modern Consciousness (HUMH 3010)

Medieval and Renaissance Culture (HUMH 3020)

Classical Tradition and Christian Civilization (HUMH 3030)


Plus TWO semester to research and write their thesis: 

Humanities Honors Thesis Seminar I (HUMH 4010)


Humanities Honors Thesis Seminar II (HUMH 4020)



What projects have students completed in the past? 

Students in the Humanities Track have produced a wide variety of theses, some titles are included here:


Thesis Title

Student Name


Invisible Violence and the Subjugation of a Nation


Katherine Bender



Small Town Girl Living in a Patriarchal World


Jazzmine Paz



Healing and Healthcare


Jasmine Wood



The Quest to Educational Equality for Undocumented Immigrants


Amanda Clark



The Civilian Aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg


Lindsey Freedman



The Skeleton of the Hero


Ariel Gungil



Optimal Experience and Aesthetics in Music Performance


Inigo Hermann



Heritage for the Future; On Tracing Cultural Developments and Perceptions of Contemporary Literature


Julian Kazan



Cheating has Changed the Way We Perceive Sports


Andrew Shapiro



"El Latine Doctus": Latin's Influence on the English Language and Its Impact on Education


Kelly Statz



Methods and Motives of American Homeschooling: A Study of a Growing Educational Trend


Barbara Van Vugt



Woman as Commander In Chief


Jessica Bonilla



The Role of Accounting in the Enron Era: The Rise and Fall of Arthur Andersen


Erica Calella



The Development of Filipino Nursing in America


Jessica Camacho



Ethics of Human Entropy


Christopher Koschier



Rethinking Napoleonic Military History: The First Example of Modern Global Total War?


Richard Siegler



Everyman Drowns Differently


Isabel Anreus





Krista Averill



Story of Coming to the United States of America


Kimberly Den Heyer



Unraveling the Unknown: The Social Necessity and Emergence of Cryptozoology


Gregory Schmidt



Diagnosing Psychological Disorders Cultural Considerations and the Effects of Globalization


Shannon Tarolli



Religious Pluralism

Helainer Terhune



History of Puerto Race and its Effects on Cultural Authenticity, and the Role of Compromise


Carla Valledor



The Puritan Family: Religion Lived


Jennifer Van Wyck



When Numbers Rule the World: An Analysis of the Cultural Qualifications of Numerology


Ashley Weinstein



Shadows on the Air: An Exploration of Collective Experience through Poetry


Patrick Boyle



The Philosophy of Traveling as a Musician in the United States


Eric Dryburgh





Crystal Lawson



"Where Complaining is a Crime, Hope Becomes Despair"


Bruce Spadaccini Jr.



Ensemble: A Short Story Cycle


Renvie Tacayon



The Feminist Deconstruction of American Folklore and Fairytales


Derek R Sloan



The Administration of Deceptive Virtue: The Machiavellian Moment in the Neoconservative Bush Administration


Steven Baker



Walden: Transcendentalism and the American Dream


Ariana Den Bleyker



The Simpsons and Allusion: An Analysis of Association and its Effect on Viewer Experience


Erika Vasquez



Transplanting El Cactus: From Mexican to Latino


Cesar Cazales





Irene Mburu



The Real World: Life in a Fish-Bowl


Cicile Samiz



Values and Marketing


James DeMatteis



An Overview of the Philosophical Implication in the History of Psychology in Society


Jeff Duong



Sweetest Tongue Has Sharpest Tooth: The Evolution of "Little Red Riding Hood"


Trudi Van Dyke



Hesitate- The Existentialist crossroads of Generation X through the lyrics of The Smashing Pumpkins


Paul Bonney



What it Means to Be Human


Jennifer Carberry



The Vampire Legend


Amy Lorfink



"The subjection of the Negro"


Maurice Streeter



Trickster: From Hermes to Carnival Fool, and Harlequin


Sarah Mirza



"Il Trovatore" de Giuseppe Verdi Y "El Trovador" de Antonio Garcia Gutierrez Comparacion Y Contraste


Misslady Cifuentes



The Media and Society: Who is in Control?


Craig Germain



Does the British Monarchy have a Future?


Michael Marino



In Search for the Feminist Roles of the Female in the works of Willa Carther, Zora Neale Hurston and Edith Wharton


Dawn Olson



Salvation of Sanctification Need I one, the Other or Both?


Rae-Shan N. Barclift



I Love you?


Alexa Pereira



Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, Franz Kafka


Svetlana Bochstein



War, Women and Change


Barbara Martin



The Polarization of Apollo and Dionysus


Jason Carucci



The Last Laugh


Amy Stucki



Women and Change in Colonial Mexico: Race and Class in the Sixteenth Century


Sonia Mazzeo



Marriage: An Analysis of the Elements Needed for it to be Healthy


Stacy Tankel



The Idea of Justice as Presented in the Oresteia Plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides


Stephanie Schmidt



The Greek Vision of Heroism from Homer to Aristotle

Susan Varghese



AYN Rand and Objectivism


E. M. Sorber



Freedom and the Artist Thesis


Olyia Klymenko



The Philosophies of Plato, Dante, and Dewey in relation to the Education of the Individual


Donna Jones



Conservative Politics in Shakespeare's Histories


Benjamin Arah



"Politeia Within Oneself Achieved Through Plato's Myths"


Elsa Osso



A Comparison of East-West Thought on Ways Man Achieves Liberation from False Consciousness in Everyday Life


Roy Amato



Everyman Drowns Differently


Isabel Anreus



Magical Realism: Focus on Tom Robbins


Davinder Bhamra



Beyond the Senses


Christie Bozza



Gothic Conventions


Jessica Burke



The Fin-de-Siecle


Lisa Byrne



Allegory in the Poetry of William Blake as an Answer to the Physical/Spiritual Duality


Agustina Carando



Property as a Virtue in Aristotle's Politics


William Clark



Total Quality Management's Impact on Human Behavior


Kathy Colligan



"Can I Buy Those Genes?"


David Fernicola Jr.





Tom Hall



Does God Make Us Think? An Investigation of the Relationship between Abstract Reasoning and Religiosity


Nadia Nieves



Gaining Korean Culture through My Family: Sunday Gatherings


Susanna Park



Recording American Democracy


Tyler J. Peckio



Spiritual Decadence in Modern American Society: A Critical Analysis


Ronald Petrucelli



Who is the Judge? An Examination of the Concept of Justice and the Good Man in Aristotle and Plato


Yvonne Raley



Holy Mother Church: Anti-Catholic Satire in Shakespeare's Hamelt


Caroline Schmidt



The Role of Authority in Our Lives


Lois Scian



Third Wave Feminism: The Voices of Rebellion and the Cries of Opposition


Nancy Walsh



How do I enroll?

To enroll in the Humanities Honors Track, contact the Director, Dr. John Peterman, at (973) 720-3030 or at You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at pinkstonj@wpunj,edu. A completed track application must also be submitted to the Honors College. 


About the Track Director:

Dr. John Peterman got his Ph.D. in 1980 from the Pennsylvania State University. He is interested in ancient Greek philosophy (particularly Plato), American pragmatism (particularly Dewey). He teaches courses in Ancient Philosophy , Plato, Aristotle, environmental Ethics, and Life Science Ethics. He coordinates the Humanities Honors Track. He is also an avid hiker and has successfully completed the New York City Marathon three times (best time: 4:15).