Human Society (HSoc)

two students smiling in the brickman dining hall

The BA in Human Society uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine people and institutions in the context of societies and to evaluate individual and collective choices. The disciplines of Anthropology, History, and Political Science offer key methodologies for investigating major institutions of human society conceptually, comparatively, and through case studies (both historical and contemporary).

    Anthropology’s holistic rendering of the human story takes on as its project a description of the vast array of social, cultural, and biological variations within the human species.
    The discipline of history examines past human societies and their approaches to vital questions and challenges by exploring the complex web of causes and effects through time.
Political Science
    The discipline of political science has at its heart the question of how best to organize the governance of human societies so that humans can reach their full potentials.

Program Strengths

Because it is a cross-disciplinary program, the Human Society major uses multiple lenses through which to examine the complexity of reality. Different disciplines shed different lights on an issue, so multiple disciplines in dialogue offer the possibility of a more holistic view. In the Human Society major, you will investigate two related questions from the points of view of Anthropology, History, and Political Science:

  • How can we understand the major institutions and components in human society (such as culture, government, law, religion, and social structure)?
  • How can we analyze human choices and their ramifications, especially within the context of societies?

Through exploration of these questions, your classes will help you to deepen your understanding of human society. The Human Society major is a flexible program that allows you to emphasize either Anthropology, History, Political Science, or Sociology, or, if you prefer, a mix of these disciplines.

The Human Society major will help prepare you to participate in society in professional, civic, and personal capacities. Like other liberal arts majors, this program fosters strong writing, research, and analysis skills. Based on the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, the program can provide grounding for multiple career paths: for example, in government, law, data analysis, high school teaching, museum work, social and community services, publishing, and international development.

Spiritual Curriculum

Studying human society can provide useful tools for spiritual development. Reflecting on human choices will help you to cultivate your own ability for personal reflection, an activity that supports spiritual development. Your classes will encourage you to reflect on and determine your own choices as you engage in society.


Contact Information
Aram Yardumian
Head of Human Society Major

Our Faculty

Wendy E. Closterman
Dean of Academics/Professor of History and Greek

Wendy E. Closterman

About Dr. Closterman serves as Dean of Academics. She has taught courses in ancient...
Sean Lawing
Assistant Professor of History / Dept. Chair of History and Social Sciences

Sean Lawing

Dr. Lawing teaches medieval history, German, and Old Icelandic literature. In addition,...
D. Gregory Rose
Associate Professor of History and Political Science

D. Gregory Rose

Dr. Rose teaches history, political science, and a religion course on Islam. Formerly...
Aram Yardumian
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Aram Yardumian

Education: PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology MA, University of Pennsylvania,...