BA (Honors) Comparative Humanities


Overview

Humanists seek to understand and analyze the human experience in all of its complexity and range of meanings, across both time and geographic space. A distinctive feature of Habib University has been its efforts to develop interdisciplinary majors. Instead of having free-standing departments of History, Philosophy, Literature and Religious Studies, as one would expect to find at many traditional liberal arts colleges, Habib has brought these four traditional humanities disciplines together into one program: Comparative Humanities (CH).

Habib University’s Comparative Humanities program will offer students in Pakistan a unique and exciting opportunity to study several disciplines in the humanities – both critically and comparatively. Our four areas of concentration include: (1) History, (2) Literature, (3) Philosophy, and (4) Religious Studies. In teaching our students to move with fluidity, ease and comfort across humanities disciplines, we aim to cultivate not only breadth and depth, but an intellectual mindset attuned to the complex shared problems we face today as global citizens. The major in Comparative Humanities will challenge students to reflect on a range of theories about human nature and society — drawing from diverse cultures, histories, and traditions — and in doing so heighten their sensitivity to both the post-colonial realities of their own society, as well as to the way our rapidly globalizing age of transnational capital has reshaped our understanding of concepts such as self, identity, obligation, community and nation.

Learning Outcomes

Students pursuing a Comparative Humanities major will:

  • learn to think both locally and globally;
  • learn to examine problems through a number of intellectual frameworks and traditions;
  • practice honing the skills of humanistic inquiry that continue to make the comparative humanities essential to the dynamic and multidimensional job markets of tomorrow;
  • learn to think critically and comparatively within the humanities, which will help them think flexibly and differently about the many problems encountered in a wide variety of professional domains.
  • Learn how to use critical frameworks to think through difficult problems and, most crucially,
  • Learn how to articulate and assess those problems in language that is at once cogent, graceful and persuasive.

Requirements for the Major


A major in BA (Honors) in Comparative Humanities requires completion of 37 courses and a minimum of 126 credit hours of coursework, with a minimum CGPA of 2.33, as shown in the table below:

Requirements

Course Category

Number of Courses to Complete

Habib Liberal Core University Core 10
CH Core Sequence

(7 courses)

 

Critical Inquiry and the Humanities 1
Conceptual Genealogies 1
Comparative Hermeneutics I 1
Comparative Hermeneutics II 1
Capstone Research Seminar 1
World Historical Figures: Statesmen, Leaders, Judgement 1
Criticism, Dissent and the Ethics of Disagreement 1
Primary Concentration (Any one from the sequence)

(6 courses)

 – 1.  Philosophy (6 courses)
What is Philosophy? or Introduction to Western Philosophy? 1
Philosophy Elective Any Level 3
Philosophy Elective 3xx/4xx Level 2
 – 2.  History (6 courses)
Global Histories 1xx/2xx 1
Understanding Histories: Historiography and Historical Methods 3xx/4xx 1
History Elective Any Level 2
History Elective 3xx/4xx Level 2
 – 3.  Literature (6 courses)
What is World Literature? 1xx/2xx Level 1
Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism 1
Literature Elective Any Level 2
Literature Elective 3xx/4xx Level 2
 – 4.  Religious Studies (6 courses)
Introduction to World Religions/What is World Religion? 1xx Level 1
Religious Studies Any Level 3
Religious Studies 3xx/4xx Level 2
Secondary Concentration in one of the four sequence (4 courses)  – 1.  Philosophy (4 courses)
What is Philosophy? Or Introduction to Western Philosophy? 1
Philosophy Elective Any Level 2
Philosophy Elective 3xx/4xx Level 1
 – 2.  History (4 courses)
Global Histories 1xx/2xx 1
Understanding Histories: Historiography and Historical Methods 3xx/4xx 1
History Elective Any Level 1
History Elective 3xx/4xx Level 1
 – 3.  Literature (4 courses)
What is World Literature? 1xx/2xx Level 1
Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism 1
Literature Elective Any Level 1
Literature Elective 3xx/4xx Level 1
 – 4.  Religious Studies (4 courses)
Introduction to World Religions/What is World Religion? 1xx Level 1
Religious Studies Any Level 2
Religious Studies 3xx/4xx Level 1
Other Requirements

(10 Courses)

 CH Elective - Any Level from HIST, LIT, PHIL, RELS Elective  

2

Any University Elective/Free Elective 8
 

Overall

37

 

1 The requirements may be altered to enhance the learning experience.

Career Prospects

The combination of curiosity about ultimate questions of human existence, a thoughtful, rational and creatively flexible mind, deep training in systematic and accurate research, strong analytical and interpretive skills and proficiency in concise, elegant, logical and persuasive argumentation have consistently made the graduates of humanities programs enormously successful in a wide variety of careers. Many humanities graduates have, for example, gone into business or even started their own companies. The founders or leaders of some of the top corporations in the world, including: Ali Baba, American Express, Paypal, HP, Disney, Xerox, P&G, Bank of America, IBM, YouTube, Goldman Sachs and Slack have all been graduates of humanities programs.

Humanities graduates are remarkably versatile, which makes them ideally suited to a wide variety of professions in addition to business. They have also gone into law and politics – many with similar success in leadership positions. Career opportunities are also available for humanities graduates in journalism, a wide variety of media and communications companies, non-profits, departments of applied and professional ethics in many corporate and governmental institutions, biomedical ethics units in hospitals and healthcare facilities, consulting companies, public relations firms, advertising companies, foundations, fundraising and grant writing advisors, banks and insurance companies, editing and publishing houses and human resource management firms – as well, of course, as careers in education.

We believe that just as humanities graduates around the world succeed in a wide array of career fields, the graduates of Habib’s new Comparative Humanities program will experience similar outcomes. We are also convinced that the graduates of this program will be well-positioned to compete for admission to the best graduate programs in the world.

Pakistan is urgently in need of highly qualified humanities graduates. Seven decades of intense focus on technical and professional education in South Asia, as in much of the developing world, has taken its toll in numerous ways. Our students are heirs to more than seven thousand years of remarkable human accomplishment and achievement. It is high time that they collectively recover that legacy and reassert themselves as an important force in contributing to solving the tremendous global challenges we face in the 21st Century.

Finally, at the individual level, as majors in Comparative Humanities our students will be challenged to ponder some of the most complex and perplexing questions of human existence. Their imaginations will be inspired by some of humanity’s greatest thoughts, and their souls will be nourished by some of the most beautiful and profound expressions of the human spirit. Beyond preparing them for a wide range of career options, this revised major will also foster within them deep habits of critical questioning, an insatiable love of learning and a level of empathy and understanding for their fellow humans that will enrich them and sustain and fulfill them intellectually for the rest of their lives. This is the enduring personal value of any great humanities program, and we believe that this revised major will deliver on this promise for Habib students.