Digna A. Marte, Principal


An interdisciplinary curriculum with a Humanities thematic approach.


The Humanities Studies at Bulkeley High School will offer a rigorous, college-ready curriculum for students in Grades 11 and 12. The program is an interdisciplinary curriculum with a Humanities thematic approach. It will include integrated considerations in history, science, math, languages, literature, the arts, philosophy and comparative religions. This course of study is designed to prepare graduates for the challenge of higher-level learning and life learning as a pathway to career exploration.

The Humanities studies Program at Bulkeley High School focuses on the study of the human condition through reasoning as well as a variety of creative modes of expression.  These modes may include writing, film making, and theatrics. Humanities education involves the study of life and the choices than man has made. It is the study of intellectual, cultural, and creative development through history with an integration of multicultural influences. The Humanities Studies Program is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence.  We recognize that humanities and humanities education enhance the critical thinking skills applicable to any undertaking. We also explore the deepest aspects of self, community, and existence.

hand holding light bulb in humanities ideas collage
silhouette of a woman and a tree meditation in harmony

Mission Statement

The mission of Humanities Studies is to develop our students’ capacity to substantively engage the question of what it means to be human. Building upon a strong liberal arts foundation in Grades 9 and 10, the students will undertake research and scholarship that advance the critical and creative thinking necessary for the pursuit of the examined life. This program seeks to deepen understanding of history and literature, to inquire into the characteristics of cultures and societies and to value and support ethical and moral reflection. Through the successful completion of the program students will demonstrate:

    • Interconnectedness between the study of humanities and contemporary issues
    • A positive attitude toward learning and commitment to one’s academic excellence
    • A critical appreciation of human culture
    • Deeper understanding of self and personal responsibility to one’s own conduct
    • A global understanding and respect for diversity
    • Ability to think creatively and reason logically
    • Ability to analyze complex information
    • Free inquiry and intellectual integrity
    • Effective decision-making
    • Effective communication


The Humanities Studies seeks to empower students by providing an education that cultivates the habits of mind and fosters the knowledge and skills necessary for them to become lifelong learners who are capable of leading successful, fulfilling lives in the contemporary world.

Students who graduate from Humanities Studies at Bulkeley High School will partake of an age old tradition of inquiry and understanding, one that offers them the opportunity to see their lives and the world around them in a more knowledgeable way, enabling them to better shape their own lives.

bridge at dusk with words life is like a painting


Western Humanities

2 cr. 11th grade

Year long course interweaving English and social studies focusing on “traditional humanities,” which includes literature, art, philosophy, economics, politics, and general history. The class is chronological in arrangement and will guide the student through careful examination of western cultural heritage in an effort to understand modern day society. 

American Humanities

2 cr. 12th grade

Year long course interweaving English and social studies examining the ideas and values of the American experience through analysis of literature, art, philosophy, and general history. The course draws upon the experience of African-American, Native American, Asian American, Anglo and Latino cultures as avenues for understanding issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender as they intersect with mainstream American values. Course will conclude with completion of Capstone project.

Research Techniques

.5 cr

One semester course that will focus on students acquiring the necessary skills and techniques to perform subject-based research, avoid plagiarism, and develop essays using appropriate format and citation.

Contemporary Law and Democracy

.5 cr

One semester course that will analyze the development and structure of the law and the means used to protect the rights of citizens. Students will examine practical legal problems and contemporary legal issues confronting citizens and gain a broader understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities.

Hartford Studies

.5 cr

Thematic one semester course that will examine the various aspects of urban and community life in Hartford, CT, emphasizing the interplay of social justice, diversity, and individual and social well being during a specific time period.

Art History

.5 cr

A semester course examining the major movements in Western and American Art. The student will explore the influence of political, scientific, and philosophical development within the various artistic movements.


The Capstone Project, an intensive, active learning project, is a requirement for all seniors as a culminating educational experience. Each student must produce an electronic portfolio demonstrating research, knowledge, and skills regarding the focus topic and present their project to a panel of faculty and other professionals for evaluation. The Capstone Project may integrate field experiences and internships and will be integrated within the Humanities II Course. Consistent with the learning outcomes for Humanities Studies, the Capstone Project will include:

    • A multimedia portfolio that is interdisciplinary in nature
    • A reflection in which the student defines the meaning of humanities studies and its potential influence on one’s life
    • A researched, analytical essay that examines a meaningful facet of history, culture, the arts, taking into account the influences and impact of, for example, visual arts on literature, literature on history, or scientific innovations on culture
    • A multimedia project (video, photographs, artwork) complementing the essay that demonstrates rhetorical knowledge and intent