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Maxwell Smith

BA Candidate – Violence, Pain, Ethics, and the Self

Born and raised close to London, England, Maxwell looked to the American college system when deciding where to complete his undergraduate work. In Gallatin, he saw a wonderful opportunity to individualize his entire degree. With a longstanding interest in the experience and creation of art, Maxwell has expanded his academic interests to include the ethical responsibility of art and human rights, as well as political and ethical philosophy.

Gallatin faculty member Laura Slatkin’s classes have helped him to consider literary works in the context of the political and ethical issues, while George Shulman’s “Political Theology” has given him the opportunity to study the Bible in the context of various political theories.

As Maxwell has refined his concentration, he has begun to focus on issues of sovereignty, refugees, and violence. Through a Dean’s Award for Summer Research Fellowship, he traveled to Calais, France, and volunteered with the effort to support the refugees currently living there. The experience helped him to add some real-world context to his concentration and allowed him to gain a greater understanding of the obstacles which refugees face, in their own countries and throughout their journeys. Maxwell is the president of The Journal of Human Rights at NYU.

Maxwell Smith

Gallatin has enabled me to combine my interests into a coherent and unique concentration which I would not have been able to create elsewhere.