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Focus Areas

Focus areas are offered in conjunction with affiliated departments, and allow students to gain an in-depth specialization within a specific department or program, while simultaneously benefiting from the interdisciplinary training offered by the International Studies major. 

Students pursuing a focus area will receive a major in International Studies and a minor in the affiliated department or program, and will benefit from a faculty advisor in the affiliated department or program.

If you are interested in declaring a focus area, please contact the appropriate coordinator as soon as possible.

We offer the following focus areas:

Global Connections and Historical Comparisons: Focus Area in History (History Minor)

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About | Contact | Declaring the Focus Area | Academics | Courses

About

Global Connections and Historical Comparisons (GCHC) is a six-course focus area within the International Studies major. The focus area is geared towards International Studies students who are interested in developing a historical perspective on the processes, institutions, and ideas shaping the contemporary world. Ultimately, students pursuing the Global Connections and Historical Comparisons track will receive a major in International Studies and a minor in History.

Global capital and new technologies of communication now appear to be eclipsing the power of nation states and transforming personal lives. But today’s globalism and its challenges have important historical antecedents. Oceanic and transcontinental circuits of commerce, warfare, the slave trade, shared technologies, and religious movements have linked Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas for more than 500 years. Modern capitalism and the state arose out of this first global world and its manifold interconnections. 

The Global Connections and Historical Comparisons focus area invites students to explore this historical lineage and its impact on contemporary geopolitics and international institutions, political ideologies, and asymmetries of political and economic power. Global migration and diasporic experience also has a long history, and this focus area explores the cross-cultural exchanges and cultural innovations that result from the interactions of peoples in the new contact zones created by commerce, warfare, and empire.

 Key topics and themes include:    

  • Oceans, Empires, and Circuits of Commerce, Goods, and Commodities
  • Borderlands, Cross-Cultural Encounters, and Migration
  • Slavery & Other Coerced Labor Regimes
  • Transformations of Kinship, Family, and Gender
  • Origins and Development of Capitalism
  • Late Modernity, Cosmopolitanism, and Diaspora
  • Political Ideas and Religious Beliefs in Global Perspective
  • Decolonization, "Neo-Imperialism”, and the Post-Colonial Condition
  • Nations and the Transnational in the Contemporary World

The Global Connections focus area is especially designed for IS majors who wish to deepen their understanding of the historical origins of today’s global world and to graduate with a minor in history. It provides systematic training in historical interpretation and methods, including the use of primary sources. The department’s many small, seminar- style courses encourage in-depth interactions with faculty and other students.The history minor is also writing intensive: the minor provides the analytic and organizational skills that are the pre-requisites for post graduate degrees and careers in business, law, and public affairs.

Contact

The Global Connections coordinators will be happy to answer any questions about this new focus area:

Sydney Morgan (sydney@jhu.edu), Director, International Studies.

Professor Toby Ditz (toby.ditz@jhu.edu), Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History

Professor Gabriel Paquette (gabriel.paquette@jhu.edu), Department of History

Declaring the Focus Area

IS students wishing to declare the focus area must complete the following steps:

  1. Make an appointment with Sydney Morgan, Director of International Studies, to establish to GCHC focus area within the IS major;
  2. Declare the History Minor by completing an “add minor” form, which can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office, and having it signed by Toby Ditz, DUS-History, who will assign students a faculty advisor.

Academics

Students will be required to take a total of six courses to complete the focus area. Five of the six courses must be selected from an approved list of history courses with a global or transnational orientation published each semester. These courses may be double-counted towards the International Studies major History requirements and will replace the “Concentration” requirement for the IS major:

  • 2 courses at the 100-level from the History Department  (100.1xx)
  •  
  • 4 courses at the 300-level or above from the History Department (100.3xx)

Students who complete the focus area will also receive a minor in History.

Courses

Spring 2014 Approved Courses
 

100.103 Occ Civ: Modern Europe & Wider World
100.104 Occ Civ: Modern Europe
100.122 African History Since 1880
100.232 Gender in Latin American History
100.330 Nat'l Identity in 20th Cent. China and Japan
100.346 Soviet-American Cold War
100.348 20th Century China
100.354 History of Israel, 1948-1977
100.377 Colonial North America in Hemispheric Context

Fall 2013 Approved Courses
 

100.121 History of Africa
100.168 Freshman Seminar US-USSR
100.202 Conflict and Co-existence
100.241 American Revolution
100.307 Latin American Independence
100.322 New World Encounters
100.333 Global Public Health
100.336 Race, Slavery and Emancipation
100.347 Early Modern China
100.409 Fascism
100.410 Subversive Humor in US and Modern Europe
100.439 Cuban Revolution
100.497 Year of Revolt: 1968 in Europe
100.499 Film and Propaganda in Nazi Germany

Spring 2013 and Beyond

Please consult with the GCHC coordinators to discuss courses.

Global Modernity and the Jewish Experience: Focus Area in Jewish Studies (Jewish Studies Minor)


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About | Contact | Declaring the Focus Area | Academics | Courses
 

About

"Global Modernity and the Jewish Experience” is a six-course focus area within the International Studies major. The political, cultural, and social experience of this ancient global community coupled with the dramatic changes in Jewish life in the course of the past century offer a unique but illuminating vantage on such decisive dimensions of global modernity as:

  • diaspora, statehood, dispersion and territoriality
  •  
  • nationalism and cosmopolitanism
  •  
  • secularization, secularism, and modern religiosity
  •  
  • language and identity
  •  
  • political integration, citizenship, extrusion, and ethnic violence
  •  
  • global interethnic and interreligious relations;
  •  
  • and the intertwined pasts and presents of Europe, the US, and the Middle East

Beginning in the 18th century, new forms and ideals of citizenship, of secular public space, of individuality, and later of empire and nation undercut long-established norms and institutions of Jewish life. In their place there emerged numerous, ever-multiplying, and often clashing forms of Jewish (or indeed post-Jewish) identity, culture, and politics. At the same time, modern Jews were caught up in many of modernity’s defining processes -- from the creation of the modern citizenship norms, to the rise of nationalism, to the forging of main currents of modern thought from psychoanalysis to Marxism – and also became, mostly against their will, central imaginary figures in how modern people, first in Europe and then around the world, thought about modernity itself. Finally, groups of Jews were moved to try to respond both to the centrifugal breakdown of traditional Jewish forms of life and to the new intellectual and political challenges imposed on Jews by modernity itself through numerous and competing Jewish religious, cultural, and political ideologies and movements. The Jewish experience of and response to modernity thus offers a fraught and stimulating perspective on a modernity that has now (arguably) become a global institutional order.

At the same time, this focus area within IS also encourages students interested in Jewish studies per se to apply the program's social scientific and comparative dimensions toward a deeper understanding of modern Jewish history, contemporary Jewish life, and the politics, society, and culture of the State of Israel.

The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Program at Johns Hopkins offers unusually extensive and varied coverage of the modern Jewish experience and can thus offer IS students a rich array of relevant classes in English, German and Romance Languages and Literatures, History, Humanities, and Political Science, among other departments.

Contact

The focus area coordinators will be happy to answer any questions about this new area of focus:

Professor Ken Moss (kmoss5@jhu.edu)
Gilman 326, Mondays 1:00-3:00 pm

Sydney Morgan (sydney@jhu.edu)
Mergenthaler 264, Wednesdays from 9:30-11:30 AM 

Declaring the Focus Area

IS students wishing to declare the focus area must complete the following steps:

  1. Declare the Jewish Studies minor by completing the appropriate “add minor” form, which can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office;
  2. Make an appointment with Professor Moss  to officially declare the concentration and have Professor Moss sign off on your Jewish Studies minor form

Academics

Students will be required to take a total of six courses to complete the focus area. These courses must be selected from an approved list that will be published each semester.

  • 1 course in History
  •  
  • 1 course in Political Science
  •  
  • 1 course in Literature
  •  
  • 1 additional course in the area of the social sciences or History
  •  
  • 2 semesters of Hebrew, Arabic or Yiddish

Completing the focus area will also grant students a minor in Jewish Studies.

Approved Courses

Spring 2014 Approved Courses

COURSE

COUNTS AS

100.351 God, Self, Nation

Political Theory, History

100.354 History of Israel

Non-Western History

130.373 Prophets and Prophecy 

Non-Western History

193.201 Early Modern Jewry

History

193.202 Voices of the Holocaust

History (focus area students ONLY), Literature

211.174 Media of Propaganda

Political Theory

213.309 Walter Benjamin & His World

Political Theory

216.398 Zionism, Post-Zionism & Modern Hebrew Lit

Literature, Political Theory

216.300 Contemp. Israeli Poetry

Literature, Political Theory

 Fall 2013 Approved Courses

COURSE

COUNTS AS

100.129 Intro to Modern Jewish History

History

100.402 Jewish Modernity

History (all IS majors) or IR (focus area students only)

190.344 Seminar in Anti-Semitism 

American Politics

191.398 Intl Politics of Genocide

IR

193.200 Early Holocaust Literature

Literature

213.336 Dancing About Architecture

Literature

300.379 Israeli Film & Literature

Literature, Non-Western History

300.417 Modern Jewish Thought & Lit

Literature, Political Theory

300.419 Reflective Mirrors  

Non-Western History

Spring 2013 Approved Courses

COURSE

COUNTS AS

100.412 Jewish History in British Mandatory Palestine

Non-Western History or Comparative Politics for IS (Concentration students only)

211.430 L'Affaire Dreyfus (Taught in French)

History

213.332 Zionism in Modern Literature: Jewish or Israeli?

History or Literature

100.128

  Ancient and Medieval Jewish History

Non-Western History

130.302

  History: Ancient Syria-Palestine II

Non-Western History


Fall 2012 Approved Courses
 

COURSE

COUNTS AS

060.375 Literature of the Holocaust

Literature

130.301 History of Ancient Syria-Palestine

Non-Western History

130.348

 Religious Law Wrestles With Change:

 The Case of Judaism

Literature, Non-Western History

130.367

 Jerusalem: The Holy City in History and Archaeology

Non-Western History, Comparative Politics

190.344 Seminar in Anti-Semitism

American Politics

191.335 Arab-Israeli Conflict

International Relations

213.213 Berlin Wall: Divided Stories in Literature and Film

Literature, History


Spring 2012 Approved Courses
 

COURSE

COUNTS AS

211.202 Freshman Seminar: A Thousand Years of Jewish Culture

History

213.317 Berlin at the Crossroads of the 20th Century

Literature, History

300.356

 From Literature to Film - the case of Israeli Cinema

Literature, Non-Western History

300.398

 Zionism, Post-Zionism and Modern Hebrew Literature

Literature, Political Theory


Fall 2011 Approved Courses
 

COURSE

COUNTS AS

190.344 Seminar In Anti-Semitism

American Politics

191.335 Arab-Israeli Conflict

International Relations

211.202 Freshman Seminar: A Thousand Years of Jewish Culture

History

213.317 Berlin at the Crossroads of the 20th Century

Literature, History

300.356

 From Literature to Film - the case of Israeli Cinema

Literature, Non-Western History

300.398

 Zionism, Post-Zionism and Modern Hebrew Literature

Literature, Political Theory


Spring 2011 Approved Courses
 

COURSE

COUNTS AS

100.236 Sephardi History and Culture in Ottoman Empire

Non-Western History

211.344 Holocaust and Film

History, Political Theory

 

215.322

 

Al-Andalus, Peace, and Conflict in Contemporary Literature

 

Literature, Comparative Politics

300.308 The Israeli Novel

Literature

300.313 Contemporary Israeli Cinema

History

Fall 2010 Approved Courses

COURSE

COUNTS AS

060.314 Jews and Muslims in English Renaissance Drama

Literature, History

 

 

100.325 The Jewish Condition & the Interwar Crisis

 

History, Comparative Politics

190.344 Seminar In Anti-Semitism

American Politics

191.335 Arab-Israeli Conflict

International Relations

 

Germany in a Globalized World

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About

Germany in a Globalized World (GGW) is a four-course focus area within the International Studies major. It is geared to students of International Studies who are interested in developing a broader knowledge of German language, literature and culture with a special focus on (trans)cultural analysis and critical thought. Ultimately, students pursuing the Germany in a Globalized World track will receive a major in International Studies and a minor in German.

Germany’s status as one of the world’s largest export economies and its geographical position at the center of Europe make it an ideal case for studying the history and dynamics of globalization. Situated at the crossroads of East and West, Germany has long been the site of a diverse polyglot culture that draws as much from the traditions to its east as it does from the institutions to its west. Such economic, political, intellectual, and linguistic interaction have made Germany into the cultural capital of Central Europe—a distinction that it has held to this day, but which grows out of the vast reach of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the nineteenth century, when Habsburg rule stretched from present-day Ukraine to northern Italy. For much of the twentieth century, German was the lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe, and even today cities like Berlin and Vienna remain cosmopolitan centers, where innovation meets tradition and the demand for integration meets cultural difference in a lively mix that is symptomatic of a globalized world.

The GGW focus area invites students to explore cultural diversity through the lens of German language and thought and provides them with interpretative skills to critically analyze this diversity in regard to different modes of representation (news media, political discourse, literature, philosophy, film). From this perspective, each kind of Weltanschauung proves to be deeply embedded in cultural settings. International discourse and successful conflict resolution – communicative instruments so vital to a globalized world – thus fundamentally depend on expertise in the critical analysis of cultural diversity and its media.

Key topics and themes include:

  • German history, politics, and culture in an international perspective
  • German language, literature, and thought
  • The constitution of social meaning through language and other media
  • Intercultural differences in a changing global environment
  • Language and identity

German at Hopkins is a small but intensely active and well-known program. An excellent student-faculty ratio assures close, personal attention and individualized advising. Juniors benefit from our participation in the Berlin Consortium of German Studies (BCGS), one of the most prestigious German study abroad programs in the United States which allows International Studies majors to directly enroll at one of the three Berlin universities and take courses in the humanities, social and political sciences. BCGS also assists students with finding internships in fields of their interests.

Contact

The GGW coordinators will be happy to answer any questions about this new focus area:

Sydney Van Morgan (sydney@jhu.edu), Director, International Studies.

Professor Andrea Krauss (akrauss@jhu.edu), Director of Undergraduate Studies, German Program/Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures

Declaring the Focus Area

IS students wishing to declare the focus area must complete the following steps:

  1. Declare the German minor by completing an “add minor” form, which can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office;
  2. Make an appointment with Professor Krauss to officially declare the GGW focus area and have her sign off on your German minor form

 Academics

Students will be required to demonstrate language proficiency equivalent to the completion of Advanced German. In addition to that they take a total of four courses to complete the focus area. These courses, which may be double-counted towards the International Studies major requirements, must be selected from an approved list that will be published each semester. Three of the four courses must be seminars taught in German. With the consent of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Prof. Krauss), one of these three courses can be replaced by an English-taught seminar selected from the list of approved courses. Students who complete the GGW focus area will also receive a minor in German.

Courses

Fall 2014 Approved Courses

CourseIS Major Requirement

AS.213.265 Panorama of German Thought

PT or CP

AS.213.310 Classic German Theater (taught in German)

 

AS.213.104 Freshman Seminar: Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in the U.S.

CP

AS.100.353 Youth and Youth Movements During the 20th Century: Germany, Britain, and the U.S.

History

AS.100.499 Film and Propaganda in Nazi Germany

History

AS.150.320 Marx: Critique of Political Economy

Econ (GGW only) or PT

AS.150.412 Kant's Critique of Practical Reason

 

 

Spring 2014 Approved Courses

CourseIS Major Requirement

AS.100.233 History of Modern Germany
 

History

AS.211.174 Media of Propaganda

PT

AS.213.309 Walter Benjamin and His World

PT

AS 213.318 The Making of Modern Gender

 

AS.213.371 Kafka and the Kafkaesque

 

AS.213.349 Weimar Cinema: The "Golden Age" of German Film (taught in German)

 

AS.213.376 Art in Literature (taught in German)

 

AS.210.363 Business German (taught in German)

 

Fall 2013 Approved Courses

CourseCounts As

213.265 Panorama of German Thought

PT or CP

190.435 Law and Literature

PT

190.440 European Politics in Comp. Persp.CP

100.499 Film and Propaganda in Nazi Germany

History

100.409 Fascism: History and Interpretation

History or PT

100.405 European Socialist Thought

History or PT

150.417 Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
 

 

213.312 Contemporary German Literature (taught in German)
 

History or PT

213.331 Detective Fiction in its Nascence (taught in German)

 

Spring 2013 Approved Courses

CourseCounts As

210.266 German Conversation (taught in German)

 

210.363 Business German (taught in German)

 

213.233 Freshman Seminar - A History of Reading: from Gutenberg to Kindle

History

213.368 German Political Thought

CP for GGW only; PT

300.360 Critical Thinking and its History

 

150.311 Undergraduate Seminar: Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

213.308 Gespenster: verschwiegen und doch weitergegeben (taught in German)
 

 

213.356 Goethe (taught in German)

 


Fall 2012 Approved Courses

CourseCounts As

190.105 A Normal Country? - German Politics and Identity

CP or PT

190.306 The Political Economy of European Union

CP or PT

360.147 Freshman seminar: Adam Smith and Karl Marx

Econ (GGW only) or PT

300.397 How Freud Changed the Way We Think

 

213.213 Berlin Wall: Divided Stories in Literature and Film

History (GGW only)

213.251 Friedrich Nietzsche

 

213.229 Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in the United States (taught in German)
 

History (GGW only)

213.354 Introduction to German Poetry

 

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