On Thursday night, the Faculty Senate approved a new minor in Global Studies. Interested students will be able to choose from several different areas of the world to study.
According to Norman Naimark B.A.’66 M.A. ’68 Ph.D.‘72 , Professor of History and Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division, the minor is actually a group of six sub-plans, each tied to a different area studies center. These six centers include the African, Latin American, Iranian, Islamic, South Asian, and European studies centers. Although the majority of course content is unique to each of the sub-plans, all involved students will take an as-yet-unnamed course that unites the minor.
“So in some senses they’ll be doing a program [sub-plan] in African studies, or Latin American studies, or South Asian studies, or one of the others, but we will draw these programs together as a single minor, and teach, for example, an introductory course for all of these programs that will talk about the ways in which area studies and global studies intersect,” Naimark said.
Naimark explained that the system was particularly directed at students who went abroad as part of the Bing Overseas Program.
“[An example is] someone who goes to Cape Town [and who] is intrigued with Africa but is an electrical engineering major – they can then follow up with a program in African studies [under the Global Studies minor] and then develop a kind of subspecialty in Africa,” he said.
A goal of the new group of minors was to provide an infrastructure that would unite the individual area studies centers, says Naimark. Another goal was to bring together minors in each of the individual area studies, in an effort to approach learning from a global perspective.
According to Naimark, most of the sub-plans will be 25 units, and students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in an associated language. He anticipates that the program will begin in the fall.
Contact Skylar Cohen at skylark ‘at’ stanford.edu.