Global Studies Department Founded
Until now, Lang students interested in international affairs had to resort to creating their own major within the social inquiry concentration. In fall 2010, however, The New School will introduce a new university-wide global studies major.
The global studies program will include a major for Lang students as well as a program for students enrolled in The New School for General Studies. Professor Jonathan Bach directs the program as chair of global studies. He has done graduate work in the Free University of Berlin and has published *Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and National Identity after 1989* and translated *Warfare Since the Second World War* from German to English. Bach started teaching at NSGS in 2002 and, since 2005, he has been an associate professor at the graduate program in international affairs.
To date, one other faculty member has come on board to the new major: Professor Alexandra Delano, a specialist in migration who wrote her dissertation and several essays on the subject, and has taught at The New School for Social Research for two years.
Faculty expressed their desire for the new program to be focused on social justice. Program Assistant Dechen Albero said, “we see our program as very activist-oriented.” The major intends to provide students with a foundation for teaching abroad and working at NGOs, the Peace Corps, and possibly even the United Nations. It is also a good candidate for the BA/MA program; as an interdisciplinary program, the major will offer courses that overlap between international affairs and many master's degree programs, such as media studies and international affairs.
Global studies will be one of three university-wide majors, joining urban studies and environmental studies, both created within the last two years. Administrators and faculty hope that these university-wide majors can allow students to interact more closely with schools they would not have come into contact with otherwise. These programs will encourage more cross-over and introduce students to a wider variety of perspectives and approaches to subjects. “It’s very unusual for art and design people to have a meaningful dialogue with social sciences,” said Vice Provost Elizabeth Ross. “[University-wide majors are] bringing the design expertise to solution building.”
Students will have access to resources across the university that have been untapped until now. “The university wants to make a commitment to interdisciplinary programs,” said Bach. The new major will take advantage of the whole range of resources available at The New School. “It really involves everything we do at every part of this university,” said Bach.
In 2007, the provost’s office organized a committee, co-chaired by Bach, to develop an interdisciplinary international affairs program. A year later, Bach became chair of the department and with the help of Albero, he is building a curriculum which currently consists of two courses for the fall and an extracurricular initiative designed to draw student involvement from across the university.
This fall, Bach and Delano will each teach one course. Global studies majors will also have to earn credits in courses taught by other departments. Majors will also be required to graduate with the requisite language fluency to live and work abroad. Bach is also working with the office of career development, putting on seminars about working internationally in politics or humanitarian aid. He hopes this partnership leads to placing students in relevant internships and ultimately careers. The department also aims to expand Lang’s study abroad program to include opportunities to study in Turkey, China, India, Nepal and Rwanda.