Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 11, 1995

Three New Majors Added To Arts & Sciences Program

Leslie Rice
Homewood News and Information

     Undergraduates will have three new majors to consider
beginning this fall--and not one additional faculty member needed
to be hired to staff the newly created disciplines.

     Students can now major in East Asian studies, comparative
American cultures and neuroscience. Faculty who teach in these
majors come from a variety of disciplines, and, in many cases,
courses are cross-listed with other departments.  

     Comparative American Cultures, administered by the
Humanities Center, will examine U.S. immigration patterns and the
relationships cultures have with each other and their culture of
origin. This is a research-intensive course, which will be taught
by professors in Political Science, Sociology and English, who
will examine everything from old zoning laws intended to separate
cultures to the popular novels of a given period that represent a
cultural mood.

     The East Asian studies major will probably appeal to
students with an international business bent, said Homewood
academic dean Carol Burke. There are heavy language requirements;
if a student is already fluent in one or more Asian language,
they will be required to learn another. Courses will be taught by
anthropologists, political scientists and historians who will
consider the history, cultures and politics of East Asian

     "Both the Comparative American cultures and the East Asian
studies majors were made possible through a number of new hires
in other departments over the last few years," said Burke. "For
example, Robert Reid-Pharr, who is an expert on African American
literature, was hired a year ago. William Bartlett, who runs the
Language Teaching Center and teaches Chinese, and Thomas Berger
in the Political Science Department, who is an expert on Japanese
politics, were both also recently hired."

     The neuroscience major was a faculty initiative and has
already proved popular among undergraduates, said Burke, adding
that it will attract pre-med students but, to an even greater
degree, students interested in research. 

     Students will receive a bachelor of arts upon completing the
major. They will have the option of studying the program for a
fifth year to obtain a master of science degree in the subject.

     Faculty teaching the subject have been drawn from a variety
of disciplines: cognitive science, biology, biophysics,
psychology and researchers from the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.

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