Phi Beta Cons

History at Hopkins

How to explain Johns Hopkins’ stellar performance on the ISI Civic Literacy Quiz? Consider this:

In the past five semesters, our University’s History Department has not offered one course pertaining to the New England Colonies. Moreover, its class selections exploring Colonial America more generally have been paltry at best. This state of affairs is not limited to just 17th Century America, however. Few relevant chapters in the historical narrative of our world have found much sympathy here. For far too long, seeking to find any history courses at Johns Hopkins that deal with pertinent intellectual topics has often been an exercise in futility.

Majoring in history at Hopkins requires an undergraduate student to take four to six 300-level or above courses in addition to various other course             requirements, during his or her time here. Last semester, the department offered eleven undergraduate classes above the 300 level. What passed muster and was offered? Not a single class – upper level or not – on the Roman, British or Ottoman Empires. Nothing pertaining to World War I or even World War II. No classes were offered on the Koreas, or Iran, or even the United Nations or our very own Woodrow Wilson.

There are obvious “small department” “other specialties” justifications – whichever. If interested, read more here.



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