Global Studies Concentration

Through a combination of focused faculty-based advising, high-impact experiences, traditional coursework and rigorous assessment, a concentration in global studies will help you:

  • Move beyond seeing "global" as exclusively "foreign" and to place yourself and your community in webs of natural, economic, cultural and social connections that defy geopolitical borders.
  • Engage rigorously with difference and challenge your own assumptions about the world and your position in it.
  • Make complex connections from multiple disciplinary perspectives on important global issues.

The concentration requires students to bring together courses from across the Whitman curriculum to align with their interests. Students can select from a broad list of courses currently offered on campus to fulfill the required coursework in the following three thematic areas.

  • Global Systems and Histories: Whether through the lens of international trade and finance, histories of colonialism and empire, or climate thermodynamics, these courses help students learn to identify and analyze social, cultural, political and environmental systems that connect (and divide) our world.
  • Global Circulations and Movements: In these courses, students learn to trace and analyze flows of commodities, ideas, money and people across geopolitical borders. They help prepare students to navigate a world increasingly defined by the inclusions and exclusions created by globe-spanning hyper-mobility.
  • Global Places and Events: In these courses, students will identify and analyze the way the places, regions and other geographies are forged through their global connections. These courses help students understand and confront major challenges and opportunities faced by specific sites in a globalized world.

Concentration Requirements

Below is a brief overview of the concentration requirements. For complete requirements, download this document.

  1. Advising: Choose one concentration-affiliated faculty member to meet with at least four times during your studies, including once at the beginning to plan your concentration and once at the end to assess your learning. Students must declare the concentration before end of second week of fall senior year.
  2. Global thematic area: Complete at least one course from the list of courses in each of the following thematic areas. No more than one course from a single department may be used when meeting this requirement. Download the course list.
  3. Global engagement, analysis and reflection: Complete at least one item from each area
    • Language Immersions: Six credits of language study
    • Off-Campus Education: One semester in a country other than the U.S.; Crossroads Course; or an adviser-approved globally focused internship
    • Analysis and Reflection: Participate in a selection of reflection/analysis seminars
  4. Complete Learning Assessment: Consists of integrative essay, portfolio and an outgoing interview.

Meet Our Advisers

Depending on availability, the following instructors are advisers for the concentration in global studies. Contact Director Leena Knight for formal adviser assignment.

Aaron Aguilar-Ramirez, Spanish Emily Jones, German & ES
Sharon Alker, English Leena Knight, Biology
Bina Arch, History Christopher Leise, English
Nick Bader, Geology Gaurav Majumdar, English
Shampa Bisawas, Politics Gilbert Mireles, Sociology
Eunice Blavascunas, Anthropology Kirsten Nicolaysen, Geology
Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Politics Erin Pahlke, Psychology
Janis Breckenridge, Spanish Nico Parmley, Spanish
Phil Brick, Politics Kevin Pogue, Geology
Alissa Cordner, Sociology Jason Pribilsky, Anthropology
Arash Davari, Politics Mary Rashko, English
Sarah Davies, History Matthew Reynolds, AHVC
Heidi Dobson, Biology James Russo, BBMB
Brian Dott, History Elyse Semerdjian, History
Tarik Elseewi, FMS Lynn Sharp, History
Rachel George, Anthropology Kate Shea, Classics & ES
Krista Gulbransen, AHVC Yuki Shigeto, Japenese
Delbert Hutchinson, Biology Patrick Spencer, Geology
Michelle Janning, Sociology Lisa Uddin, AHVC
Carlos Vargas-Salgado, Spanish Zahi Zalluoa, French
Jaqueline Woodford, History