Skip to Main Content

Johns Hopkins UniversityArts and Sciences Magazine

Fresh Course Offerings
for Undergraduates

This spring, the School of Arts and Sciences is running several courses developed and taught by advanced graduate students in a variety of disciplines and departments, all the result of two related programs: the Dean's Teaching Fellowship (DTF) and the Dean's Prize Freshman Seminars. The former is a long-standing, highly competitive program through which graduate students get to develop and teach courses; the latter is an offshoot of the teaching fellowships that reprises some of the most successful DTF courses as freshman seminars. Together, the two programs provide freshmen and other underclassmen a chance to work closely with some of the school's top graduate students and sample a wide variety of topics that might not otherwise have been covered in class. Here's a look at the offerings this semester:

Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Courses

A Patient’s History of Health and Healing (1600–1750): Olivia Weisser, a graduatestudent in the Historyof Medicine, leads students through an exploration ofthemes in the history ofmedicine from the patient’spoint of view.

At the Center of the World: The Mediterranean, 1348–1799: Taught by History graduate student Andrew Devereux,this course explores the central role played by the Mediterranean during these centuries, with particular attention given toreligious and cultural identity.

Existentialism and the Project of Creating Oneself: This writing-intensive philosophy course, taught by Lisa Levers, examines the possibility and significance of self-definition in the context of existentialism, considering works by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus.

Forever Godard: This course, taught by German and Romance Languages and Literatures’ Jean-Christophe Reymond and cross-listed with Film and Media Studies, explores the dynamic relationship among music, literature, philosophy, and politics in the most provocative of Jean-Luc Godard’s films.

Heart and Science: Forms of Knowledge in 19th-Century Literature: This writing-intensive course, taught by the English Department’s Elisha Cohn, focuses on science’s influence on 19th-century British literature, exploring how literature was thought to collaborate with scientific discoveries.

Mathematical Approaches to Biological Problems: Students in this class, taught by Biophysics graduate student Lauren Perskie, use differential equations, matrix algebra, partial differentiation, and probability to address real-world biological and biophysical questions.

Philosophy of Religion from Plato to Nietzsche: Patrick Leland’s philosophy course examines such questions as: How should one understand the relation between reason and religious faith?

Sexuality, Marriage, and Celibacy from Late Antiquity to the Modern Era: The History Department’s Erin Claire Cage is teaching this course, which examines issues of sexuality, marriage, and celibacy in the Western Christian world.

Slander, Abuse, and Mockery: Examining the World of Roman Invective: Taught by Classics Department graduate student Robert Webber, this course examines the pervasive practice of verbal abuse in the Roman world and how such abuse shaped social and political realities.

Terrorism, Insurgency, and Globalization: Jairus Grove, a graduate student in Political Science, is leading this examination of the globalization of non-state warfare in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Making of Everyday Life in Contemporary Afghanistan: This offering from the Anthropology Department isled by Anila Daulatzai and includes critical analysis of historical and contemporary representations of Afghanistan.

Thinking and Living with Animals: Human-Animal Relationships in History: This course, led by History of Medicine graduate student Massimo Petrozzi, analyzes the history of human-animal interactions and the way in which discourses about animals shaped such concepts as gender, culture, agency, and knowledge.


Related Link

Dean's Teaching Fellowship