Exploring Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is renowned for its exceptional academic offerings, and one that stands out is its Near Eastern Studies. Students can deepen their understanding of the region’s history, politics, languages, and art. This article provides a comprehensive guide to Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University, from the program’s history to career paths for graduates.
The History of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
The Near Eastern Studies department at JHU began over a century ago, with the founding of the Faculty of Archaeology and Oriental Studies in 1883. Since then, the program has expanded, diversified, and evolved, reflecting changing global issues, academic trends, and students’ interests.
Today, JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program is interdisciplinary, integrating fields such as anthropology, history, language, literature, religion, political science, and sociology.
Over the years, the Near Eastern Studies program at JHU has also developed strong ties with institutions and scholars in the Middle East. The department regularly hosts visiting professors from universities in the region, and students have the opportunity to participate in study-abroad programs in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey.
These connections have enriched the program’s curriculum and provided students with unique perspectives on the region’s history, culture, and politics.
What Makes Johns Hopkins University a Premier Institution for Near Eastern Studies?
One of the key strengths of JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program is the faculty, who are world-class scholars, researchers, and educators. They come from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise yet share a passion for the region and a commitment to helping students succeed.
Moreover, JHU’s libraries, archives, museums, and research centers provide unparalleled resources for students, including rare manuscripts, artifacts, and databases.
Another factor that sets JHU apart in the field of Near Eastern Studies is its emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. Students can take courses and collaborate with faculty from various departments, including history, anthropology, political science, and archaeology.
This interdisciplinary approach allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the region and its complexities and prepares students for a wide range of careers in academia, government, and non-profit organizations.
The Faculty and Staff Behind the Near Eastern Studies Department at Johns Hopkins University
The faculty and staff of the Near Eastern Studies department at JHU are dedicated to promoting excellence in education, research, and service. They offer undergraduate and graduate-level courses, advise students on academic and career paths, conduct research, publish books and articles, organize symposia and conferences, and mentor junior colleagues. Some of the faculty members are:
- Michael J. Fitzgerald, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, with interests in Islamic law, Sufism, and Islamic intellectual history.
- Francesca Trivellato, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, with interests in the economic, social, and cultural history of early modern Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
- Rebecca J.W. Mccallum, Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies, with interests in language pedagogy, Arabic dialects, and popular culture in the Arab world.
In addition to the faculty members mentioned above, the Near Eastern Studies department at JHU also has a dedicated staff that supports the academic and administrative functions of the department.
The staff members work tirelessly to ensure that the department runs smoothly and efficiently, and they are always available to assist students and faculty with any questions or concerns they may have.
The Near Eastern Studies department at JHU is also committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. They actively recruit students and faculty from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, and they strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.
The department regularly hosts events and activities that celebrate the diversity of the Near Eastern region and its people, and they encourage students and faculty to engage in meaningful dialogue and exchange ideas with one another.
Degree Programs Offered in Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
JHU’s Near Eastern Studies department offers several degree programs for students who wish to pursue their interests in the region. Students can major or minor in Near Eastern Studies at the undergraduate level, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.
At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Near Eastern Studies, with a focus on a specific area of the region, such as Egypt, Iran, Israel, Palestine, or Turkey.
In addition to the degree programs offered, JHU’s Near Eastern Studies department also provides students with opportunities to participate in regional study abroad programs. These programs allow students to immerse themselves in the culture and language of the area while also gaining valuable academic experience.
The department also hosts various events throughout the year, including lectures, film screenings, and cultural festivals, which provide students with a deeper understanding of the region and its people.
The Importance of Studying Near Eastern Languages at Johns Hopkins University
Studying Near Eastern languages is an integral part of JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program, as it allows students to access primary sources, communicate with local communities, and deepen their understanding of the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Some of the languages offered at JHU include Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Kurdish. Linguistic proficiency in these languages is not only important for academic research but also for careers in international relations, journalism, advocacy, law, and business.
Moreover, studying Near Eastern languages at JHU provides students with a unique opportunity to engage with the diverse communities of the region. Through language immersion programs, students can travel to countries such as Jordan, Israel, Iran, and Turkey to practice their language skills and gain firsthand experience of the local culture.
This not only enhances their language proficiency but also fosters cross-cultural understanding and empathy, which is crucial in today’s globalized world.
Internship Opportunities for Near Eastern Studies Majors at Johns Hopkins University
JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program offers numerous internship opportunities for students who wish to gain practical experience in the region.
Some organizations and institutions that offer internships for JHU students include the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, the Middle East Institute, the National Museum of Iran, the Palestine Museum, and local NGOs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.
These internships allow students to work on projects related to human rights, governance, advocacy, culture, arts, and media, among other fields.
Additionally, JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program allows students to participate in study abroad programs in the region. These programs allow students to immerse themselves in the culture and language of the region while also gaining valuable academic and professional experience.
Some of the study abroad programs offered by JHU include language immersion programs in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco and cultural exchange programs in Turkey and Israel.
These programs provide students with a unique opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the Near East while also developing important skills that will be valuable in their future careers.
Research and Funding Opportunities in Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
Research is a key component of JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program, and the university offers various resources and funding opportunities for students who wish to conduct original research in the region.
Students can apply for grants, fellowships, and scholarships from JHU or external organizations, such as the Fulbright Program, the Middle East Studies Association, or the American Institute for Iranian Studies.
Some of the areas of research that students can pursue include medieval Islamic philosophy, contemporary Arab literature, Ottoman political economy, Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, and Iranian cinema.
In addition to funding opportunities, JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program also provides students with access to a wide range of research resources. The program has a specialized library collection that includes rare manuscripts, maps, and other primary sources related to the region.
Students can also participate in archaeological excavations and fieldwork in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. Furthermore, the program hosts regular lectures, workshops, and conferences that bring together scholars and experts worldwide to discuss current issues and trends in Near Eastern Studies.
Student Organizations and Clubs Focused on Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
JHU has a vibrant Near Eastern Studies community, with numerous student organizations and clubs dedicated to promoting cultural and intellectual exchange. Students can join clubs such as the Near Eastern Studies Student Association, the Arab Students Association, the Persian Students Association, and the Turkish Students Association, among others.
These clubs organize events such as film screenings, musical performances, language exchanges, cultural festivals, and lectures by invited speakers.
In addition to these clubs, JHU also offers opportunities for students to participate in research projects related to Near Eastern Studies. Students can work with faculty members on projects such as archaeological excavations, language documentation, or cultural preservation initiatives.
These research projects provide students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to contribute to the field of Near Eastern Studies.
Study Abroad Programs for Near Eastern Studies Students at Johns Hopkins University
JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program offers study abroad programs in the region for students who wish to immerse themselves in the language, culture, and society of the region. Students can study in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, or Turkey, among others.
Study abroad programs offer a unique opportunity to learn from local experts, interact with local communities, visit historical and cultural sites, and broaden one’s perspectives on the region.
Additionally, the Near Eastern Studies program at JHU offers scholarships and financial aid to students who wish to participate in study abroad programs. These scholarships can cover a significant portion of the program costs, making it more accessible for students who may not have the financial means to participate otherwise.
The program also provides support and resources for students to navigate the logistics of studying abroad, such as obtaining visas and finding housing. Overall, the study abroad programs offered by JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program provide a unique and enriching experience for students to deepen their understanding of the region and its cultures.
Career Paths for Graduates of the Near Eastern Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University
Graduates of JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program have a wide range of career options, reflecting the interdisciplinary and global nature of the program. Some of the career paths that Near Eastern Studies graduates pursue include:
- Diplomacy and international relations, working for the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, or NGOs.
- Academic research and teaching, working as professors, researchers, archivists, or librarians in universities, libraries, or museums.
- Journalism and media, working for news outlets, publishing houses, or cultural organizations.
- Advocacy and human rights, working for NGOs, foundations, or social movements.
- Business and entrepreneurship, working for multinational corporations, consulting firms, or startups.
Additionally, graduates of the Near Eastern Studies program at JHU can also pursue careers in government agencies, such as the CIA or FBI, where their knowledge of the Middle East and its cultures can be valuable in national security and intelligence work.
Another career path for Near Eastern Studies graduates is in the field of international development, working for organizations such as the World Bank or USAID to promote economic growth and social progress in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Furthermore, some Near Eastern Studies graduates choose to work in the field of cultural preservation and heritage management, where they can apply their knowledge of history, archaeology, and art to protect and promote the cultural heritage of the Middle East.
This can involve working for museums, cultural institutions, or government agencies that are responsible for preserving and promoting the region’s cultural heritage sites and artifacts.
Alumni Success Stories in the Field of Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University
JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program has produced numerous successful alumni who have made significant contributions to the field. Some of the notable alumni of the program include:
- Michael Ignatieff, Canadian author, journalist, and former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
- Phebe Marr, American historian and author of several books on modern Iraq.
- Ben Rhodes, American political strategist and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting under President Barack Obama.
- Marvin Zonis is an American economist, consultant, and author of several books on the Middle East and international business.
- Nina Totenberg, American legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio.
These alumni have not only excelled in their respective fields but have also given back to the JHU community. Many have returned to campus to speak to current students, sharing their experiences and offering advice. Additionally, some have established scholarships or other forms of support for students pursuing Near Eastern Studies at JHU.
Their continued involvement with the program is a testament to the quality of education and mentorship provided by the faculty and staff at JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program.
The Future of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University
JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program is committed to staying at the forefront of education, research, and service in the field. The program is constantly expanding its offerings, updating its curriculum, and attracting new faculty and students.
Furthermore, the program is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive community, welcoming students and scholars from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.
In the coming years, the Near Eastern Studies program at JHU plans to establish new partnerships with universities and research institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. These collaborations will provide students and faculty with unique opportunities to engage in fieldwork, language immersion, and cultural exchange.
Additionally, the program aims to increase its engagement with local communities, organizing public lectures, workshops, and exhibitions that showcase the richness and diversity of Near Eastern cultures.
Another key priority for the Near Eastern Studies program is to enhance its digital resources and tools. The program is investing in new technologies that will enable students and scholars to access and analyze a wide range of primary sources, including manuscripts, archives, and archaeological data.
By leveraging these digital resources, the program hopes to advance new research agendas and contribute to the broader field of digital humanities.
How to Apply to the Near Eastern Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University
Students who wish to apply to JHU’s Near Eastern Studies program can find more information on the university’s website. Applicants must submit their transcripts, standardized test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and other materials. The application deadline is January 1 for regular decisions and November 1 for early decisions.
Additionally, JHU offers need-blind admission and meets 100% of demonstrated needs of all admitted students, making the program accessible and affordable for all.
Students who are interested in the Near Eastern Studies program at JHU can expect to study a wide range of topics, including the history, culture, and languages of the Middle East. The program offers a variety of courses taught by renowned faculty members who are experts in their fields.
Students can also take advantage of study abroad opportunities in the region, allowing them to gain firsthand experience and deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Graduates of the program have gone on to pursue careers in academia, government, non-profit organizations, and more.
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