Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Description

The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies offers courses and coordinates specialized interdisciplinary programs. These may include international programs and global/area studies.

By nature of their objectives and content, interdisciplinary studies courses cross the lines of departments and specialized disciplines. For example, some of these courses attempt to provide the common body of knowledge traditionally associated with a liberal education; others attempt to integrate the understanding of different kinds of subject matter; and still others combine methodologies from diverse departments and disciplines.

Special Programs

 

American Studies/Secondary Teacher Certification in Social Studies
Gettysburg College offers a variety of courses analyzing American life and thought, which provide students with many opportunities for creating individual majors in American studies. Such majors may emphasize behavioral analyses, historical perspectives, literary and artistic dimensions, or coherent combinations of such approaches as they are reflected in courses from several departments. For example, individual majors could be designed in the areas of early-American culture, modern American social stratification, ethnicity, or the religious and economic values of the American people.

Students interested in pursuing secondary teacher certification in social studies may choose to combine coursework in the Education Department with courses taken in other departments on campus. As students choose electives, they will be encouraged to meet two interrelated goals. The first will be that their planned program establishes a clear sense of coherence and that the courses they choose help them build the content knowledge needed to be effective teachers of secondary social studies. The second goal will be for students to develop and articulate a coherent understanding of the nature of the American experience, and to express that understanding through an intentional selection of courses organized around a relevant theme.

Students should seek assistance in planning an American studies individual major from the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies. Students interested in the American Studies/Secondary Teacher Certification in Social Studies should also contact Prof. Dave Powell (Education Dept.). 

Comparative Literature
Gettysburg College offers courses in many literatures in the original languages (ancient Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, German, English, and Japanese). In addition, a number of courses are offered in foreign literature in translation (Classics, IDS, Japanese). Students who work in more than one language (e.g., English and Spanish) are encouraged to consider creating an individual major in Comparative Literature in consultation with faculty in the appropriate departments. The study of comparative literature enables students to emphasize a particular period, theme, or genre across cultures, instead of the traditional focus on the chronological study of a national literature.

A particular theoretical approach can also be cultivated (such as feminist, reader-response, structuralist, Marxist, and Freudian). Students who wish more information are encouraged to consult with any of the following advisors to the program: Professor Rickert (classics); Anchisi and Perry (Italian); Fee (Old Norse; Middle German); Olinger (Spanish); Wallach (German); Binet and R. Viti (French); and Hogan (Japanese). Many members of the English and Theatre departments are also advisors to the program.

Law, Ethics, and Society
Individual majors in law studies benefit from a wide variety of courses offered at Gettysburg College that deal with the law in some form, from American government and civil rights movement courses through the Political Science Department to Philosophy of Law, which teaches comparatively several different systems of law in the world and their underlying philosophies. Many courses on law-related topics can be found in this catalog under Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. There are also courses on antebellum law offered through the History Department and on race, gender, and the law through Africana Studies, and several courses bearing the LAW designator.

With the breadth of courses available, along with a wealth of opportunities in both study abroad and intern/externships, many students have been able to create law-related individual majors. Students pursuing such majors have focused on comparative police psychology; crime and redemption; the criminal mind; law, ethics, and society; migrant workers and the law; the law in literature; and many other topics. So while Gettysburg College does not have a specific prelaw curriculum, the individual major allows students to incorporate the law as a tool for integrative thinking in their chosen discipline(s), looking at law not by itself, but in relation to its historical, philosophical, scientific, sociological, or other context. This interdisciplinary focus gives students the kind of skill set in research, integrative thinking, and expanding beyond academic borders that will help them not only if they choose to go to law school, but in any field or profession they wish to pursue. Students interested in prelaw advising should contact the prelaw advisor, Thomas F. Jurney.

Program Requirements

Among other opportunities for interdisciplinary studies is the individual major. Before the end of his or her sophomore year, a student, with the consent of two supervising faculty members from different departments, may design a coherent program of at least ten courses focusing on a particular issue or area not adequately included within a single department. It may be based on any grouping of courses drawn from any part of the curriculum so long as the proposed major is coherent, serves a carefully defined academic purpose, and includes no fewer than eight courses above the 100 level, three or more courses at the 300 level, and a 400-level individualized study course. The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies has final responsibility for approving individual majors.

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
IDS-104 Literary Foundations of Western Culture
Exploration of the development of major genres of Western literature and thought (from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 18th century), including epic and narrative poetry, drama, the novel, and literary nonfiction. Authors read may include St. Augustine, Dante, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Milton, Voltaire, and others. Through reading, writing, and discussion of complete works, the student is introduced to those humanistic skills and critical methods that have traditionally distinguished the liberally education person. Course not offered every year.


IDS-121 Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies
Multidisciplinary survey of issues, concepts, and approaches to peace and justice at individual, social, and cultural levels. Topics include models of peace, the nature and causes of conflict, theory and practice of nonviolence, arms and disarmament, international peace-keeping strategies, and the relationship between peace, human rights, and social justice. This course may contain a service learning and/or internship component.


IDS-150 Summer Service Learning



IDS-150 Service Learning Project



IDS-152 Youth and New Media in the Middle East
Explores the manifold ways in which Arab youth chart the course of social and political change in the Middle East through the use of new media and modern technologies. Discussions focus on the challenges Arab youth face in their 21st-century, globalized environments, and on their engagement with their regimes and societies, particularly in the context of the Arab Spring. Arab youth’s artistic and political expressions of voice and agency are approached as a barometer for the transformations in the region.


Back to the top of course listing

IDS-206 Native American Studies
Introduction to Native American culture, history, and identity with an interdisciplinary approach and attention to the on-going indigenous struggles since European colonization. Students consider issues of Native perspectives on the people-land relationship, religion, and contemporary cultural expression and politics.


IDS-208 Linguistics: Perspectives on Language
Introduction to linguistics and language pedagogy. The main goal of this course is to learn ways of looking at languages to gain perspectives that are necessary in teaching languages as second, foreign, or heritage languages. Students learn about the nature of human language and become familiar with subfields of formal and functional linguistics, first and second language acquisition, bilingualism and heritage languages, and language pedagogy.


IDS-217 American Civil War on Film
An examination of how the Civil War has been presented by various American filmmakers from the silent era to the present. Students are asked to consider the various themes common to Civil War films: violence, race, politics, and iconography, among others. The class serves as an introduction to cinematic language systems while using Hollywood images of the Civil War as its central documents for analysis. Course not offered every year.


IDS-218 Global Media Cultures
Consideration of the current state of international media, combining theoretical approaches to globalization with case studies of films, websites and broadcasting systems. Lecture and discussion is complemented by live interactions (either in person or online via skype) with media producers from across the world. The course emphasizes the development of students’ abilities to merge theoretical insights with empirical data, allowing class participants to engage in original analyses of specific aspects of the rapidly growing world of international media.


IDS-224 Justice & the Contested Corporation
Introduction to continuing debates about purposes and legitimacy of the corporation in American society. Three contrasting conceptions of the modern corporation are critically assessed through justice and historical inquiry. Contested meanings of the corporation are studied using a variety of texts, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, autobiography, and social criticism. Course is designed as a cluster-friendly opportunity for students to fulfill the Integrative Thinking goal in the Gettysburg Curriculum.


IDS-225 Introduction to Disability Studies
Examination and analysis of disability within the context of diversity. Through interdisciplinary interchange and experiential learning, this course explores the biological, medical, social, cultural, political, technological and economic determinants of disability.


IDS-226 Media and Cultural Theory
Investigation of the major theories that guide the study of media texts and systems. This course aims to enhance the student’s ability to analyze film, radio, television, the Internet and video games from a perspective that emphasizes the cultural significance of these media. Through an overview of thinkers from traditions including structuralism, Marxism and British Cultural Studies, students will learn to write about specific texts in a manner that engages deeply with broader traditions of social thought.


IDS-241 Modern Irish Drama
Exploration of the evolution of modern Irish theatre within the matrix of the esthetic and political revolutions that occurred, and continue to occur, in twentieth-century Ireland. Irish dramatists have produced a body of literature remarkable for both its unparalleled artistic achievement and its acute political and social responsiveness. Major emphasis is accorded W. B. Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory, John M. Synge, Sean O'Casey, Samuel Beckett, and Brian Friel. Course not offered every year.


IDS-246 The Irish Literary Revival
Study of the culture and history of Ireland as reflected in its literature in English, c. 1880-c. 1940. Course explores how Ireland, principally through her writers, succeeded in reviving and asserting her unique Gaelic identity during the decades immediately preceding and following the War of Independence (1916-1921). Authors studied include Augusta Gregory, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Sean O'Casey, and James Joyce. Course not offered every year.


IDS-247 Modern Irish Literature
Survey of Irish literature since the 1940s. Course examines how poets, dramatists, and writers of fiction have responded to the problems of maintaining an Irish identity on a partitioned island and in the contemporary world. Special attention is given to the interrelationship of Catholic and Protestant and rural and urban traditions. Authors studied include dramatists such as Samuel Beckett, poets such as Seamus Heaney, and fiction writers such as Sean O'Faolain. Not offered every year.


IDS-250 Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
Interdisciplinary analysis of one subject, topic, or discipline as viewed through distinct disciplinary methodologies or through the methods and inquiries of one discipline as viewed through the lens of another discipline. Course not offered every year.


IDS-255 Science,Technology & Nuclear Weapons
Study of the effect of technology on the many issues related to nuclear weapons and the scientific principles associated with their production. Coverage includes nuclear weapons effects, strategic arsenals, past and current attempts at arms control, environmental impact of weapons production, testing and dismantlement the post cold war climate, and nuclear disarmament. Special emphasis is given toward understanding current nuclear non-proliferation efforts.


IDS-278 Introduction to Arab Culture
This course will offer a general mosaic survey of the linguistic, geographical, historical, social, religious, cultural, and artistic aspects of the modern Arab world. Special attention will be given to the education, politics, family, gender relations, the Arab experience in the U.S., Arab American relations, the role of the past and of social change, and Arab art and music. The course also, analyzes and discusses Arab Spring and modern post-colonial concerns, problems and challenges. A good deal of the course is specifically intended to increase students' sensitivity to racial bias and sharpen awareness of multicultural issues.


IDS-280 Media and the Arab World
Study of the broad thematic and linguistic content of the media of the contemporary Middle East, especially news media and the new social media. The course examines contemporary social and political issues through an historical and cultural lens, focusing on such themes as dissent and revolutionary resistance, globalization and Arab mass media, media culture and political discourse, gender and national identity, media and social life, and youth culture, Facebook and the blogosphere.


IDS-282 Language and Conflict in the Middle East
Examination of the interrelationship of linguistics, culture and politics with emphasis on the interpretation of conflict. Readings examine how differences in pronunciation, vocabulary choice, non-verbal communication, and communicative style serve as social markers of identity and differentiation in Arab cultures. Emphasis is given to discourse analysis of news media, political speeches, regime and opposition media, blogs and Facebook communities, and virtual political dialogue.


IDS-284 Wonders of Nature and Artifice: The Renaissance Quest for Knowledge
Examination of Renaissance collections and the social context of their development. The course explores the quest for knowledge by Renaissance naturalists and collectors, whose wonders of nature and artifice were displayed in curiosity cabinets, gardens, and writings. The interaction of art and science and the role of economics, politics and culture are explored. Students engage in hands-on work, analyzing a Renaissance chamber of wonders at the Walters Art Museum and putting together their own "cabinet" in the Schmucker Art Gallery.


Back to the top of course listing

IDS-325 Interdisciplinary Course in London
An interdisciplinary course taught in London by a Gettysburg College faculty member during the one-month presession to the Gettysburg in England program. Topics will vary. The topic during the fall of 2010 will be Global Cities.


IDS-350 Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
Interdisciplinary analysis of one subject, topic, or discipline as viewed through distinct disciplinary methodologies or through the methods and inquiries of one discipline as viewed through the lens of another discipline. Course not offered every year.


Back to the top of course listing

IDS-401 Senior Scholars' Seminar
Seminar for selected senior students addressing an important contemporary issue affecting the future of humanity. Approach to this issue is multidisciplinary. Authorities of national stature are invited to serve as resource persons, and seminar participants present a final report on the topics discussed. Course not offered every year.


IDS-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


IDS-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


IDS-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


IDS-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


IDS-464 Individualized Study-Research
Required Capstone Thesis or Research for the Special Major


IDS-470 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


IDS-472 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


IDS-473 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


IDS-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


IDS-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


IDS-477 Individualized Study-Internship
Half credit internship, graded S/U.


IDS-477 Half Credit Internship
Half credit internship, graded S/U.


Back to the top of course listing