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Proposing a Course for the Global Core Requirement

Course Review for the Global Core Requirement

The Global Core requirement asks students to engage directly with the variety of civilizations and the diversity of traditions that, along with the West, have formed the world and continue to interact in it today. Courses in the Global Core typically explore the cultures of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East in an historical context. These courses are organized around a set of primary materials produced in these traditions and may draw from texts or other forms of media, as well as from oral sources or performance, broadly defined.

Global Core courses fall into two categories, and can be, on occasion, a hybrid of the two types: those with a comparative, multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary focus on specific cultures or civilizations, tracing their existence across a significant span of time, and may include Europe and/or the U.S.; and those that address a common theme or set of analytic questions comparatively (and may include Europe and the U.S.). The Global Core requirement consists of courses that examine areas not the primary focus of Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization and that, like other Core courses, are broadly introductory, interdisciplinary, and temporally and/or spatially expansive. The Committee on Global Core uses the following guidelines when considering a course for inclusion into the Global Core list:

  •  Courses that fulfill the Global Core requirement must contain primary materials throughout the syllabus, and preferably every week. A Global Core course expects student participation—especially to discuss the primary materials—to be a significant part of the course requirement, either in a seminar or limited enrollment lecture class, or, if a large lecture course, in a separate discussion section weekly. Like its older Core counterparts—Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities, and Music Humanities—Global Core courses should be open to all students, with no prerequisites, except in the case of courses taught in languages other than English.
  • The teaching of Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities, and Music Humanities, requires faculty to stretch intellectually beyond their specific areas of research and teaching expertise. We encourage faculty to address this aspect of Core teaching in a variety of ways, such as re-imagining existing courses to include primary materials, re-imagining or creating courses that open up new areas of study for the faculty member, or by team-teaching.
  • The ideal Global Core course is designed specifically for the Core requirement, although Global Core courses may also be departmental courses that count towards the major or concentration. The courses are intended to be, first and foremost, an undergraduate experience. Consequently, although the List of Approved Courses contains some 4000-level courses with a predominantly undergraduate enrollment, those designed for, and principally taken by, graduate students are not Global Core courses. The Global Core requirement welcomes a variety of pedagogical models, including Global Core courses comparable to Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization in breadth and depth and consists of a multi-disciplinary, interdepartmental seminar that meets twice a week for 4 credits, with the expectation that it will be taught on a regular basis. An example of such a course is the recently revised one-semester African Civilization (AFCV C1020), taught by senior and junior faculty in History, Anthropology, French, Philosophy, and MESAAS; another new course designed specifically for the Global Core is Primary Texts of Latin American Civilization (LACV C1020), developed jointly by faculty from History, Political Science, and Latin American and Iberian Cultures. We encourage the creation of other kinds of Global Core courses, including team-taught courses. One long-term goal is to ensure that every student who wants to fulfill the requirement through Core-like seminars will be able to do so. To that end, we hope to see the Global Core list evolve over time so that only seminars or limited enrollment lecture classes fulfill the requirement. However, in order to count towards the Chamberlain Fellowship for Junior Faculty, a Global Core course must be comparable to Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization in breadth and depth, a multi-disciplinary, interdepartmental seminar that meets twice a week for 4 credits, with the expectation that it will be taught on a regular basis.

We are pleased to advise faculty during the process of developing new, or re-shaping existing, courses. Should you have any questions related to the development of Global Core courses or the appropriateness for the requirement of existing courses, please contact any members of the Committee on Global Core.

Course Proposal Submission Process

When the course is submitted to the Committee on Global Core for consideration, the proposal must include the Global Core Course Checklist. You may submit the course separately to the Committee on Global Core at globalcore@columbia.edu, or, if the course requires COI approval, attach the form to the COI form and submit at the same time to the Committee on Instruction, which will then forward the course materials to the Committee on Global Core.

Global Core Course Offerings

A comprehensive list of all currently approved Global Core courses may be found on the Undergraduate Bulletin.

To ensure that the Global Core course list is aligned with current course offerings available to students each academic year, please note the following:

  • Courses that have not been taught in five years will be removed from the Global Core list.  If the instructor would like to restore the course to the Global Core, a new course proposal should be submitted to the CC-GS Committee on Instruction with a request to forward the course to the Committee on Global Core.
     
  • Courses that are offered explicitly on a one-time basis will be removed from the list of approved Global Core courses once the term of instruction concludes.
     

    Questions for CGC can be addressed to globalcore@columbia.edu.