The Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) will offer 10 new courses on topics ranging from public health to foreign policy in the Fall 2023 semester.
A wide array of expert policy practitioners and academics will teach the new courses that will expand the SFS’s offerings in subject areas including Jewish Civilization and the Middle East and North Africa. Many of the instructors for the new courses will be teaching at Georgetown for the first time, and will bring outside experiences such as serving in the U.S. Foreign Service and working in counterterrorism to the Hilltop through seminars and lectures.
The full list includes seven three-credit courses: “Iran and the Arab Gulf,” “Global Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction,” “Love in the Time of War,” “Lying: Liars Fakes and Frauds,” “Social Construction of Pandemics,” “Economics of International Trade Policies and Agreements” and “Arguing with God: The Bible as Literature.” It also features three one-credit courses: “German Catholics in Hitler’s Army,” “Intro to Military Concepts” and “Gettysburg: Strategy and Tech.”
Meital Orr, an associate teaching professor at the Center for Jewish Civilization, is teaching two courses on the list: “Interfaith Marriage in Literature and Film” and “Arguing with God: The Bible as Literature.”
Orr said her course on interfaith marriage is about an issue that is relevant to current students who are familiar with many religious traditions but experience pressure to marry within their religious group.
“The course is particularly relevant to college students because it provides an
academic context to delve deeper into this very controversial realm that is so immediate to students’ lives,” Orr wrote to The Hoya. “Many are under internal and external pressures to marry within the fold and preserve communal, religious-cultural values, but at the same time they live in a reality of increasing diversity in a modern, pluralistic society and are cognizant of the inevitably of these unions and the benefits they can bring.”
Orr said her class on arguing with God allows students to uniquely approach the Bible through multiculturalism and art. The class will use the Bible itself to challenge the notion that it lacks an interpretive aspect, according to Orr.
“The class incorporates traditional faith interpretations at the same time that it moves far beyond them — and in a multiplicity of genres, eras and cultures — to probe why and how this timeless work of literature persists in its endurance and relevance today and what we have yet to learn from it,” Orr wrote.
Suzanne Brown-Fleming, a Catholic studies and German history researcher and adjunct professor at the Center for Jewish Civilization, is teaching a one-credit class titled “German Catholics in Hitler’s Army.” She said the course will survey how religion impacted soldiers’ battlefield decisions.
“All human beings are faced with choices — at times extreme choices,” Brown-Fleming wrote to The Hoya. “Students will have the opportunity to study human behavior in a war of atrocity, a war of extremes.”
Brown-Fleming said that students will work to understand decisions Catholic soldiers made in the Wehrmacht, the German Army during World War II, through photographs, diary excerpts and film.
“This course will examine the role of Catholics in the Wehrmacht, including its crimes against Jews and other civilians,” Brown-Fleming wrote.
More than 50 students have registered for the three one-credit courses next semester.
Sebastian Zuba (SFS ’26), who took a one-credit course this semester titled “Water, Science and Society,” said he enjoyed the chance to delve deeper into a topic without the commitment of a full-credit course.
“It’s an opportunity once a week to learn about something you have no idea about,” Zuba told The Hoya. “Without having to dedicate too much of your time and effort, you can connect with your classmates in a really unique way.”
A benefit of a one-credit course like Brown-Fleming’s on Catholic Wehrmacht soldiers is that it exposes students to diverse perspectives, according to Zuba.
“It’s a chance to see a lot of interesting speakers,” Zuba said. “A lot of one-credit classes have outside speakers because a lot of the work you’re doing is experiential. It’s a great chance to connect and learn about an industry.”
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