This major strives for a better understanding of cultures and societal change in a globally connected world, and to understand what it is to be an American by studying the traits of immigrants and multiple cultures. It studies the impacts of population movement on both the movers themselves and the people with whom they will interact once they have arrived. Understanding diasporic movement is central to developing an understanding of the modern world; the thread holding his investigation of movement together is the student’s interest in educational contexts and in teaching about what he has learned. From a teaching standpoint, this major will be especially good preparation to teach courses in global and modern history (world history, as we call it in schools). The First Year Seminar, while not an advanced course, provided early and invaluable insight into how a cultural universal – death -- is viewed through various different cultural lenses. The student’s ability to consider the validity of so many perspectives will be crucial to his eventual success as a social studies teacher.
The biggest part of the elective sequence relies on study abroad in Ghana through a program, run by SIT, entitled Ghana: Social Transformation and Cultural Expression. This program provides a well-rounded opportunity for the student to immerse himself in African culture. The program includes a rigorous language (Twi) learning experience, along with the topic seminar course and another on Visual and Performing Arts in Ghana. Students spend the last month of the semester completing a field research project; in his project, this student built on what he had previously learned in HIST 372 The African Diaspora.
In addition to African culture and its diasporic influence on the United States, this major includes a course in Latin American immigration and cultural studies.
EDUC 209 Foundations of Education
EDUC 306 Teaching Social Studies
OCS: GHANA Research Methods and Ethics
HIST 103 Europe, Africa, and Asian, 1750-1900
HIST 372 Africa Diaspora
EDUC 299 Language, Culture, and Immigration
FYS 150 Death & the Meaning of Life
MUS 212 Cross-Cultural Elements and Context
OCS: GHANA Social Transformation & Cultural Expression