Saundra Liggins, African American Studies Coordinator
Elizabeth Hoffman Nelson, Multi-ethnic Studies Coordinator
James Stevens, American Indian Studies Coordinator
The Multi-ethnic Studies program originally consisted of African American Studies, American Indian Studies and Latino Studies. To these interdisciplinary minor programs, we now propose a fourth option for students—a minor in Multi-ethnic Studies.
Multi-ethnic Studies will be an interdisciplinary minor program that provides an opportunity to study the histories and cultures of ethnic minority groups in North America and their relationships to each other as well as to the dominant culture.
The Multi-ethnic Studies minor is designed for students who desire a broader focus than offered by the existing minors—African American, American Indian and Latino Studies. The Multi-ethnic Studies minor will merge facets of all three minors—for example, history, literature, language, anthropology, music, etc.—to give a broad-based understanding of those people who have been marginalized or excluded from full participation in society.
Because of its focus on several ethnic groups, the Multi-ethnic Studies minor would be compatible with many majors such as English, History, Communications, Political Science, Sociology, and Visual Arts and New Media. However, it may be particularly important for Education majors who wish to have a deeper understanding of the people and cultures they may encounter as teachers, or for Business Administration majors who will be participating in what is increasingly becoming a world economy. This minor, with its wide scope, will appeal to students interested in learning more about the expressions and perspectives of North American minority groups and how the inter-relationships of race, ethnicity, gender, and class define our society.
MINOR REQUIREMENTS: 21 credit hours from the following. Students declaring a Multi-ethnic Studies minor may use past courses retroactively after consultation with the coordinator.
REQUIRED COURSES (9 CREDIT HOURS):
ENGL 299/INDS 489(02)—Intro to African American Studies
[Minors will be required to take these three introductory courses which have been designed to offer students interdisciplinary explorations of the minority groups they will be studying throughout their minor.]
ELECTIVES (12 CREDIT HOURS):
[Minors will be advised to take courses from each of the following areas—African American, American Indian and Latino Studies—in order to achieve the fullest understanding of these cultures. They will also be encouraged to select their electives in a truly interdisciplinary way. For example, an ideal set of electives would include one course each in literature, history, social science, and arts/language.]
[Students would also be able to select from Special Topics courses in any discipline with the permission of their advisor.]
RESPONSES TO SENATE CONCERNS:
We feel this minor is an important addition to the current set of Interdisciplinary Studies minors. The courses included in the new Multi-ethnic Studies minor will offer students a chance to learn about several underrepresented cultures at one time.
Questions have arisen regarding lack of a common methodology among the courses. This minor is interdisciplinary by definition, therefore students take courses from all disciplines, just as they do for Women’s Studies or American Studies.
The issue of gender was also raised. Due to credit restraints, there is not room within this minor to require a course (e.g. Intro to Women’s Studies) solely on the study of gender, but rest assured that many of the courses devote a large portion of the class to the study of gender within these cultures. We also have several electives that focus directly on gender, including ENGL 340—Black Women Writers, and ENGL 304/INDS 304/WOST 304—Latina Literature and Cultural Studies. Students will be encouraged to focus part of their studies on issues of gender.