Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When do I declare the Emphases?

A: Emphases can be chosen when declaring the Global Cultures major, or any time thereafter all the way up to the time when students apply to graduate.

A: Students may want to first complete a few courses in Global Cultures before deciding on an Emphasis (primary or secondary). Often, a given Emphasis is chosen in conjunction with plans for studying abroad (see the Education Abroad Program).

Q: How Do I declare the Emphases?

A: When you meet with a counselor in the School lof Humanities to request a degree check, you should inform him/her of the Emphases you have selected.

Q: Can I change my selection of Emphases?

A: Yes, students may change their Emphases at any time prior to applying for graduation. Students do need to make sure, however, that they have completed the required 6 courses in their Primary Emphasis, and 2 courses in their Secondary Emphasis.

Emphases

Students majoring or minoring in Global Cultures must choose two Emphases—a primary and a secondary one. Each Emphasis essentially consists of a geographic focus (by continent, as shown below).

Students can choose from a total of 8 such Emphases (Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Atlantic Rim, Pacific Rim, Inter-Area Studies, etc.).

The primary Emphasis consists of 6 courses; the secondary Emphasis is 2 courses. In exceptional cases, students may also define their own Emphasis (see Emphasis #8 below).

All Emphases are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and the approval of the Global Cultures Committee.

Description of Each Emphases

  • Hispanic, U.S. Latino/Latina, and Luso-Brazilian Cultures: Examines the historical, political, and cultural formations of regions where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken, including Spain, Portugal, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere, and the Latino/Latina population in the United States.
  • Africa (Nation, Culture) and Its Diaspora: Examines Africa as a diverse geographical and political expression, including its historical, political, and cultural formation locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Asia (Nation, Culture) and Its Diaspora: Examines Asia as a diverse geographical and political expression, including its historical and cultural formation locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Europe and Its Former Colonies: Examines Europe and its former colonies as a diverse geographical and political expression, including its historical and cultural formation locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Global Middle East: Examines the people and cultures of North Africa and the Arab world, Turkey and Iran, as well as their relationship with other regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the broader Muslim diaspora in Europe and the Americas.
  • Atlantic Rim: Explores the movement of people and cultures in relationship to the historical and contemporary experience of societies that are adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, including, among others, west Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and western and northern Europe, as well as the British archipelago.
  • Pacific Rim: Explores the movement of people and cultures in relationship to the historical and contemporary experience of societies that are adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, including, among others, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the United States, Central and South America, and Malaysia.
  • Inter-Area Studies: Includes comparative studies of the geographical regions outlined in the above six emphases, for instance, the analysis of Africans in Asia, or the cultural, historical, and political connections between the Atlantic and the Pacific Rim.
Students may also design their own emphasis by combining two or more regional emphases in a non-traditional fashion. For instance, a student may wish to study what is known as "Creole" (oral) literatures, found in multiple locations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.