Minor in Multicultural American Studies
Multicultural American Studies focuses on the plural, multi-group character of the composition of the United States, a nation formed by diverse ethnic, racial, and religious groups from all over the world. Increasingly we recognize that communities—from localities to entire nation-states—are not socially homogenous and uniform, but are composed of a variety of groups. In the United States, such groups as Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and White ethnics like the Irish, Italians, and Jews have made unique contributions to a country that has historically defined itself as White, Protestant, and English. The multicultural perspective analyzes how the United States, like other nations, is shaped by the interaction of groups with each other and with prevailing definitions of the nation’s character and culture. It explores, across disciplines, the ways various groups represent themselves and are represented by others and themes such as cultural encounters and blending (syncretism), identity (how a group represents itself and is seen by others), family, the arts, rituals and other manifestations of cultural and community life. Through course work and possibly a related off-campus study experience, students who complete the Multicultural American Studies minor may gain an increased understanding of this perspective.
The requirements of the minor include the following:
Four courses, from at least two different departments with a MAS designation. (A list of suggested courses is given below and is updated yearly.) This plan of study is constructed under the direction of a faculty committee arranged by the student.
A full-credit capstone course taken during the senior year. This may either be an independent study project under the direction of one of the faculty committee members or, if enough students are completing areas of concentration in a given year, an arranged class in which students will explore their minor topics comparatively as well as in greater depth. (These will be assigned as Divisional Independent Study courses under the direction of the Committee Chair.)
Students who choose to complete the minor in Multicultural American Studies may wish to consider off-campus study programs such as the Philadelphia Urban Semester, the New York Arts Program, the Newberry Library Program in Chicago, and the Borders Program in El Paso. Students may wish to include relevant coursework during off campus study.
A member of the minor committee arranged by the student may serve as secondary field examiner on the senior oral committee.
Students will usually declare the minor by the end of their sophomore year. At that time the student will organize a faculty committee, work out a rationale and plan of study with that committee, and submit the proper form obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Each minor will carry a descriptive title on the form, such as “Multicultural Studies,” “Latino Studies,” or “Africana Studies.”
Minors will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office by the faculty committee constructed by the student. This will be supervised by the Multicultural Concerns Committee and all applications for these minors will be forwarded by the Registrar’s Office to that committee.
Courses appropriate for a minor in Multicultural American Studies include the following:
ART 105 Ritual Objects and Native American Culture
ART 210 Special Topics in Art History: African American Art
ENG 160 Multicultural Literature
ENG 221 Studies in Language: American Dialects
MAS 260 Multicultural Literature: Intro. to Black Studies
ENG 360 African American Literature
HIS 244 African American History
HIS 250 Topics in Latin American History
HIS 252 Peoples and Nations of Latin America
HIS 340 Advanced Topics, American History
HIS 350 Advanced Topics Latin America
MUS 102 World Music
MUS 202 Instruments and Culture
PSC 278 Special Topics
PSC 325 Latin American Politics
PSY 211 Culture and Psychology
REL 181 Religion in America
REL 280 Topics in American Religion: African American Religion
REL 297 Anthropology of Religion
SPA 303 Spanish American Literature
RHE 370 Special Topics (e.g. African American Rhetoric)
THE 103 Seminars in Theater: Multicultural Theater in America
The Department of Modern Languages and Literature offers a variety of courses that could be used for the Multicultural American Studies minor. Please contact the Department Chair for additional information.
The program is administered by the Multicultural Concerns Committee of the Wabash Faculty.