The new global studies program is more than the sum of its parts
By Macreena A. Doyle
For students in a new academic program at St. Lawrence,
the world will not only be a classroom, but the substance of what
they study in classrooms as well.
Beginning this fall, global studies joins the curriculum
as a major program, with a goal of teaching students to analyze comparatively
the impact of global processes on specific phenomena connected with,
across and between geographical areas. While it will serve as an "umbrella"
for University programs in African, European, Asian, Canadian and
Latin American/Caribbean studies, it will also be a stand-alone, interdisciplinary
program with its own faculty and core courses. Study-abroad programs
and issues of diversity are also incorporated.
An article by program directors Grant Cornwell '79,
philosophy, and Eve Stoddard, English, in Diversity Digest, a publication
of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, explained
it this way. "Students examine how similarities and differences in
these larger contexts affect human actions and beliefs in two or more
geographic areas. Students compare the ways particular states, cultures,
economies, or ecologies are interconnected in larger global systems."
The program emerged from a series of grants in international
education and intercultural studies that the University was awarded
over the past decade. Those grants enabled faculty to explore the
variety of ways that societies, cultures and development may be studied.
One result of this study was the conclusion that "area" studies may
not be enough in the contemporary world of global economies, changing
geographical boundaries and ethnic migrations -- a program that emphasizes
comparative study was needed.