Global, Cultural and Language Studies

Department of Global, Cultural, and Languages Studies

The Department of Global, Cultural, and Language Studies strives to advance the understanding of cultural processes that shape and transform social, economic, political, and personal identities in an increasingly interconnected world. The program uniquely fulfills the College's commitment to "responsible living and meaningful work" through the pursuit of critical thinking and self-knowledge, exposure to a variety of cultural and disciplinary perspectives, and in particular through a passion for social justice.

Students majoring in Global, Cultural and Language Studies examine topics related to culture, power, place, identity, globalization, development, and international issues. Through this coursework students practice and master transcultural and translinguistic skills as well as theoretical and analytical tools which they then apply through experiential learning in the form of an internship and off-campus experiences. The goal is ultimately to direct student engagement with concerns of equality and social justice in both their local communities and the wider world.

Central to the orientation of the department is the idea that language and culture are interconnected, not independent of one another. As such, their study requires an intentionally interdisciplinary and participatory approach that deliberately integrates the study of language, literature, history, politics, anthropology, and the arts to develop a multifaceted understanding of intercultural relations.

The faculty's expertise in languages, literature, and the arts provides a distinctive approach to global studies by placing such symbolic systems at the heart of learning, allowing students a nuanced investigation of individuals' and groups' worldview and ways of knowing. Both substantive and transformative, this approach equips students with the knowledge and tools necessary to analyze culture through a broad institutional perspective and a more intimate field experience reaching toward intercultural competence and global literacy.

Chair: Martin Pflug, Ph.D.

Departmental outcomes

In the Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies students will:

  • Understand language as integral to intercultural competence;
  • Achieve world language fluency at the intermediate-mid level following ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines;
  • Articulate the role of culture in shaping perception, behavior, attitudes and beliefs;
  • Analyze the issues and problems posed by living and working in an increasingly interconnected global community;
  • Apply interdisciplinary approaches to formulate creative solutions to contemporary global challenges;
  • Evaluate how the integrated knowledge of another language and culture informs actions leading to social justice and peace.

Core courses required for a major in GCL:
Completion of 8 credits of one language beyond 1112 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 8 credits

GCL 1101 - Introduction to Global, Cultural, and Language Studies: 4 credits
GCL 2111 - Migration, Diaspora, Identity OR HIS/POL 2001: Introduction to Political Science: 4 credits
GCL 3101 - Advanced Social and Cultural Theory: 4 credits
GCL 4555 - Experiential Learning/Study Abroad/Internship: 0 - 6 credits
GCL 4001 - Senior Seminar: 4 credits
Plus two of these four courses:
GCL 2201 - Peaceful Resolution of Conflict: 4 credits
GCL 3301 - Human Rights: 4 credits
GCL 3001 - Politics of Globalization:  4 credits
GCL 4402 - Environmental Politics: 4 credits

Plus one of these two courses:
GCL 3302 - Europe Today: 4 credits
GCL/SPN 3303 - The Other Americas: 4 credits

Plus 4 credits of Cultural elective:
GCL/WMS 2231 - Cultural Anthropology: 4 credits
GCL 2050 - Introduction to Mexico: 4 credits
GCL/HUM 2101 - Cross-Cultural Understanding: 4 credits
GCL 2220 - Dance, Gender, and Culture: 2 credits
GCL 3200 - Popular Music and Political Movements: 4 credits
GCL 3202 - Culture through Film: 2 credits
GCL 3250 - Voices of the Earth: 4 credits
GCL 3304/HIS 3301 - Modern Russian History: 4 credits
GCL 3401 - Health Care across Cultures: 4 credits

GCL 4411 - Strangers in their Own Land: 4 credits

Total minimum credits required for GCL major: 44 credits

Minor in Global, Cultural and Language Studies:

GCL 1101 plus 16 credits in GCL. In addition, students must complete 8 credits of language study beyond 1112 with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

American Sign Language