Global, Cultural & Language Studies

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Fast Facts: Global, Cultural & Language Studies

  • Exposes students to a variety of cultures and academic disciplines while emphasizing critical thinking skills and social justice.
  • Explores such topics as culture, place, power, identity, globalization, development, environmental concerns, public policy and diplomacy.
  • Proficiency in a world language prepares graduates for an increasingly diverse world in which communicating across cultures is highly valued. Global, cultural & language studies majors complete at least two years of language study in one world language while at the same time exploring literature, the arts, history, anthropology, economics and politics.
  • Students receive theoretical preparation throughout the program and complete an integrative research project designed to help prepare them for life after college.
  • Global, Cultural & Language Studies majors will study through the second year of one world language (German, French, Russian or Spanish).

Program Requirements

Major: 44 credits
Minor: 24 credits


Global, Cultural & Language Studies majors are required to participate in an experiential learning placement, and have several off-campus options from which to choose. Off-campus programs that provide global, cultural and language majors with internships or service-learning experiences include HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), and the Washington Semester at American University.


Students with a major in Global, Cultural and Language Studies are well prepared to work at governmental and non-governmental organizations in the fields of law, human rights, public policy or private business. Graduates have found employment in these fields at historical societies, non-profit organizations, and in educational institutions.

Others choose to pursue graduate study in economics, global studies, political science, law, medicine, cultural studies, or language and culture instruction at national and international institutions of higher education.


The College of St. Scholastica was one of just five Minnesota colleges named on the list of Top 200 Colleges for Native Americans by Winds of Change magazine.

Sample Curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse GCL 1101 - Global Cult & Lang Studies

As an introduction to the study of intercultural and global relations, this course examines what binds us to, and separates us from, other peoples and other places. Students utilize an interdisciplinary approach to investigate cultural and political processes which shape and transform social, economic, and personal identities in global contexts, and to engage with concerns of equality and social justice in their local communities and in the world. Required for a major or minor in GCL.

Expand and Collapse GCL 2050 - Introduction to Mexico

This course focuses on understanding the social and cultural differences between the United States and Mexico. Particular attention is given to the social goals of the Mexican Revolution and how Mexico has attempted to address or ignore these goals while striving to develop its economy and society in the shadow of the world's remaining superpower. Learning activities include readings, guest lectures by Mexican social activists and academics, excursions to sites of historical and cultural importance, reflection papers, and group discussion. The course is a required component of the Semestre en México program and is taught in English.

Expand and Collapse GCL 2111 - Migration, Diaspora, Identity

Investigates questions of migration, diaspora, and identity in general theoretical terms and in particular areas of the world. Builds on the themes of Place, People, Power, and Praxis introduced in GCL 1101. Emphasis, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, on processes of migration, transculturalism, transnationalism and matters of language, citizenship, refugees, poverty, racism, human trafficking, and human rights.

Expand and Collapse GCL 2201 - Peaceful Resolution Intl Confl

Examination of international armed conflict as an historical and cultural phenomenon. An emphasis is placed on causes of international armed conflict. Conventional (and unconventional) approaches to international conflict resolution are covered. Discussion of contemporary issues is included.

Expand and Collapse GCL 2220 - Dance, Gender and Culture

A study of the body as an expressive instrument, a site of social conditioning, and a means of shaping and conveying identity. The course is organized thematically, with a specific dance culture to illustrate a set of issues ranging from sexuality, desire, and exoticism to empowerment and assertion of identity through dance. Through readings and analysis of performance, our study of dance as a cultural phenomenon leads us to investigations of history, politics, social dynamics and the shifting categories of race, class and gender, belief and cultural identity.

Expand and Collapse GCL 2231 - Cultural Anthropology

Addresses concepts, methods, and theories exploring social and cultural life across time and space, including the changing concept of culture itself. The course is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork methods and to the practice of anthropology, with attention to the impact of contemporary social forces on the diverse societies that make up the modern world.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3001 - Politics of Globalization

Divergent points of views and forms of analysis that surround the debate over globalization. The course stresses the fact that globalization is not only about economics and politics but also includes wide-ranging cultural, social and moral issues confronting the world community.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3101 - Advanced Social & Cult Theory

This seminar course focuses specifically on the investigation of culture at a level of depth suited to juniors and seniors. Participants investigate language, culture, media, representation, and power through a variety of disciplinary and theoretical lenses. Frameworks to be analyzed include subaltern, transcultural, and dependency theory alongside Western theories and tools such as postcolonial, poststructuralist, Marxist, and feminist theory.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3200 - Popular Music/Political Movmnt

Political and social movements are peoples' collective efforts to transform history. This course examines political movements from the unique perspective of popular music performers who, throughout history and across cultures, have used song and dance as liberating and mobilizing forces for political action. Throughout the course, we will examine social and political movements from an interdisciplinary perspective, applying social change theory, literary theory, liberation theology and feminist theory to popular music. Tracing these movements through their particular historical and cultural contexts, we will explore the impact of popular music on social transformation and political change.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3202 - Culture Through Film

An exploration of film as cultural expression and as a medium through which the viewer may explore cross cultural issues. Section 001 French Culture Section 002 German Culture Section 003 Native American Culture Section 004 Russian Culture Section 005 Hispanic Culture.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3250 - Voices of the Earth: Eco/Indig

This course intends to guide students in their search for a deeper understanding of relevant aspects that affect their relationship with nature, land and local environments. Students will review philosophical concepts that relate individual behavior and attitudes with key elements of nature and its laws. This relationship is deeply influenced by the way we listen and transmit through generations those voices that call for a life with peace, love and justice.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3301 - Human Rights

Inquiry into the nature and role of human rights in the context of current international relations. Issues to be addressed range from the relationship between individual and collective rights to the problems of implementation of these rights. Among topics to be considered are torture, political repression, rights of women and indigenous peoples and cultural diversity.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3302 - Europe Today

An examination of contemporary trends that are pushing toward increasing political and economic cooperation among European states. In addition, the course will explore forces at work that are resisting tendencies toward European unity. The course includes geographical, cultural, social, political and economic elements.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3303 - The Other Americas

Cross-listed with SPN 3303. Taught in English. A course designed to introduce the student to the complex issues concerning contemporary Latin America. Students will explore current topics and events from a multidisciplinary point of view.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3304 - Russia Since 1900

Survey of 20th century Russia against the background of its rich history. Focuses on the political, cultural and intellectual history of this giant country with an emphasis on comparisons with its European neighbors.

Expand and Collapse GCL 3401 - Health Care Across Cultures

An analysis of the influence of culture on health beliefs, values and healthcare practices. Through interactive exercises, case studies, interviews, guest speakers, reflection papers, research and literature, the course investigates the increasingly complex intersection between healthcare delivery and culture. Students also examine the value assumptions of their own health beliefs in an effort to increase their effectiveness in intercultural healthcare settings.

Expand and Collapse GCL 4402 - Environmental Politics

An examination of what kinds of international institutions are best suited to deal with global environmental problems; the role of nongovernmental organizations; and the relationship between varying models of development and the environment. Particular attention is given to a series of case studies that focus on indigenous peoples and environmental issues as well as the nature of environmental racism.

Expand and Collapse GCL 4411 - Strangers in Their Own Land

Examines the consequences of colonization on the cultural consciousness of a people by responding to the following questions: What implications do the effects of colonization have for literature written by a once subjugated people who have not had control over their own space? Whose personal history has been detoured by the intrusion of a colonizer? Whose sense of time, space, selfhood, and expression is dictated by an outsider's interpretation of the meanings of all of these? And ultimately, how does a postcolonial writer negotiate or construct reality through literature?

Expand and Collapse GCL 4555 - GCL Internship

Done in an international setting appropriate to the student’s field of interest. Student is supervised by a site supervisor. Evaluation of performance will be completed by the site supervisor, internship advisor and student. Students may obtain additional information about internships from appropriate language faculty. Prerequisite: approval of instructor.

Expand and Collapse HIS 3301 - Russia Since 1900

An introduction to Russian history from late tsarism to the post-communist era. The first half of the course treats the last years of the tsarist autocracy, the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin, the nature of Soviet communism, and the concept of totalitarianism. The second half of the course considers the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras, Gorbachev and perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia under Yeltsin and Putin, and the Chechen wars. Cultural and intellectual history is an integral part of the course.

Expand and Collapse HUM 2101 - Cross Cultural Understanding

Emphasis on the necessity for becoming knowledgeable about the target culture, the techniques that can be used to penetrate another culture and the responsibilities one has in achieving intercultural communication.

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St. Scholastica was named on the list of Top 200 Colleges for Native Americans by Winds of Change magazine.

  • "Global, cultural and language Studies taught me to ... ask the uncomfortable questions and try to seek out the just answers."

    – Michael Bach, ‘10