Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity Digest Volume 8, Number 3

Diversity Digest
Volume 8,
Number 3

Download our print issue (PDF)
Curricular Transformation
Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility
Recasting Religious Studies at Beloit College
Hybrid Student Identities: A Resource
for Global Learning
Global Education Continuum—
Four Phases
New Global Studies Degree Combines Liberal Arts and Preprofessional Disciplines
Globalizing the Curriculum
Campus-Community Involvement
Student Civic Engagement at Home
and Abroad
Looking Within to See the World
Institutional Leadership
Shared Futures? The Interconnections
of Global and U.S. Diversity
Connecting the Global and the Local: The Experience of Arcadia University
Partnership in Education for a Sustainable Future
Student Experience
Engaging Diversity on the Homogeneous Campus: The Power
of Immersion Experiences
Crossing Borders: Interdisciplinary Centers and Global Learning
Resources for Shared Futures
The Curricular Disconnect

Crossing Borders: Interdisciplinary Centers and Global Learning

Efforts to infuse global perspectives into undergraduate education challenge existing notions of faculty expertise and disciplinary traditions. While creative approaches to “globalizing” majors can be found in well-established departments, many institutions have recently established interdisciplinary centers to explore the rich borderlands of an interconnected globe even as they remap the boundaries of their own intellectual and institutional homes. Below are excerpts from the mission statements or rationales of a selection of such centers.

Bryn Mawr College
Center for International Study


“The Bryn Mawr College Center for International Studies brings together scholars from various fields to define global issues and confront them in their appropriate social, scientific, cultural, and linguistic contexts. The center supports collaborative, cross-disciplinary research by faculty and students and prepares students for life and work in the highly interdependent world and global economy of the twenty-first century.

“With two years of experience, we stay committed to our original declared goals. ‘Border crossing’ stays our central theme. Internally, we want to emphasize our construction of bridges within the social sciences and within the humanities and, most importantly, between the social sciences and the humanities. Globally, the permeability of borders is both a timely and heuristic topic. In the past two years, we focused on research grants and sponsored lectures as the primary instruments with which to achieve our goals.”

Drake University
Center for Global Citizenship


“The Center for Global Citizenship educates students to function effectively in different cultural contexts, and to see their own culture from the perspective of others. The center also works to ensure that global perspectives and issues are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural experience of all members of the Drake community.

“The Center for Global Citizenship serves as a forum for exploring the cultural, political, and economic changes that accompany globalization. The center thus helps to fulfill Drake University’s commitment, as embodied in its mission statement, to prepare students for ‘responsible global citizenship.’ The activities and programs sponsored by the center invite members of the Drake community to reflect and act upon their roles as citizens of particular countries and as citizens of the world.”

Duke University
The Center for Global Studies and the Humanities


“The Center for Global Studies and the Humanities . . . examines the relationship between knowledge, place, and power. The seminars, lectures, university partnerships, and classes that spring from its activities seek to decolonize knowledge. For example, our partnerships with scholars at educational institutions in Minsk, Melbourne, Quito, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Berkeley, and elsewhere have encouraged a horizontal interchange of knowledge, counteracting the vertical model of education whereby third-world scholars receive knowledge from (but are not supposed to give knowledge to) scholars in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. These intellectual interchanges will culminate in the publication of a Web journal, Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise (www.jhfc.duke.edu/wko/).

“By working at the very foundations of knowledge and interdisciplinarity, the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities hopes to carry out a new kind of revolution—one in which knowledge takes many forms in many places and the university’s commitment to critical thought and global interaction is renewed.”

Duke University
Institute for Critical U.S. Studies


“Duke’s Institute for Critical U.S. Studies is committed to examining the myriad ways in which the material history and the very concept of the United States have been constituted and conceived in response to global economic, social, political, and intellectual developments. We are especially interested in the way worldwide economic and political structures have produced flows of people, commodities, and information around the globe, thereby generating the urgent need for innovative inquiry about the history and status of nationalism, identities, and community formation. Questions about borders and borderlands, about empire and neocolonialism, about hybrid histories and subjectivities have moved to center stage in the rapidly changing field of American studies. We seek an expanded understanding of what constitutes an ‘American,’ as we acknowledge that America cannot be adequately conceptualized from within the national borders of the U.S. but rather must be studied in relation to those ‘others’ who have both contended with the power of the United States and helped constitute its historical and affective reality.”

Hampshire College
Global Migrations Program


“The Global Migrations Program is a new college-wide initiative funded by the Christian Johnson Foundation to rethink old cold war paradigms of knowledge and citizenship in light of the unprecedented movements of persons across national and cultural borders that characterize our globalizing world.

“The program seeks to develop new curricular initiatives that are responsive to these transnational, multicultural movements and the local conflicts over identity, belonging, and citizenship to which they give rise, asking: What happens when we make migration/movement the focus of our teaching and learning rather than discrete nations/cultures, when we emphasize ‘routes’ over ‘roots’?

“The grant supports collaborative efforts between faculty and students to bridge divides across old geographies and disciplinary boundaries, between local community issues and complex global processes, and between the university and the wider communities of which it is a part.

“The goal of the program is to develop a transnational, community-based model of teaching and learning that engenders not only global literacy, but also a sense of cosmopolitan citizenship.”

Questions, comments, and suggestions regarding Diversity & Democracy should be directed to Kathryn Peltier Campbell at campbell@aacu.org.
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