Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Wofford adds new majors, minors and programs

International affairs, film and digital media, MENA and more offered

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2016-09-06

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – New majors, minors and programs are providing Wofford College students with courses of study that mirror changes in the world in which they live. Through courses added in the 2015-16 academic year and more added for the 2016-17 year, students have the opportunity to become engaged in international affairs, Middle Eastern and North African cultures, film and digital media, and more.

“Our society is becoming more complex, and we want Wofford College students to be prepared to face this world when they graduate,” says Dr. Michael Sosulski, provost at Wofford. “We have become more ethnically and religiously diverse and are increasingly tied economically, politically and culturally to other countries. That trend will continue. Through adding these programs, majors and minors, Wofford is preparing our students to become leaders in that world, to have a global reach in their thinking and problem solving, and to make a difference.”

Students at Wofford now may major in government or international affairs, with international affairs added to the name of the department. The majors offer students a foundational understanding of government and politics at all levels to prepare them for leadership in the community, nation and world. Building on Wofford’s broad liberal education, the department challenges students to deliberate on a diversity of ideas of justice, experiences of politics and structures of power.

By majoring in government, students also may select optional concentrations in American politics and political theory. The international affair major offers an optional global linking experience.

Minors also are offered in both government and international affairs.

This year, the Department of Sociology has added anthropology to its name, offering both majors and minors in the combined subjects. To help students understand the new globalized world around them – one that is more complex, ethnically and religiously more diverse, and increasingly tied economically, politically and culturally to other countries – and its direct and subtly indirect influences on individuals and institutions, the department offers an interdisciplinary major that combines sociology and anthropology classes. Courses in the department contribute to a number of other interdisciplinary majors, minors and programs, including African/African-American studies, education, gender studies, intercultural studies and medical humanities.

A concentration and minor in film and digital media, added for this academic year, aims to prepare students to be reflective, sophisticated users and analysts of all media, whether as journalists, critics, entrepreneurs, artists, educators or researchers. Students will learn the history and theory of film and digital media alongside the skills and expertise to assess, interpret and produce film and digital texts. Both the concentration and minor invite students to think creatively in the face of obstacles, making them better able to work together to solve problems and to be engaged citizens.

Added for the 2015-16 academic year, the program in Asian studies provides students the opportunity to explore cultures and traditions in Asia, especially the regions of East, Himalayan, South and Southeast Asia. The program’s interdisciplinary curriculum builds upon strengths in various fields of study to offer diverse avenues of inquiry and investigative methods relevant to Asia. Specifically, students in the Asian studies program are encouraged to pursue interests across several disciplines, such as anthropology, art history, government, history, modern languages, philosophy and religion. No major is offered in Asian studies, and courses applied toward the requirements of the program also may be counted toward requirements that will satisfy other programs, majors or minors.

The program in classical civilizations, also added last year, allows students to investigate Greek and Roman cultures and their social, political, historical, artistic and intellectual legacy. The program encourages the study of classical antiquity through the offerings of several departments and thus from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. While classical language study is not required in the program, students may apply two courses in Latin or another classical language toward the program requirements. The program does not offer a major, but courses may count toward requirements for other programs, majors or minors.

The program in Middle Eastern and North African studies (MENA) offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle East and North Africa. Drawing on courses in art history, English, government, history and religion, the program encourages students to learn about the history, culture, politics and languages of the region. It culminates in an independent capstone project designed to integrate learning from diverse areas of study. While not a major, MENA courses may count toward requirements for other programs, majors or minors. The program became available during the 2015-16 academic year.

The MENA program began offering first-year Arabic last year, and this year added second-year Arabic. The courses are available to the general public and to students at other local and regional campuses, providing a resource for the community at-large.