Faculty-Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Lorelle Semley, Ph.D., Director

Susan M. Cunningham, Ph.D., Associate Director

Gary P. DeAngelis, Ph.D., Associate Director

Nadine Knight, Ph.D.,Director, Africana Studies

Ann Marie Leshkowich, Ph.D., Director, Asian Studies

Sarah Luria, Ph.D., Director, Environmental Studies

Ara Francis, Ph.D., Director, Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

Judith Chubb, Ph.D., Director, International Studies

Juan Ramos, Ph.D., Director, Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

Alo Basu, Ph.D., Advisor, Neuroscience Program

Denis Kennedy, Ph.D., Director, Peace and Conflict Studies

David Karmon, Ph.D., Advisor, Architectural Studies

John Gavin, S.J., S.T.D., Advisor, Catholic Studies

Claudia Ross, Ph.D.,Advisor, Deaf Studies Program

Sylvia Schmitz-Burgard, Ph.D., Advisor, German Studies

Susan Amatangelo, Ph.D., Advisor, Italian Studies

Daniel DiCenso, Ph.D., Advisor, Medieval-Renaissance Studies

Sahar Bazzaz, Ph.D., Advisor, Middle Eastern Studies

 

 

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) promotes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching at the College. It seeks to be a catalyst for innovation and experimentation through the promotion of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses and broader curricular programs. The Center’s programs fall into two categories: 1) multidisciplinary academic curricular programs, such as the student-designed multidisciplinary majors and minors program, and the multidisciplinary concentrations, all of which enable students to address important issues with the methods and perspectives of multiple disciplines and 2) off-campus educational opportunities in Washington, D.C., and the Worcester area, which link learning and living, combining rigorous academic course work with community-based internship opportunities. CIS has the mission to bring to the College curriculum innovative courses and courses in support of its programs that are not offered by the disciplinary departments.

Regular CIS course offerings include:

Courses

CISS Courses

CISS
200
Fall

Worcester and Its People is a study of the history of Worcester and the people who have lived here from the time of European settlement in the late 17th Century to the present. The course's principal focus is on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a period in which Worcester became one of America's leading industrial centers and the magnet for thousands of immigrants. Worcester's history reflects most of the major concerns and issues in the history of the nation, providing a microcosm for their study. One unit.

CISS
201
Fall

A course in reading, writing, and presentation of case law material. Students apply American Trial Association rules of argument and evidence in preparing for mock trial competitions. Working in small groups and working alone on detailed arguments are both required. One unit.

CISS
203
Annually, fall

Consistent with the mission of Holy Cross and the vision of Jesuit higher education outlined by Fr. General Kolvenbach, this course offers CBL scholars and SPUD interns the opportunity to engage in the "gritty reality of the world" in order to reflect meaningfully upon the question of what responsibility each of us has towards creating a more just society and how each of us can use our individual gifts and talents to contribute toward this aim. In order to address these questions effectively, the course will utilize texts, articles, websites, movie excerpts, and community engagement experiences to enable a deeper understanding of social problems; to analyze how social problems directly impact individuals within our society; to consider questions of equity and social justice; and to reflect upon what influence our personal choices have on social problems. One unit.

CISS
205
Annually

The introductory architectural studio course is intended to introduce students to the study of architecture through a series of lectures, demonstrations, and architectural studio problems. The course explores the process through which the built environment is created and how these buildings affect the lives of their inhabitants. The course is being introduced in order to provide a studio course for students who are interested in architecture. It is designed to meet the learning needs of a variety of students, from those interested to exploring architecture as a possible future profession to those interested in learning more about architecture. One unit.

CISS
250
Fall

It is  recognized  that  poverty  plays  a  central  role  in  many  preventable  diseases. With  the development of nations have come improvements in health. The linkages between health and development can only be understood within the broader context of socio-political and economic factors. In the landscape of globalization and international development there has emerged a vast international health regime. This course focuses on these linkages in the context of this international political economy of health. Key aspects are critically examined including the concepts and architecture  of  global  health,  the  global  burden  and  epidemiology  of  disease,  health  and development of nations, and political-economic determinants of health and development. This foundational course in global health will use a variety of analytical perspectives including political, legal, economic and epidemiological. The course focuses on developing countries. One unit.

CISS
275
Fall

CreateLab is a laboratory approach to learning led by seven professors from seven departments and two guest artists-in-residence.  Students will be asked to become risk-takers, use resourceful thinking, and collaborate on creative work on the shared theme of Gravity and Grace: The Intersection of Art and Science.  We will be exploring the notion of swaming and emergent systems. One unit.

CISS
392
Alternate years

This seminar deals with the historical, social, political and cultural forces, ideas and events leading up to the Holocaust, the attempted annihilation of all Jews and the almost complete destruction of the European Jewish communities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course offers a detailed study of this genocide across victims, perpetrators, bystanders and rescuers drawing upon historical documentation, first-person testimonies, photography, visual arts and music. One unit.

CISS
400
Fall, spring

For students who may not be associated with CIS programs, but who choose to do independent interdisciplinary study that might not be permitted under their major department’s tutorial option. One unit.

CISS
490
Annually

Selected students take a seminar at the world-renowned American Antiquarian Society taught by visiting scholars. Seminar topics vary with the fields of the scholars. One unit.

CISS
496
Fall, spring

For third- and fourth-year students who wish to do unique independent work that falls outside of disciplinary offerings and more common research assignments. One unit.

CISS
497
Fall, spring

For students in a CIS program who wish or are required to do an independent interdisciplinary project for their curriculum. One unit.

Africana Studies Courses

Africana Studies

Africana Studies at Holy Cross examines the cultures, identities, histories, politics, and economies of Afro-descendants in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe.  The concentration approaches these topics from disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, languages, and arts, and across different time periods and geographies.  Students and faculty engage with ethnoracial identity construction, racism, colonialism, and power dynamics impacting Africans and Afro-descendants, immigrant, indigenous, and white populations historically and today.  Courses address historical and contemporary intellectual and cultural traditions, social institutions, and political movements of the peoples of Africa and the African Diasporas within the interconnected global system.  Coursework is enriched by on- and off-campus speakers, events, and Community-Based Learning opportunities showcasing the diversity of global African experiences.  A Concentrator can enter the program by taking the introductory interdisciplinary course, AFST 110: Introduction to Africana Studies or another foundational course: AFST 206, ANTH 273, HIST 198, HIST 277, MUSC 236, or POLS 270.  Five other elective courses are required, the majority of which should be at the 200-level or above.  At least two courses should be focused on a region other than the United States.  Concentrators should try to take at least one 300 or 400-level course, or a course with an extensive research, performance, or writing component.  Including the foundational course, no more than two should come from a single discipline or department.

Among the courses that contribute to the Africana Studies Concentration are the following:

AFST 110: Introduction to Africana Studies
AFST 260: Black Europe
ANTH 253: Gender & Development
ANTH 255: Genders & Sexualities
ANTH 260: Medical Anthropology
ANTH 273: Anthropology of Africa
ANTH 380: Seminar: African Informal Economies
ARAB 101: Elementary Arabic 1
ARAB 102: Elementary Arabic 2
ARAB 201: Intermediate Arabic 1
ARAB 202: Intermediate Arabic 2
ECON 205 Economics of Development
EDUC 169 Schooling in the United States
EDUC 273: Urban Education
EDUC 340: Multicultural Education
ENGL 368: African American Literature
ENGL 372: Contemporary African-American Literature and Culture
ENGL 392: Black Urban Experience
HIST 137: American Slavery, American Freedom
HIST 196: African Colonial Lives
HIST 197: Early Africa to 1800
HIST 198: Modern Africa Since 1800
HIST 223: Radicalism in America
HIST 225: The Civil Rights Movement
HIST 227: Muslim Africa
HIST 277: Afro-Latin America
HIST 278: Raza e Identidad
HIST 290: Sex & Society in Africa
HIST 296: South Africa and Apartheid
HIST 298: Migration Mobility in African History
HIST 365: Nationalism In Modern Africa
MUSC 150: American Music
MUSC 218:
Jazz/Improvisation 1
MUSC 219: Jazz/Improvisation 2

MUSC 233: World Music
MUSC 236: African American Music from Blues to Rap
POLS 205: Race and Ethnic Politics
POLS 262: Latinx Politics
POLS 270: African Politics
POLS 273: Race & Politics in the Americas
POLS 320: Political Violence
RELS 107: Islam
RELS 180: Race & Religion in the U.S.
RELS 182: African American Religion
RELS 270: The Quran
SOCL 203: Racial and Ethnic Groups
SOCL 269: Sociology of Education
SOCL 320: Sociology of College Sports
THEA 141: Jazz Dance 1-2
THEA  242: Jazz Dance 3-4
VAHI 104: Introduction to Islamic Art
VAHI 105: Art of Africa and the Americas

For details on the above courses, please see the respective departmental listings.

Africana Studies
110
Introduction to Africana Studies
Annually

An overview introduction to the interdisciplinary study of historical, political, cultural, and social aspects of African American, African, and Caribbean peoples. Topics will include contemporary black identities, politics and culture (e.g., blacks in American cities), race relations and 20th-century cultural movements (e.g., civil rights, social protest music, art and literature). The course addresses individual and societal consequences of the dispersal of Africans from their ancestral continent. It also examines oral narratives, music, art, dance, festivals, food, clothing, hair styles, and religious belief systems to understand the impact of the cultures of West and Central Africa on the U.S. and the Caribbean. Finally, the course will familiarize the student with literary and political movements, such as Pan-Africanism, black feminism, Negritude, and the Harlem Renaissance. One unit.

Womens and Gender Courses

Gender, Sexuality & Womens Studies

The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program is an interdisciplinary concentration dedicated to fostering deeper understandings of women, gender, and sexuality in historical and contemporary contexts. With a wide range of disciplines offering GSWS courses, the program invites students to consider approaches to gender, sexuality, and the experiences and status of women, in concert with race, class, ability, and other intersectional identities, as complex social identities that shape our world in significant ways.

The program provides the intellectual space for students to pursue critical questions related to women, gender, and sexuality from a range of academic disciplines. Courses in the program engage these questions from a variety of methodological approaches, while offering a firm foundation for critical thinking and social awareness. There are also many opportunities for learning outside the classroom, including community-based learning, guest speakers, and events that encourage students to consider issues from a diverse range of perspectives. In addition, students are encouraged to develop their commitment to social action on issues related to gender and sexuality.

Students fulfill the six-course requirement either with five electives and an optional capstone thesis/project, or with six elective courses. First and second-year students are encouraged to complete GSWS 120, Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. For those who opt for a capstone, it normally consists of a research paper that is completed during an advanced-level seminar or by completing a Directed Reading or Tutorial course under the guidance of a GSWS faculty member.

Among the courses that contribute to the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Concentration are the following:

ANTH 255: Genders and Sexualities
ANTH 256: The Imagined Body
ANTH 269: Fashion and Consumption
BIOL 114: Biological Principles: HIV Pandemic
CLAS 175: Ancient Manhood Contested
CLAS 221: Women and Classical Mythology
EDUC 232: Schools: Surviving and Achieving
ENGL 315: Sex and Gender in the Middle Ages
ENGL 320: The Age of Elizabeth
ENGL 345: British Women Writers 1770-1860
ENGL 353: 19th Century American Women Writers
ENGL 367: American Women Writers
ENGL 368: African American Literature
ENGL 382: Queer Theory
ENGL 383: Feminist Literary Theory
FREN 451: French Women Writers

GSWS 120: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
GSWS 497: Capstone
HIST 206: U.S. in the 20th C II 1945-Present
HIST 290: Sex & Society in Africa
HIST 292: Afro-Latin America
HIST 298: Migration Mobility in African History
HIST 324: Italy and France: War and Resistance
HIST 325: Women and Gender/War/Holocaust/Resistance
ITAL 453: Italian Women's Autobiography
MUSC 236: African American Music: Blues to Rap
PHIL 277: Philosophical Perspectives on Women
POLS 315: Feminist Theory
PSYC 228: Psychology of Adolescence
PSYC 229: Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 328: Adolescent Health
PSYC 342: Seminar: Gender-Role Development
PSYC 244: Health Psychology
RELS 118: New Testament
RELS 202: Native American Religious Traditions
RELS 221: Women in Early Christianity
RELS 261: Feminist Perspectives in Theology
RELS 280: Liberation Theology
RELS 284: Sex, Money, Power, & the Bible
RELS 294: Sexual Justice/Social Ethics
RELS 300: Ethics of Work & Family
RELS 313: HIV/AIDS and Ethics
RELS 320: Mystics & Inquisitors
RELS 323: Women and Households in Early Christianity
SOCL 254: Girls and Violence
SOCL 259: Children and Violence
SOCL 271: Families and Societies
SOCL 274: LGBTQ Studies
SOCL 275: Masculinities
SOCL 277: Gender and Society
SOCL 376: Women and Non-Violence
SPAN 416: Body and Text: Gender in Spanish Literature
SPAN 461: 19th and 20th Century Spanish Women Writers
STWL 221: Writing Women in the 20th Century
STWL 234: Cinema & the Second Sex
THEA 136: Horror Films, Sex & Gender
THEA 145: Gay Theatre & Film
VAHI 136: Narrative in Art & Film

For details on the above courses, please see the respective departmental listings.

Women’s and Gender Studies
120
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Annually

This course will examine key theories and historical and contemporary issues in the interdisciplinary field of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies paying attention to the complex ways that gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation interact. We will focus on everyday experiences of patriarchal and homophobic social relations, the women’s movement and activist responses to systems of oppression, and constructions of feminist identity and community that marginalize “outsiders” while seeking to promote equality. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to examine how privilege and oppression operate through various social institutions and affect their own lives. One unit.

Women’s and Gender Studies
497
Capstone
Annually

Independent Study (tutorial) completed under the guidance of a selected Women’s and Gender Studies faculty member. One unit.

Latin American Studies Courses

Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

The Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies multidisciplinary program promotes the dissemination of knowledge about the histories, cultures and politics of Latin American and Caribbean peoples across the Americas.  The program offers a concentration and a major and covers topics such as:

  • the diversity of Latin American and Caribbean peoples, cultures, histories, politics, race/ethnicity, languages and religions
  • how Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean identities and experiences shape and are shaped by contact and migration processes
  • how the practices and contexts of colonialism, imperialism and globalization have shaped Latin America and the Caribbean
  • the role of Latin America and the Caribbean in shaping other areas of the world, particularly Europe and the United States

Concentration requirements include six courses plus the language requirement.  Specifically, these include: (1) One of the following introductory level courses: HIST 126, HIST 127, HIST 128, ANTH 266, POLS 251 or a course with a broad focus on Latin America approved by the LALC Director; (2) Completion of five additional LALC courses, with no more than two per discipline, at least one of which must be in History.  LALC offers a regular concentration track and a social justice track.  For specific course requirements for the social justice track, see the LALC website and; (3) Demonstration of post-intermediate competency in Spanish, French or another LALC-related language, typically through completion of SPAN 202 or FREN 202 or above.  Information on requirements for the LALC template major are available on the website.

Among the courses that contribute to the Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies Concentration are the following:

AFST 260: Black Europe
ANTH 266: Culture and Politics In Latin America
ANTH 380: African Informal Economies
ECON 205 Economics of Development
EDUC 169: Schooling In The United States
EDUC 273: Urban Education

EDUC 315: English Language Learners
EDUC 340: Multicultural Education
HIST 126: Colonial Latin America
HIST 127: Modern Latin America
HIST 128: Latino History
HIST 275: U.S. Mexican Border
HIST 277: Afro-Latin America
HIST 278: Raza e Identidad
HIST 352: Rebels and Radical Thinkers

MUSC 255: Music of Latin America
POLS 251: Latin American Politics
POLS 257: Politics of Development

POLS 273: Race and Politics in the Americas
POLS 326: Citizenship/Contemporary Latin America
RELS 180: Race & Religion in the U.S.
RELS 201: Catholicism in Latin America
RELS 280: Liberation Theology
RELS 290: Teologia Andina
SOCL 203: Racial & Ethnic Groups
SOCL 269: Sociology of Education
SPAN 219: Directed Independent Medical Spanish
SPAN 301: Composition and Conversation
SPAN 302: Composition for Bilingual Speakers
SPAN 304: Aspects of Spanish-American Culture
SPAN 305: Intro to Textual Analysis

SPAN 306: Creative Writing in Spanish
SPAN 308: Readings in Latin American Literature
SPAN 309: Readings in Spanish Literature
SPAN 312: Filmmaking in Spanish
SPAN 314: Spanish for Business
SPAN 315: Advanced Spanish Composition and Conversation
SPAN 405: Topics in Modern Spanish-American Narrative
SPAN 407: Topics in Modern Spanish and Spanish-American Poetry
SPAN 408: Gabriel García Márquez
SPAN 409: Topics in Colonial Spanish-American Literature
SPAN 410: Literature of Exile, Immigration, and Ethnicity
SPAN 413: Spanish in the U.S.: A Sociolinguistic Perspective
SPAN 415: Seminar: Bilingualism/Spanish World
SPAN 420: Topics in Latin American Film
SPAN 450: Latinidades Literature and Popular Culture
VAHI105: Art of Africa and the Americas

For details on the above courses, please see the respective departmental listings.

Latin American and Latino Studies
101
Introduction to Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies
Alternate years

This interdisciplinary course explores the diversity of Latin American and U.S. Latino geography, demography, cultures, politics, race/ethnicity, languages, religions, etc. with the goal of helping students to understand Latin American Studies and Latino Studies as distinct yet interrelated fields, with particular histories, connections with other disciplines, and boundaries subject to constant renegotiation. Students will have the opportunity to learn directly from specialists in the field, including Holy Cross professors and other guest speakers. One unit.

Courses explore various topics. The subject and format varies with each offering. One unit.

Latin American and Latino Studies
299
Special Topics
Annually

Courses explore various topics. The subject and format varies with each offering. One unit.

Peace and Conflict Courses

Peace and Conflict Studies

The Peace and Conflict Studies concentration is a multidisciplinary program for students who wish to complement their major field of study with courses focused on the causes of war and social conflict, and ways of preventing and ending them. The concentration combines in-depth study of one or more wars with an examination of common causes of conflict such as economic disparities and religious, ethnic, racial, or gender discrimination. It also demands engagement with moral and ethical questions about the circumstances under which the use of violence can be justified. Students must take at least one course in each of the three categories: (1) Ethical and philosophical approaches to peace, war, and conflict; (2) In-depth examination of contemporary/modern large-scale conflict; and (3) Structural causes of violence and conflict. To complete the concentration, a total of six courses is necessary, representing at least three disciplines.

Among the courses that contribute to the Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration are the following:

ANTH 266: Cultures & Politics of Latin America
ANTH 267: Political Anthropology
ANTH 373: Culture and Human Rights
CISS 203: Community Engagement & Social Responsibility
CISS 392: The Holocaust
ECON 114: Social World & Public Policy
ECON 205: Economics of Development
ECON 316: Economics of War & Peace
EDUC 232: Schools: Surviving and Achieving
ENGL 354: Civil War and Reconstruction Literature
ENGL 368 African American Literature

HIST 126: Colonial Latin America
HIST 127: Modern Latin America
HIST 128: Latino History
HIST 196: African Colonial Lives
HIST 198: Modern Africa Since 1800
HIST 202: Age of American Revolution
HIST 204: Lincoln and His Legacy 1860 - 1900
HIST 206: US in 20C II 1945-Present
HIST 223: Radicalism in America
HIST 225: Civil Rights Movement
HIST 227: Muslim Africa
HIST 241: French Revolutions
HIST 243: 20th Century British Society & Empire
HIST 245: Imperial Russia/East & West
HIST 253: The Soviet Experiment
HIST 254: Soviet Union after Stalin
HIST 255: Europe: Mass Politics and Total War 1890-1945
HIST 256: Europe and Superpowers: 1939-1991
HIST 261: Germany in an Age of Nationalism
HIST 262: Germany from Dictatorship to Democracy
HIST 267: Modern Italy
HIST 271: Native American History 1
HIST 272: Native American History 2
HIST 275: U.S. Mexican Border
HIST 277: Afro-Latin America
HIST 282: Modern China
HIST 291 Making of the Modern Middle East 1882-1952
HIST 292 Making of the Modern Middle East 1952-present
HIST 296: South Africa and Apartheid
HIST 305: America’s First Global Age
HIST 317: Pain & Suffering: U.S. History
HIST 322: War and Cinema
HIST 324: Italy and France: War and Resistance
HIST 325: War/Women/Holocaust/Resistance
HIST 352: Rebels & Radical Thinkers
HIST 361: Germans, Jews, and Memory
HIST 365: Nationalism in Modern Africa
HIST 392: Arab-Israeli Conflict
MUSC 197: Music of Peace and Conflict
PCON 130: Intro to Peace and Conflict Studies
PHIL 274: Philosophical Anthropology
PHIL 278: Philosophers on War and Peace
PHIL 340: Schweitzer: Reverence for Life
POLS 103: Introduction to International Relations
POLS 205: Race & Ethnic Politics
POLS 251: Latin American Politics
POLS 257: Politics of Development
POLS 269: Power and Politics/A View from Below
POLS 272: Politics of the Middle East
POLS 274: Modern China
POLS 278: International Politics of East Asia
POLS 281: Global Governance
POLS 282: American Foreign Policy
POLS 284: Human Rights
POLS 287 Humanitarianism
POLS 290: National Security Policy
POLS 320: Seminar on Political Violence
POLS 326: Citizenship/Contemporary Latin America
POLS 333: Ethics and International Relations
PSYC 314: Science, Medicine, and the Holocaust
RELS 133: Contemporary Catholic Spirituality
RELS 143: Social Ethics
RELS 180: Race & Religion in the U.S.
RELS 181
: Christianity & Culture
RELS 234 Conflicts in the Church
RELS 277: Modern Religious Movements
RELS 279: Religious Violence
RELS 280: Liberation Theology
RELS 327: The Holocaust: Confronting Evil
RUSS 261: 20th/21st Century Russian Literature
SOCL 203: Racial & Ethnic Groups
SOCL 205: Social Class and Power
SOCL 210: Corporate & Consumer Social Sustainability
SOCL 254: Girls and Violence
SOCL 259: Children and Violence
SOCL 361: Leadership, Religion, & Social Justice
SOCL 376: Women and Non-Violence

For details on the above courses, please see the respective departmental listings.

Peace and Conflict Studies
130
Introduction to Peace & Conflict Studies
Every third year

An introduction to the study of war, peace, and peacemaking. Surveys the topics, methods and perspectives involved in the study of violence and nonviolence, as well as of building a more peaceful world. Aims to increase students’ awareness of the sources of violence and other forms of destructive attitudes and behavior, and to challenge them to search for more appropriate ways of building peace. One unit.

Peace and Conflict Studies
316
Topics in Conflict Economics
Alternate years

Advanced theoretical and empirical tools from economics are applied to better understand prominent topics in the field of conflict economics such as changing weapons technologies; arms rivalry, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and arms control; the bargaining theory of war and peace; dynamics of conflicts (including conventional war; guerrilla and counter-guerrilla warfare; terrorism; and cyberwar); genocide risk and prevention; conflict prevention, and post-conflict reconstitution. Topics are adjusted from time-to-time as events change. One unit.

Students who wish to engage in academic course work not available at the College may submit proposals for a semester or academic year of study at another institution, usually in the United States. For example, Environmental Studies students participate in the Sea Semester Program, co-sponsored by Boston University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Students in Deaf Studies may attend Gallaudet University for an immersion experience in Deaf Culture.

Student-Designed Majors and Minors

A student-designed multidisciplinary major or minor must be liberal arts in spirit and content, must be comprised of at least three disciplines, and must fall within the competence of the College faculty. The student prepares, in consultation with faculty advisors, a written proposal demonstrating a coherent progression of study. The proposal must include a statement of intellectual rationale for the proposed field of study, an outline of courses already taken, and a complete plan of proposed courses. Proposals are written in consultation with the Director of CIS and faculty sponsors based in departments related to the proposed major/minor. If the plan is approved, the faculty sponsors and the CIS Director serve as an advisory committee responsible for approving changes in the major plan and giving guidance to the student undertaking the program. Students may design their major/minor from scratch, or use a faculty-designed template, or generic plan, as a basis for their course work and study Multidisciplinary majors require that integration of knowledge be an essential curricular goal. It is the responsibility of students and their faculty advisers to state explicitly how this goal will be met and how the student will demonstrate that it has been met. 

Architectural Studies: Students may plan a multidisciplinary major/minor to approach the study of architecture from multiple perspectives of relevant, selected disciplines and area studies: Studio Art, Visual Art History, Physics, Computer Assisted Design, and so forth. Majors are able to develop skills in studio practices, as well as gain an understanding of the domestic and global conditions for the practice, design, and building of structures. Major or Minor.

Asian Studies: Students may plan a multidisciplinary major that is either regionally defined, focusing for example on the history, language, arts and cultures of East, South, or Southeast Asia, or a major that follows a theme throughout the Asian cultural sphere, such as the religions or arts of Asia. Majors will learn about contemporary political issues of the world’s most populous regions and explore the impact of Asia on the wider world. A second option is the Chinese Language and Civilization major which focuses on the Chinese language and courses on China from a number of departments. Major only. Students who wish to pursue a minor program complete the concentration in Asian Studies described above in the Concentration section of CIS.

Catholic Studies: Students plan a sequence of courses to develop an understanding of the intellectual tradition and social teaching of Catholicism. Towards this end they may take courses in philosophy, theology, history, art, literature, sociology, and other appropriate offerings. Such multidisciplinary study offers an opportunity to engage Catholicism comprehensively as a living faith expressed in a wide diversity of contexts and cultures. Major or minor.

German Studies: Students plan a sequence of courses to develop an understanding of the cultural, social and political life of the German-speaking peoples in their historical and international context. The broad and multifaceted world of German-speaking peoples, with their substantial contributions to music, art, philosophy and literature, provides an essential perspective on the makeup of modern European civilization. Major or minor.

Environmental Studies: Students may plan a sequence of courses utilizing the template prepared by the Environmental Studies faculty to develop an understanding of environmental problems — their causes and effects, as well as their potential solutions. Using a multidisciplinary approach, students study both the relevant natural processes and the interplay between the natural environment and social, economic, and political factors. Major only. Students who wish to complete a minor program complete the ENVS concentration described in the concentration section of CIS.

International Studies: Students may choose to develop a major In International Studies with the guidance of a faculty template that includes required courses in political science and economics but the majority of courses will be selected by the student to build a curriculum either in area studies or in a theme relevant to International Studies. There is a language requirement for students who pursue an area studies curriculum.

Italian Studies: Students may broaden their knowledge of Italian culture by taking a variety of courses that focus on the literature, art, history, and politics of Italy. The courses may concentrate on different periods of Italian civilization from antiquity to the present and may be conducted in English or Italian. Students who pursue Italian Studies as a major must have a foundation in Italian language, which is an essential element of culture, and therefore must complete the Italian language cycle (through Italian 301). Major or minor.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Students may focus a program of study on the cultural and political life of the pre-modern and early modern world. Spanning a period from the fourth to 17th centuries in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, an interdisciplinary study of this historical epoch offers a foundation for understanding the interaction of cultures and religious traditions. Major or minor.

Middle Eastern Studies: Focuses on historical developments, political systems, cultural traditions, religious diversity, and domestic and foreign policy issues related to the region. Minor only.

Russian and Eastern European Studies: Students take courses in history, language, literature, and political science, in an attempt to analyze the distinctive traits of Russia and its people and/or the Eastern European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Soviet sphere of influence. Major or minor.