Cultural anthropology studies what it means to be human by investigating the diverse ways human groups have solved universal problems: how to communicate, approach the sacred, form families, and physically survive. This perspective fosters an understanding of other cultural groups' social structures and the values that motivate them. In addition to traditional research, the techniques and insights of cultural anthropology and cultural studies can be a valuable asset to anyone working directly with people in business, counseling, management, ministry, teaching, development or social service. Our cultural studies minor can be combined with any major and can be completed on-campus or with a semester of studies abroad.
SOC 290CC -
(4 credits)(IGE option under Cross-Cultural Engagement) This course is about learning a way of seeing and understanding other cultures and our own culture(s) - introducing and drawing on ideas and insights from the field of Cultural Anthropology. In a globalizing and increasingly interconnected world these ideas and insights can serve a critical need in helping us understand and learn how to live in with cultural diversity and complexity. Thus the value of this course is in learning a new way of seeing and understanding, a way that helps us think about what it means to be human, a way that helps us understand and live with our neighbors -- locally and globally.
SOC 351WI -
(Writing intensive) An overview of ethnographic methods, goals, and the theoretical assumptionsunderlying them. Ethnography, the description and analysis of human life orculture, is based on qualitative fieldwork. The goal is to understand the"native's" point of view, to learn from people rather than study them.Students will have an opportunity to practice fieldwork methods and write abrief ethnography. Note: Preceding course recommendation: SOC290. (4 credits)
Electives: 16 credits
Up to 16 credits from a semester abroad from an accredited institution.
ENG 225 -
Literature of the Developing World
To paraphrase Salman Rushdie, the Empire has written back. The last half of the 20th century has produced a number of literary texts written in English by authors from the recently independent nations of the Old British Empire. These texts have proved so rich in both literary value and cultural context that their authors, Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, Chinua Achebe, and Rushdie himself, have won the most prestigious literary prizes available. We will be reading and appreciating these books, both as ripping good yarns, and as significant cultural documents that teach us much of how members of other societies think, feel, and act.Prerequisite: ENG220.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
ENG 386 -
The Other America
America is home to a variety of peoples and literatures; this course focuses on the development of literatures produced by those outside the Anglo-European tradition whose experiences tell a different story about America. The goal of the course is to enrich students' views of the content of American Literature and to familiarize them with a culture or cultures with which they may not be conversant. The course may be taught as African American, Native American, Asian American, or Hispanic American literature. Alternatively, the instructor may choose to focus on literatures in contact and conflict with one another, for example, the turbulent confluence of Native American, Anglo, and Hispanic Literatures of Nueva España. Prerequisite: ENG220. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
GER 202 -
Intermediate German Language and Culture
Intermediate-level instruction in German language and culture. Study of primary sources such as short stories, newspapers, songs and movies to explore German culture and increase linguistic ability. Special emphasis on conversation, reading and idiomatic expression.Prerequisite: GER201, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.(3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
GEN 316 -
This course is designed specifically for students planning to engage in an approved cross-cultural experience of at least six weeks duration during the following summer. The course is an introduction to the dynamics of culture and of communication between persons of different cultures and an overview of the structures of cultures in general. Students will do research on the specific people group among which they plan to live during the summer and prepare a paper on this people group.(1-4 credits; may be repeated; non-yearly, consult department)
GEN 350 -
Topics in Cross-Cultural Studies
Northwestern College offers a variety of off-campus opportunities with Northwestern faculty in various countries around the world. These courses offer a unique opportunity for students to make the world their classroom, going beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, language, politics, religion, business, education, music, history, and literature. Students are given an opportunity to examine a particular culture through various experiences, such as home stays, ethnographic observation/research, and placement in various social institutions. Past programs have taken students to China, the Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Ecuador, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Oman, Romania, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan.(2-6 credits; summer; may be repeated)
KIN 360 -
Sport in Societies
A cross-cultural comparison of the interrelationship of sport and society. The primary emphasis will be to compare American sport with sport in selected cultures, while attempting to develop a Christian worldview of sport.Prerequisite: sophomore class standing.(4 credits)
MUS 320CC -
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department)(IGE option underCross-Cultural Engagement) Music is an integralpart of every culture. By studying the music of other cultures, includingthe way music relates to faith, power, societal structure, and dailylife, students will be able to better understand, love, and treat peoplefrom other cultures with justice. This class will give students toolsfrom the field of ethnomusicology to engage with the music of the world'speople through listening, observing, researching and music-making.
PSC 260CC -
(4 credits)(IGE option under Cross-Cultural Engagement) This course introduces the study of political, physical and cultural features of space and place around the world. Familiarity with major physical and political features of the world's regions will be stressed. In addition, the course will raise various issues connected with the cultural aspect of geography, e.g., perceptions of place, changes in space over time, the interactions of human communities, the natural environment and patterns of human presence on the land.
REL 390 -
The major religions of India, East Asia and the Middle East are examined in the light of the Christian faith. This course emphasizes the interaction of religion and culture with a view to cross-cultural understanding. In-depth research into a specific culture and religion is required.(4 credits)
SOC 304CC -
Ethnicity, Power and Identity
(4 credits)(IGE option under Cross-Cultural Engagement) This coursedevelops a sociological perspective on ethnicity, power, and identity.Sociologists frequently seek to balance an emphasis on both the generalpatterns that we observe across social phenomena and the uniqueness ofeach specific case. The primary goal of this course is not simply learnthe characteristics of specific historically marginalized populations.Instead, this course will seek to answer the question: What is therelationship between power, ethnicity, and identity? Our readings anddiscussions will shed light upon this question from differentperspectives. Along the way, we will also draw upon learning materialsthat address the unique historical situations of specific groups as theyendure and struggle against power imbalances (for example, the AfricanAmerican Civil Rights Movement).
SOC 317x -
American Indian Societies and Cultures
This course surveys the historical development of American Indian peoples, particularly during the period of contact and conquest by Euro-Americans and particularly in the trans-Mississippi West region of what became the U.S. Topics include pre-contact life, oral literature, Indian accommodation and selective adaptation to Euro-American societies, Spanish, French and U.S. Indian policies, Native American religion, Christian mission work among American Indians, activism by and on behalf of American Indians, and reservation life. Prerequisite: recommend general education writing requirement. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
SPA 202 -
Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture
Combined study of intermediate language and culture. Study of primary sources in print, audio and visual forms to develop appreciation for the ways culture in general and the language's culture in particular shape a variety of social contexts. Building on previously acquired ability in Spanish, continued study of language in a communicative context with considerable emphasis upon precision and expansion of linguistic skills.Prerequisite: SPA201, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.(3 credits)
SPA 351 -
Survey of Hispanic Literature from Spain
A study of peninsular Spanish literature from El Cid to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor. (3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
SPA 352 -
Survey of Hispanic Literature from the Americas
A study of Spanish Latin-American literature from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor. (3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
Total credits required: 24
Note: After completing the coursework for this minor, students are also required to complete a 2,000 word (minimum) reflection paper. Consult the sociology department for guidelines related to the content, focus, and submission of this paper.