Area, global studies holds week celebrating new major

Dylan Grosser

Headline: Area, global studies holds week celebrating new major

Subhead: Keynote speaker, documentary films included in week of events

By: Dylan Grosser

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The area and global studies is launching a week of events to celebrate the new global studies and social impact major the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies launched this year.

The week of events will start Monday, Nov. 14 with Latin and Afro-Caribbean drumming from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Holton-Hooker Living and Learning Center. A documentary film screening will take place Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on the film “Essential Arrival.” The film is about the history of Indian immigrants in the 21st century. Also on Tuesday, there will be an open house for the global studies and social impact major at 4 p.m. in the Honors College Multipurpose Room. 

Arifa Javed from the University of Michigan-Dearborn is the keynote speaker, and will be delivering an address on the ‘transnationalism and global citizenship in the new millennium” Thursday, Nov. 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Cook-DeWitt.

Director of area and global studies and professor of history, Steeve Buckridge, organized the week as well as helped to create the major. He said the purpose of holding the week is to raise awareness of the major.

“We want students to be aware of (the major), we want to invite people to come and learn more about the major,” Buckridge said. “We hope that students will find it interesting and they will want to sign up for the major.”

Buckridge said he thinks there are plenty of things students would find interesting in the week and in the new major, such as exploring global challenges affecting local communities and thinking creatively across disciplinary and national borders.

“I’m interested in students coming and learning as much as they can about global movements and the whole concept of immigration and how that plays out here in Michigan,” Buckridge said.

Buckridge said he hopes students will not only learn more about the global studies and social impact major, but other programs in area and global studies as well.

The global studies and social impact major was approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2016, the major rolled out in the fall semester of 2016. Dean of the Brooks College, Anne Hiskes, said she hoped the major would receive 20 declared majors in the first year the major rolled out. So far it has seen six declared majors.

Professor in area and global studies Andrew Schlewitz said it is too soon to worry about the major closing down. He said it is “promising” all the classes for the major were filled up this year and he said he expects declared majors to go up “incrementally.” He said the major invites a diverse group of students to be more interdisciplinary.

“Every major is ‘what kind of job can I get with this?’” Schlewitz said. “It’s really to my mind a major that is well suited for anybody working with a diverse community, that’s working in the for-profit or nonprofit sector that has some sort of global angle to it.”

Area and global studies has seen a majors and minors close from lack of interest in the past. A Russian minor in area and global studies closed a year and half ago due to too few students. Schlewitz said a new minor in migration studies is currently in the works by professor Jack Mangala. The minor is only in the planning stage, and won’t see a proposal to the Board of Trustees until next year.