This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.
New American Studies minor
bridges disciplines
April 20, 1998

An interdisciplinary approach to problems is the current trend not only in the sciences but also in the study of literatures, cultures, and the arts, says Robert Tilton, an assistant professor of English.

Tilton and faculty members from a number of departments, including Richard Brown, professor of history, have developed a new interdisciplinary minor in American Studies that will be open to students in the fall, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students taking the American Studies minor will examine the economic, political and social organizations that have existed in the history of the Western hemisphere and will have the opportunity to study the cultures, literatures, arts, and ecology of the Americas.

American Studies students will choose from among four tracks, in order to complete the minor: literature and the arts, economics and political science, culture and society, and geography and environmental studies.

Tilton says the minor will involve interacting with faculty from a number of different departments.

He will teach Introduction to American Studies in the fall semester, to initiate students into the methodologies of a number of different fields.

"The study of a text from different perspectives will help students to gain an in-depth knowledge of that text, and will encourage interdisciplinary scholarship," he says.

Another new minor to be offered by the Department of English this fall will be a minor in English.

The minor is a way for students from other departments to study the history of literature and learn how writers interact with one another and with their cultures.

"The minor in English allows students with an interest in English to pursue that interest and gain an understanding of the language and its literature, while majoring in another subject," says John Gatta, professor and head of the English department.

Usha R. Palaniswami