Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration

The Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration objectives are: 1) to train American and international students in a program of study and interaction that will prepare them to live and work productively in a culture different from their own; 2) to provide a forum for studying problems and issues, such as pollution, disease, and human rights, that cut across traditional national or cultural boundaries and that tend to be excluded in traditional disciplines or area studies; 3) to enable students to come to a sharper understanding of their own and their academic focus culture by making comparisons explicit; 4) to create an arena for faculty whose work focuses on different parts of the world to address common issues and problems in a comparative, collaborative framework.

Requirements for the Concentration

Concentrators will select a nation or region of the world on which to focus their cultural and linguistic study.

Language: Language is fundamental to understanding other societies. Each concentrator will fulfill the Carleton language requirement (or demonstrate equivalent ability) in the language of their focus area.

Additional upper-level language study is encouraged. Courses taken in the language and/or while abroad may count (depending on director approval) toward the requirements below.

Off-Campus Study: American students will also participate in an approved international program (one or more terms), in an area where a language related to their focus is spoken. International students are exempt from this requirement since Carleton is a study abroad experience for them, but they are also encouraged to go off campus.

The concentration requires a minimum of 40 credits.

Four Core Courses:

  • CCST 100 (Growing Up Cross-Culturally, or Cross Cultural Perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian Identity), or SOAN 110: Introduction to Anthropology, or SOAN 111 Introduction to Sociology, and
  • CCST 275 I'm a Stranger Here Myself
  • CCST 270 Creative Travel Writing, or AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies: The Immigrant Experience, or CCST 208 (two or more terms) International Coffee and News, or POSC 170 International Relations and World Politics, and
  • A capstone course, as approved by the director, and taken in the junior or senior year. The recommended capstone is EUST 398 (which brings together many CCST and EUST students who are working on cross-cultural projects). With director approval, other courses may qualify, such as POSC 236 Global, National and Human Security, or POSC 358 Comparative Social Movements, or PSYC 248 Cross-Cultural Psychology, or PSYC 358 Cross-Cultural Psychopathology.

Electives: Courses from at least three of the four comparative categories listed below, from whatever departments are appropriate, selected with the approval of the director of the concentration to form a cohesive program of study:

1. A course including binary comparison between the student's nation or region of focus and another culture;

2. A course dealing with regional issues (i.e., beyond national borders) related to the student's nation or region of focus;

3. A course dealing with global issues (i.e., cross-regional) including the student's nation or region of focus.

4. A course dealing with ethnic diversity and/or diaspora pertaining to the student's nation or region of focus.

Because of the broad definition of these courses, linked to each student's nation or region of focus, it is impossible to provide an exhaustive listing of options. Check current offerings in the catalog, and discuss them with the director of the concentration.

Cross-Cultural Studies Courses

CCST 100 Cross Cultural Perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian Identity How have Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel shaped their senses of personal and collective identity since the early twentieth century? We will explore mental pictures of the land, one's self, and others in a selection of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian short stories, novels, and films. We will also explore some of the humanistic roots of U.S. involvement in Israeli-Palestinian relations today, particularly in the realm of American initiated bi-cultural youth camps such as Seeds of Peace. Students will enrich our class focus by introducing us to perspectives on Israel/Palestine in their home countries or elsewhere. In translation. 6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Fall; S. Beckwith
CCST 100 Growing Up Cross-Culturally First-year students interested in this program should enroll in this seminar. The course is recommended but not required for the concentration and it will count as one of the electives. From cradle to grave, cultural assumptions shape our own sense of who we are. This course is designed to enable American and international students to compare how their own and other societies view birth, infancy, adolescence, marriage, adulthood, and old age. Using children's books, child-rearing manuals, movies, and ethnographies, we will explore some of the assumptions in different parts of the globe about what it means to "grow up." 6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Fall; S. Cox
CCST 208 International Coffee and News Have you just returned from Asia, Africa, Europe, or South America? This course is an excellent way to keep in touch with the culture (and, when appropriate, the language) you left behind. Relying on magazines and newspapers around the world, students will discuss common topics and themes representing a wide array of regions. You may choose to read the press in the local language, or read English-language media about your region, meeting once each week for conversational exchange. (Language of conversation is English.) Prerequisite: Students must have participated in an off-campus study program (Carleton or non-Carleton). 2 credits; S/CR/NC; HI, IS; Fall, Winter, Spring; M. Czobor-Lupp, T. Myint
CCST 270 Creative Travel Writing Workshop Travelers write. Whether it be in the form of postcards, text messages, blogs, or articles, writing serves to anchor memory and process difference, making foreign experience understandable to us and accessible to others. While examining key examples of the genre, you will draw on your experiences off-campus for your own work. Student essays will be critiqued in a workshop setting, and all work will be revised before final submission. Some use of blended media is also possible. Prerequisite: Students must have participated in an off-campus study program (Carleton or non-Carleton). 6 credits; S/CR/NC; ARP, WR2; Winter; S. Carpenter
CCST 275 I'm A Stranger Here Myself What do enculturation, tourism, culture shock, "going native," haptics, cross-cultural adjustment, and third culture kids have in common? How do intercultural transitions shape identity? What is intercultural competence? This course explores theories about intercultural contact and tests their usefulness by applying them to the analysis of world literature, case studies, and the visual arts, and by employing students' intercultural experiences as evidence. From individualized, self-reflective exercises to community-oriented group endeavors, our activities will promote new intercultural paradigms in the classroom and the wider community. Course designed for off-campus returnees, students who have lived abroad, or who have experienced being outsiders. 6 credits; SI, IS; Winter; É. Pósfay

About Electives

Because the elective portion of the concentration is highly customized, it is impossible to provide a complete listing of all courses that might suit the four elective categories. Students work with the director of the concentration to devise a customized set of courses to meet their needs. When considering comparative, regional, global, or diaspora courses, students are encouraged to search broadly through the curriculum, especially in such programs as: all foreign language/culture programs, Art History, Economics, Environmental Studies, History, Music, Political Science, Religion, Biology and Sociology and Anthropology. For questions about the appropriateness of particular courses, consult with the director of the concentration.