Skip Navigation

Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration Overview

Director: Clifford Clark

Committee Members: Roger Jackson, Kathryn Sparling, Sigi Leonhard, Scott Carpenter, Arjendu Pattanayak, Jerome Levi.

The concentration brings together international students and students from the U.S. who have cross-cultural experience to address and explore regional and global issues in team-taught, interdisciplinary seminars in a comparative framework.

It is designed to help students who are studying a particular area of the world or a discipline with an international focus (e.g., majors in area studies, languages, history, economics, political science, literature, anthropology, religion, etc.) to place that area or discipline in a broader, cross-cultural context by seeing how it participates in and is influenced by trans-national, sometimes global dynamics and problems.

The objectives of this concentration are:

  • To enable students to come to a sharper understanding of their own and other societies by making comparisons explicit.
  • To increase students' intercultural competencies and produce graduates who are able to participate in a global society and work in an increasingly multicultural and global workforce.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Concentrators will select a nation or region of the world on which to focus their cultural and linguistic study. This area will then be examined from three out of the following four perspectives:

  • One culture in binary comparison with another culture
  • In regional perspective (i.e., beyond national borders)
  • In relation to global issues
  • Relating to ethnic diversity and diaspora

Core courses:

  • CCST 100: Growing Up Cross-Culturally (recommended but not required)
  • CCST 275: I'm a Stranger Here Myself
  • CCCT 395: Senior capstone seminar


Four courses from at least three of the four comparative categories listed above, to be selected from the list of pertinent courses below. Students who have participated in the first-year seminar, Growing Up Cross-Culturally, are required to take only three additional courses from any three categories.

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 an off-campus experience for them, but they are also encouraged to study abroad.