International and Interdisciplinary Studies
The Department of International and Interdisciplinary Studies was created in 2009 as part of a major reorganization of Academic Affairs. Our programs reflect the University’s commitment to a curriculum that meets the needs of 21st-century students. We emphasize international education, in every sense, by offering: a major and a minor in International Studies; majors and minors in French and Spanish, and coursework in other languages, such as Chinese, German and Italian; and a wide variety of affordable options for study abroad. While we recognize the value of the traditional academic disciplines, we believe that students can best learn to understand and function effectively in the world of the 21st century through an interdisciplinary approach, considering issues, problems, and opportunities from a range of intellectual perspectives. Our rich array of interdisciplinary programs includes an Interdisciplinary M.A. in Social Sciences, an undergraduate major in International Studies, and minors in Appalachian Studies, Canadian Studies (within International Studies), Film Studies, International Studies and Women’s Studies. Thus, we can draw on the resources of the entire University to supplement the expertise of the full-time members of the department. The department also includes the Academic Honors Program, which is neither a major nor a minor, but rather a challenging combination of coursework and other educational opportunities designed to enhance the education of outstanding students in any major program on the campus.
We are fortunate to have a diverse, dedicated and highly skilled group of full-time faculty members in International and Interdisciplinary Studies. They hold doctorates in fields such as Comparative Literature, French, Geography, Political Science, Romance Languages and Spanish. Regardless of their primary area of academic training, all are versatile scholars and instructors, capable of teaching in multiple programs within the department. All maintain an active research agenda, despite substantial teaching loads; all of them work with students outside the usual classroom context, serving as mentors for undergraduate research projects, for example, or teaching in overseas programs during the summer.
We are proud of our active participation in all the study abroad initiatives sponsored by the University; we not only teach overseas, but also advise students who are considering a study abroad experience, and help them to find the money to participate. We are proud of the numerous books, articles, and professional presentations authored by faculty members in the department, sometimes in collaboration with students. We are especially proud of being part of an innovative approach to education, one that acknowledges the diverse world out there, and the value of employing multiple disciplines in creative combinations as we work to understand that world better.