- To develop an extensive knowledge of one zone in the world.
- To produce an analysis of the interconnections between the various parts of the world.
Trinity College has a long history and a strongly renewed commitment to the world outside our campus. The Strategic Plan for our campus (written in 1997-98) pledged to “expand curricular emphasis on international issues and the powerful forces of global change.” Our current mission is to “prepare Trinity students to understand the complex cultural, societal and economic forces and interactions at play across the globe so that they will thrive as ‘citizens of the world,’” to “connect Trinity with scholars and institutions around the world to create an unrivaled network,” and to develop “foreign study opportunities that are distinctive and unique.”
Objectives of Non-Western Studies
- Analysis of social phenomenon in Non-Western Societies using cross-cultural concepts.
- Appreciation of the diversity of human experience in NWS.
- Comprehensive knowledge of one NWS.
Our origins, as those of many other good ideas, lie in the late 1960s. In 1969, a group of faculty created the Non-Western Studies program to encourage student interest in and study of societies outside the then predominant focus on the US and Europe.
Students had to take a series of courses as well as two seminars, Traditional Agricultural Society and Problems of Modernization. Another seminar, Approaches to Non-Western Societies, was added a year later.
Objectives of Intercultural Studies
- Knowledge of one culture
- Analysis of a culture on its own merits and comparatively
- Appreciation of the diversity of human experience in that culture
In 1972-73, NWS became Intercultural Studies. The new framework created then persisted for the next thirty years (even as the name of the program changed in 1987-88 to Area Studies and then in 1994-95 to International Studies).
Students had to concentrate in one area (now named a concentration), take a series of courses including an introductory and senior seminar as well as write a senior thesis. In 1975-76, students had to take twelve classes, but in 1985-87 this was increased to fifteen when INTS introduced the two-year language study requirement.
The 1996 Reforms
- INTS300 Core Course
- Comparative Course
- Senior Exercise
In 1996 the INTS program began an extensive self-study review of its achievements. We found that we draw on fifty faculty members from at least fourteen different departments, that we attract a vast number of students to our classes and that we have a respectable number of majors (given that our students, along with those in Classics and Modern Languages, have to take two years of language study). Over the course of 1997-98, the INTS program decided to create more cohesion among our majors who tend to remain within their various concentrations. In pedagogic terms, there is a value for our majors to learn both the density of our various areas, but also to learn about the interconnections and disjunctures between what are constituted as rather discrete areas. Exposure to comparative work as well as to work on the thematic congruence of problems and possibilities across the globe, we felt, would be beneficial to the students. Therefore, we decided to create a core class (INTS 300) as well as insist that all majors study at least one class from a list of comparative courses (the list is notional – students may substitute other classes in discussion with the director and concentration coordinator). The requirements currently in place, therefore, are a result of that self-study.