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Going Global: Lawrence adds new global studies major

While globalization may not be a new phenomenon, it continues to change at an unprecedented rate. As Lawrence University works to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to flourish in an ever-changing environment, a new global studies major has emerged.

“The new major came from a combination of both student demand and faculty entrepreneurship and leadership,” said Jason Brozek, associate professor of government and co-chair of the global studies program. “The development of the major wasn’t top-down or bottom up; it really was collaborative.”

Emma Reading is among the first students to declare the new global studies program as a second major to complement her flute performance major. She sees the combination leading to a career as an ethnomusicologist.

“I’m interested in music and displacement and how the individual musical traditions of immigrants and refugees are changing in the modern context of increased migration,” said Reading, a junior from Castle Rock, Colorado. “I love the interdisciplinary nature of global studies. Having more ideas from different disciplines gives you a fuller framework to use when you approach a problem you are looking to research or solve.”

A grant from the Mellon Foundation to work on a new interdisciplinary initiative provided the impetus to formalize what Lawrence faculty members had already noted: large numbers of students enthusiastic about double majoring in language, culture or history courses and government and economics courses.

Lawrence’s global studies major offers students four tracks from which to choose: nations and identities; cities; human security; and arts and exchange. Making it distinctive to Lawrence, the major requires the equivalent of a minor in a language.

“We really do focus on the language,” said Dominica Chang, associate professor of French. “Languages at Lawrence focus so much on critical thinking and cultural knowledge. I think it is really something that makes this major unique.”