Fries Center for Global Studies
The Fries Center for Global Studies is committed to helping all members of the Wesleyan community achieve the knowledge, language skills, and sensitivity each person will need in order to exercise effective and responsible citizenship in an increasingly interdependent world.
Our emphasis on intercultural communication, experience, and knowledge reflects the value we place on adaptability, compassion, and cultural self-awareness with respect to the world beyond our borders. These qualities and practices put Wesleyan’s liberal arts program at the forefront of global education and are the hallmark of responsible global citizenship.
Goals & Strategies
The Fries Center for Global Studies pursues it goals by drawing on resources at hand: the Wesleyan curriculum, faculty, student body, and staff; the Office of Study Abroad; Fellowships; Language and Intercultural Learning; and Language Resources and Technology. Our strategies are designed specifically to:
- Identify and expand opportunities for students and faculty wishing to pursue a global perspective in the field of their choice;
- Offer the support needed for each department, program, center, and college to develop global perspectives in accordance with its own aims and in partnership with other academic units;
- Provide a forum for inquiry and debate concerning the pedagogies and administrative strategies best suited to the cultural demands of the contemporary world;
- Help students transcend disciplines while coordinating their curricular, cocurricular, and extracurricular experiences in accordance with the demands of a global education;
- Increase the mobility of the Wesleyan student body and faculty in support of a more vibrant cross-cultural debate and in accordance with the needs and goals of each academic unit;
- Increase the vibrancy of global discussions on campus through facilitating visits to campus by key scholars, artists, and activists;
- Promote relevant partnerships with peer institutions in the United States and with targeted institutions abroad;
- Promote collaborative teaching and research across disciplinary and cultural boundaries;
- Develop curricular opportunities that will allow students to develop a global education tailored to their needs and aspirations.
BA, Yale University; PHD, University of Michigan
Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies; Professor of Philosophy; Director, Center for Global Studies; Professor, East Asian Studies
CGST121 Contemporary Social Issues, Leadership, and Scholarship
The overarching purpose for this course is for you to reflect on how your identity (who you say you are) motivates the actions you take now, which, in turn, shape your long-term goals and commitments. This course is particularly applicable to future national and international fellowship applicants, as almost every scholarship foundation asks similar questions (in one form or another): Who are you? What are you proposing to do? In what way are you the most qualified candidate? Why is this work important?
This course will incorporate best practices for writing personal statements and include theories and best practice for this specific writing style as well as a wide array of perspectives to supplement self-reflection, personal development, and skill building.
Gen Ed Area: SBS-CGST
CGST201 Crossing Identities & Borders: Processing Study Abroad
This course is designed to give students who have studied abroad through the medium of a language other than English the opportunity to process their experience by reflecting on its meaning in terms of their own personal and intellectual trajectory. Students will meet as a group once a week to discuss a reading of common interest. The second weekly meeting or workshop will be held in break-out sessions in the target language, during which time students will discuss the capstone project that this course will allow them to develop: a written essay, a digital narrative, an art installation, or a performance. The workshops are designed so that students may support each other in the pursuit of their personal goals regarding a project that reflects the broadest and deepest meaning of an immersive linguistic and intercultural experience abroad. Assessment is based on the following criteria: industry and initiative; the ability to work independently; willingness to contribute actively to a collective, project-based learning experience; and the final project. Readings will address topics such as identity, culture and mobility. Students will work to develop a collective bibliography with classmates as well as a specific bibliography that accords with their personal interests and objectives.
Gen Ed Area: SBS-CGST
Identical With: FIST201
CGST202 Preparing to Study Abroad: Culture and Language
This course is designed to facilitate students' preparations to study abroad during the following term. Through exploration of intercultural and language learning theories, intercultural communication strategies, and theories about culture, students will build a foundation for their learning and achieving their individual goals during the semester abroad. The course is open to those who are studying abroad in English as well as those who are studying a language. The course is graded at the end of the term, but ungraded check-ins during the study abroad experience are required for the credit to be awarded.
Grading: Amp Graded
Gen Ed Area: SBS-CGST
CGST203 Returning from Study Abroad: Integrating Your Experience
This course will facilitate returning students' integration of the study abroad experience into their academic and personal lives. Through guided activities, readings, and weekly writing assignments, students will reflect on the many facets of the study abroad experience and how they relate to identity, academic interests, and future plans, including fellowship applications and career opportunities abroad.
Grading: Amp Graded
Gen Ed Area: SBS-CGST
CGST210 Language and Thought: Introduction to Linguistics
What makes human language unique? This course is an introduction to the study of human language and its underlying properties. Much of our linguistic competence lies below the level of conscious awareness, and linguists seek to uncover the subconscious principles and parameters that govern our knowledge of language. This course first explores the core theoretical areas of linguistics: phonology (sound structure), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and semantics (meaning). Then, we will explore such topics as the workings of language use, language variation, and first- and second-language acquisition.
Gen Ed Area: SBS-CGST
CGST227 Writing Short Fiction in Spanish
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of writing short fiction in Spanish and will enhance their knowledge of the Spanish language and their skills as effective writers through the reading of great short stories that will inform students' own writing and the development of a personal style. We will examine essential features of fiction (methods of constructing narrative tension, climax, ambiguity, character, different kinds of autobiographies and descriptions, dialogues, and monologues), as well as various fictional styles through our discussion of the writing of our peers and a study of the texts of a number of contemporary Latin American and Latino writers working in a genre that has been crucial in the region's intellectual production.
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN227
CGST230 Between Marx and Coca-Cola: European Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s
In the 1960s and early 1970s, a growing sense of alienation and social unrest spread across Europe, making their marks in both society and cinema. Borrowing the words of New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, these years led to the emergence of "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola." This course, taught in English, will introduce students to a multi-faceted portrait of Europe in the 1960s and 70s through avant-garde and popular cinema from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Eastern Europe. We will focus on films that depict global capitalism, gender relations, and government control. Some of the themes we will discuss include the critique of consumerism and materialism, the changing role of women in society, life under socialism and dictatorship, and youth counterculture. Last but not least, students will learn how New Wave directors challenged traditional approaches to narrative cinema.
Gen Ed Area: HA-CGST
Identical With: FIST230
CGST303 Ukraine and Its Environment
International perspectives on environmental issues are critical in order to address the challenges facing the world. Developing an international perspective requires more than learning from printed literature--it requires in-country experience and the desire to be able to view issues through different cultural lenses. This course will provide such experience by learning about the diversity of Ukrainian environments, people, and cultures both in the classroom at Wesleyan and by traveling to Ukraine during Spring Break. During our time in Ukraine we will receive lectures in English from noted scholars, politicians, professors and scientists on topics such as environmental law, global environmental security, urban environment, environmental policy in developing states, and sustainable development for the developing world. We will travel and learn from scientists at Chernobyl about the regeneration of forest ecosystems, learn from agronomists about agriculture on the steppes, and learn from politicians and scholars about Ukrainian environmental policy and their views of U.S. policies. We will also enter into round table discussions with university students to exchange ideas about potential international solutions and approaches to environmental problems. These are just some of the experiences that are planned for our visit. Ukraine, as a pivotal democracy of the former Soviet Bloc, is an amazing place to witness how a nation wrestles with dramatic changes in policy. At the same time Ukraine is culturally diverse, which presents interesting challenges to formulating fair and cohesive policies.
Gen Ed Area: NSM-ENVS
Identical With: ENVS303
Prereq: ENVS197 OR E&ES199
CGST412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate
Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.