The Importance of Cross-Cultural Studies

Written by: Helena Mazzarella

“Since I’ve arrived at Adrian College, I’ve discovered students are passionate about issues related to diversity and inclusion, but also live deeply busy lives as students with demanding schedules outside of class.” 

The Cultural Studies program here at Adrian College meets students’ desires by providing them with classes that both educate and provide them the necessary platforms to use their own unique voices. 

Dr. Goldberg, Director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Studies, says, “[The program] brings together and highlights the work that other departments [at Adrian College] are already doing in the name of inclusion, diversity, and equity.” Many classes reflect the themes of the Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies from a range of different departments. 

The upcoming Spring 2021 semester provides classes that reflect the themes of inclusion, diversity, and Equity in the Business, Communication, English, History, Honors, Journalism, Leadership, Modern Language, and Political Science departments, bringing up conversations that need to be discussed, no matter your field of study. 

The Cross-Cultural Studies program offers students the opportunity to have these tense conversations. Dr. Goldberg says, “Culture tells us who we are and what we value, and so courses and programs that highlight cultural issues provide important intellectual venues to have these discussions and debates, which I see as a vital component of a healthy and responsible democracy.” 

Dr. Goldberg recognizes that these “cultural debates” can often be fought with tension and create an uncomfortable feeling because “it reveals the space between where we’ve been and where we hope to go.”

The integration of Cross-Cultural Studies into students’ curriculum is vital to the development of themselves as people. Dr. Goldberg states, “Sometimes, we think of the development of our careers and the development of our minds as separate and distinct tracts. However, a curriculum that values the humanities, as an emphasis on cross-cultural studies does, will ensure that we don’t just focus on where we are going, but who we are going to be when we get there.”

On top of the curriculum that the Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies teaches, they have a new blog, The History of Now, which provides another platform for students to exercise their voices and speak on their most passionate issues.

Dr. Goldberg says, “As the Director of the Institute, I am looking to empower students to be those voices, so that awareness and learning come organically from the ground up, rather than from top-down directives also emanating from my office.”

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