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New minors expose students to important issues

As of Spring 2013, two new minors have been added to the Rollins College of Arts and Sciences program: Cultural Anthropology and Critical Media and Cultural Studies.

Due to a strong desire among the faculty, these new minors are now available and give Rollins students the opportunity to study outside of their academic field, learning about other cultures.

The new Cultural Anthropology minor consists of six courses: “Cultural Anthropology,” “Language, Culture, and Society,” and four electives out of the many that can be found on the minor map.

These are current anthropology classes, which are presently being taught by professors in the department. So, several students may already have most of the minor completed and are encouraged to continue pursuing it.

Dr. Ashley Kistler, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology, said that the minor “is different from the traditional anthropology track because it eliminates the archaeology, human evolution, and theory courses.” This gives students who are interested, but perhaps do not plan on continuing with this field in graduate school, the ability to take the minor. She definitely believes that it could pair well with other majors. It also gives students in any other academic field the freedom to pursue the minor without a problem and expand global perspective.

“This is a great opportunity for students to explore the world by studying global issues, politics and culture, and to prepare them to face these issues in the future.”

The Critical Media and Cultural Studies minor will also allow students to analyze these real life matters in a creative way incorporating media and film. According to Lisa Tillmann, Professor and Chair of Critical Media and Cultural Studies, “Both the major and the new minor are explicitly grounded in social justice values, community, social advocacy, and identity.”

These topics are studied throughout the six courses required to complete the minor. The focus in social justice values is reflected in many of the courses, and students are encouraged to express themselves openly about these values. Some of these classes, such as “Digital Story Telling,” especially entail a creative and “artsy” side for students in order to help them confront these issues in different ways.

“I think the minor will potentially give more students exposure to these kinds of courses and challenge them. We are interested in them as individuals and have a deep pride and love for our majors and minors, who they are, and the work that they do.”

The Critical Media and Cultural Studies department is hopeful for future programs in this field, including a master’s program on Social Justice, and they hope to arouse a deeper interest in students for enhancing awareness and a passion for social justice values.

They are also currently looking for a work-study interested in both the social justice and critical media aspects of the major and minor.

Both the Cultural Anthropology and Critical Media and Cultural Studies minors have a focus on exploring current and relevant issues in the world and studying them in a way that will help students confront these issues in the future. All students are encouraged to look into these two new minors with an open mind.

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