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Friday, March 04, 2005

The UNC Chapel Hill Faculty are in an uproar in opposition to the possible addition of a Western Cultures Program on campus.

For the record, here is a list of just a few of the choice departments and Programs currently available to undergraduates at UNC:

African and Afro American Studies, Asian Studies, American Indian Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnicity, Culture and Health Outcomes, Folklore Studies (A good portion of courses offered deal with ethnic studies of some form), Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Peace, War & Defense, Russian/East European Studies, Sexuality Studies, Social and Economic Justice, Women's Studies

Of course, you could pursue a program called "American Studies." Here are some of the courses available to American Studies students:

The Folk Revival: The Singing Left in Mid-Century America
Introduction to the Cultures and Histories of Native North America
Anti-Fifties: Voices of a Counterdecade
Cooking Up a Storm: Exploring Food in American Culture and Community
Women and the Economy
Native America in the 20th Century
Mamas and Matriarchs: A Social History of Jewish Women in America
Readings in Native American History

Of course, if you don't want to focus in on ethnic studies or leftist politics, you can take the more general "Approaches to American Studies" course. According to the course description, "Among the topics explored this spring will be Salem witches, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, the 1898 Wilmington riot and racial violence, the border with Mexico, and the internationalization of American Studies".

The sole area where they really focus on Western Civilization is a lecture series called: Humanities and Human Values. That's it. No courses. No program of study. Just a handful of voluntary non-credit lectures. I can see why the faculty at UNC is aghast. A real program of study like Western Civilization would make their current areas of study look pretty darn irrelevant.

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