CASE Culture Studies Credit
In Spring 2010, the faculty of the College voted to revise the Culture Studies requirement and implement the changes at the same time that the campus-wide General Education requirements go into effect. Although students who matriculate in or after the summer of 2011 and who are pursuing a B.A. or a B.F.A. degree are required to take two courses to fulfill the CASE Culture Studies requirement, under the revised requirements one course must fall within the category “Diversity in the U.S.,” and the other must fit within “Global Civilizations and Cultures.” Also, the College strongly recommends that students pursuing B.S. degrees take CASE Culture Studies courses, perhaps by fulfilling their CASE Breadth of Inquiry requirements (e.g., A&H and S&H) with courses that are also part of the CASE Culture Studies curriculum.
CASE Culture Studies courses allow students to define and examine critically what is commonly meant by the term ‘culture’. The curriculum also provides students with the opportunity to explore the relationship between cultural artifacts and the community that produced them and/or draw comparisons between different cultures. Thus, courses that are approved to carry the CASE Culture Studies designation do more than examine cultural productions (e.g. the 19th-century Russian novel, political institutions in 18th-century Colombia). They also provide students with a broader vocabulary for exploring what such productions suggest about how communities organize themselves and how they view the world.
The faculty decided to divide the CASE Culture Studies into a two-part requirement in order to more fully coordinate the College’s curriculum with the “Shared Goals” of the IUB General Education program, which identifies the teaching of diversity as a crucial means of fostering citizenship in a democratic society.
The CASE Diversity in the U.S. requirement gives this principle a home in the College’s curriculum while the CASE Global Civilizations and Cultures requirement encourages students to gain a deeper understanding of the world. The College seeks to foster study of how civilizations and cultures adapt to new environments, balance continuity with innovation, and respond to local, regional, national, and global changes. The College also recognizes that while political boundaries appear to be fixed, cultures and peoples are not. Therefore, appropriate courses that take a diasporic and global approach to culture and its transmission will be included in the CASE rubrics for both “Diversity in the U.S.” and “Global Civilizations and Cultures.”
Diversity in the U.S. (CASE DUS) courses will offer students the chance to explore cultural artifacts and the communities that produced them and may also allow for students to learn about the choices made by individuals and communities as they create, refine, and blend cultures. Students will study values, attitudes and methods of organizing experience that may diverge or dissent from the predominant American culture, allowing them to better understand the facts, possibilities and limitations of their own cultural world view. Under the rubric of diversity, the College includes race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, religious practice, and multiple other categories. We wish to ensure that students are introduced to a cultural system in the United States which differs from that of mainstream America.
Global Civilizations and Cultures (CASE GCC) courses examine cultures and/or cultural artifacts from outside the United States as a means of understanding the communities that produced them and the relationships of these communities to other groups of people. Such courses convey the distinctive world view, institutions, and patterns of organization of another culture. Not restricted to a chronology of events or one aspect of the traditions or institutions of a particular cultural group, these courses instead teach the relationships among some of the following aspects of the culture: art, religion, literature, philosophic traditions, social behavior and institutions, and linkages with other cultures. A course on one specific aspect of a culture—for example, its art or political institutions—would fulfill the spirit of the requirement only if it devoted a substantial amount of time to the relationships between that specific aspect and the culture more generally. Similarly a course might have a broad conceptual focus within a narrow geographical and temporal setting (such as the intellectual and aesthetic traditions of Russia under Catherine the Great) or a narrow conceptual focus across a broad geographical or temporal setting (such as the political institutions of Africa in the pre-colonial period.)
How to Apply for CASE Culture Studies Credit
To request CASE Culture Studies credit for a course, please see “Applying for Special CASE Course Designations.” There is no limit to the number of courses for which a department may request CASE Culture Studies credit. These courses can be introductory or advanced. Departments and programs can request CASE Culture Studies credit for new courses through the CARMIn system, or they can request such credit for an existing course by filling out the appropriate form.
CASE Culture Studies credit is not identical to World Culture (WC) credit in the campus-wide General Education Curriculum. For a list of approved campus-wide General Education World Culture courses, please see http://www.indiana.edu/~bulletin/iub/general-education/2012-2013/courses/world-cultures.shtml.