Three New Majors Added To Arts & Sciences Program Leslie Rice Homewood News and Information Undergraduates will have three new majors to consider beginning this fall--and not one additional faculty member needed to be hired to staff the newly created disciplines. Students can now major in East Asian studies, comparative American cultures and neuroscience. Faculty who teach in these majors come from a variety of disciplines, and, in many cases, courses are cross-listed with other departments. Comparative American Cultures, administered by the Humanities Center, will examine U.S. immigration patterns and the relationships cultures have with each other and their culture of origin. This is a research-intensive course, which will be taught by professors in Political Science, Sociology and English, who will examine everything from old zoning laws intended to separate cultures to the popular novels of a given period that represent a cultural mood. The East Asian studies major will probably appeal to students with an international business bent, said Homewood academic dean Carol Burke. There are heavy language requirements; if a student is already fluent in one or more Asian language, they will be required to learn another. Courses will be taught by anthropologists, political scientists and historians who will consider the history, cultures and politics of East Asian countries. "Both the Comparative American cultures and the East Asian studies majors were made possible through a number of new hires in other departments over the last few years," said Burke. "For example, Robert Reid-Pharr, who is an expert on African American literature, was hired a year ago. William Bartlett, who runs the Language Teaching Center and teaches Chinese, and Thomas Berger in the Political Science Department, who is an expert on Japanese politics, were both also recently hired." The neuroscience major was a faculty initiative and has already proved popular among undergraduates, said Burke, adding that it will attract pre-med students but, to an even greater degree, students interested in research. Students will receive a bachelor of arts upon completing the major. They will have the option of studying the program for a fifth year to obtain a master of science degree in the subject. Faculty teaching the subject have been drawn from a variety of disciplines: cognitive science, biology, biophysics, psychology and researchers from the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.
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