The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in Global Cultural Studies

The IAS concentration in global cultural studies focuses on the practical and theoretical issues arising from cross-cultural encounters around the world. It studies these by examining traditional cultural products (literature, film, visual art and music), but also by investigating their broader political and social contexts. This track addresses compelling issues of cultural interchange for students interested in cultures for their own sake, as well as in careers in NGOs and international business and law. It is committed to interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary problems, and students may take courses in the traditional language-and-literature disciplines, as well as in anthropology, art history, film, history, music and philosophy.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 6 units of disciplinary introductions and methods course work (100-200 level)
  • 6 units of world area course work (any level)
  • 24 units of advanced course work from a minimum of three different academic disciplines (at least one course must focus on gender, race or class, and at least two must be at the 400 level)

Additional requirements and regulations:

  • Completion of all IAS course work with a grade of C+ or higher.
  • Students must satisfy the standard IAS foreign language requirement: the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration.
  • One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.
  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., students who wish to study in Latin America must satisfy their language requirement with either Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Throughout the course of completing the major, students must show depth in at least one world area by taking a minimum two courses focused on the same area, and breadth by taking a third course focused on a different area. We consider world areas to be Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and South Asia.
  • Majors must choose their upper-level course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (for example: anthropology, art history, film, history, languages and literature, music and political science).
  • No more than 3 credits may be from directed readings, research or independent study excluding the honors thesis.
  • The advanced credits must be unique to the IAS major.
  • At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

N.B.: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (disciplinary; race, gender, class; or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Disciplinary introductions and methods (choose two from this list*; 6 units):

Anthro 160BIntroduction to Cultural Anthropology3
Art-Arch 111Introduction to Asian Art3
Art-Arch 215Introduction to Modern Art, Architecture and Design3
Comp Lit 204Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Comparative Literature3
Comp Lit 211World Literature3
Comp Lit 213EIntroduction to Comparative Arts3
Econ 1011Introduction to Microeconomics3
Econ 1021Introduction to Macroeconomics3
Film 220Introduction to Film Studies3
History 1500Silver, Slaves and the State: Globalization in the 18th Century3
History 164Introduction to World History: The Second World War in World History3
History 1640Health and Disease in World History3
History 270Globalization and its Discontents3
InterD 130The Art of Medicine3
IAS 103BInternational Public Affairs3
IAS 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
IAS 129Perspectives on Migration: History, Memory and the Making of Modern Europe3
IAS 155Freshman Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography3
IAS 260Migrations in Past and Present: Introduction to Migration Studies3
Introduction to Literature courses as appropriate (English, Comp Lit or foreign language)3
IPH 175Freshman Seminar: Seeing is Believing: Visuality, Power and Truth3
IPH 207CModern Political Thought: Text and Tradition3
Music 1021Musics of the World3
Phil 120FProblems in Philosophy3
Phil 131FPresent Moral Problems3
WGSS 100BIntroduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies3
WGSS 206Sexuality and the State: Introduction to Sexuality Studies3

*Students may petition to add a course by following the instructions on the IAS FAQs webpage.

World area courses:

Throughout the course of completing the global cultural studies major, students must show depth in at least one world area by taking a minimum two courses focused on the same area, and breadth by taking a third course focused on a different area. We consider world areas to be Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and South Asia.

Of these three courses, one must be at advanced level and will count toward the 24 credits of advanced work needed to complete the major.

The other two courses may be taken at any level; however, if advanced courses are used to fulfill any of these 6 credits, they will not also be counted toward the required 24 credits of advanced course work. Examples of lower-level classes that may be used to satisfy this requirement:

AFAS 162Freshman Seminar: Contextualizing Problems in Contemporary Africa3
AFAS 209BAfrican Studies: An Introduction3
AFAS 2230The African Diaspora: Black Internationalism Across Time and Space3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian-American Studies3
East Asia 227CChinese Civilization3
History 102CWestern Civilization3
History 2157Freshman Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
IAS 135Freshman Seminar — Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space3
IAS 140East Asia in the World3
IAS 229Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities3
IAS 244Introduction to European Studies3
Japan 226CJapanese Civilization3
JINE 208FHistory, Text and Identity: Introduction to Jewish Civilization3
JINE 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3
LatAm 165CSurvey of Latin American Culture3
LatAm 165DLatin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict3

Advanced courses: Choose eight courses from current relevant internationally-focused course offerings in the following departments*. All courses must be approved by the student's IAS adviser in order to count for the major. Visit the concentration webpage and master course list for full options.

  • African and African-American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Children's Studies
  • Classics
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Film and Media Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities
  • International and Area Studies
  • Languages and Literatures
  • Latin American Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

*Students may petition to add a course by following the instructions on the IAS FAQs webpage.

Additional Information

Language Requirement for the Major in Global Cultural Studies/International and Area Studies: All IAS majors must satisfy a foreign language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes, and with approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. These four semesters are in addition to the 36 units of course work outlined above, and thus advanced courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the four-semester language requirement may not also be counted as advanced credit for the IAS major. Native speakers of a foreign language must satisfy the four-semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration. Heritage speakers must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester requirement.

Study Abroad: Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in one of Washington University's Overseas Programs during junior year or the summer. Some credit for courses taken abroad may be applied to the major. For those who do not study abroad, an additional 3-credit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.

Senior Honors: Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall GPA of 3.65 or higher in order to qualify for Senior Honors. Students should enroll in IAS 485 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis in the fall of senior year, and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis in the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing their thesis) in order to be properly tracked by the IAS capstone coordinator.

Contact:Toni Loomis
Phone:314-935-5073
Email:aloomis@wustl.edu
Website:http://ias.wustl.edu