Because we are in the midst of pre-registration for Fall 2020 — yes, one way or another, we will move beyond the current craziness — I would like to announce the new Global Engagement Minor (or GEM) slightly in advance of its formal approval by the Educational Policy Committee (which is expected to come soon). GEM is a significant revision to the Certificate in International Relations (or CIR). CIR will be retired after a one-year transitional period; current juniors will still be able to declare and graduate with CIR, while the classes of 2022 and beyond will be able to join GEM instead.
Details about GEM can be found here: https://www.wesleyan.edu/cgs/GEM/index.html.
In brief, GEM aims to integrate academic studies, co-curricular activities, and experiential learning in order to expand and demonstrate one’s intercultural competence. Intercultural competence is the mutually reinforcing knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to understand, relate to, and engage constructively with the experiences of others. In this context, we understand “cultures” to be porous, fluid, internally contested, and often overlapping — and yet still to be vital realities shaping the lived experiences of all people. Building intercultural competence requires not just acquiring new knowledge but also practicing the skills and honing the attitudes that are needed to interact effectively and appropriately on a basis of informed, mutual respect.
Students who are interested in GEM can apply (by submitting a letter of interest and requesting a faculty recommendation; details on the website) and can submit a POI request for the gateway seminar: CGST 205, “Introduction to Global Engagement”: https://owaprod-pub.wesleyan.edu/reg/!wesmaps_page.html?stuid=&facid=NONE&crse=015967&term=1209.
Best wishes to all!
Stephen Angle (he, him, his)
Director, Fries Center for Global Studies
Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies
Professor of Philosophy