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Crossing Cultures

The department of history launched a new course last fall that gives sophomore history majors a colloquium experience, enhances the University’s gender and diversity offerings, and satisfies the one-credit diversity requirement of the core curriculum.

The four-credit course, which last fall was called Race and Autobiography, offers students an opportunity to experience comparative history, says department chair John Fairfield. It’s being offered again next spring and could have a different focus each time. But it will always be a team-taught colloquium cross-cultural study.

Race and Autobiography involved a study of racism across different cultures. Robert Jefferson taught the African-American component, Kathleen Smythe focused on Africa, and Julia O’Hara concentrated on Latin America. “They thought that reading autobiographies would be a good way into how people experience racism differently in different cultures,” Fairfield says.

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