Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities (GSAH) was established at MSU in 2009 as an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Letters. The creation of the new program was largely a faculty initiative aimed at achieving the following goals:
- Generating humanistic responses to globalization
- Updating the arts and humanities curriculum to account for globalization
- Engaging new fields of research focused on globalization and the humanities
- Organizing events for discussing the complex effects of globalization.
In the first decade of its existence, the program went through three major phases of development:
Phase 1: 2008 to 2011
- 2008-009: National search and hire of the inaugural Director (Xiao-huang Yin)
- 2009-2010: “Cluster Hire” of 5 faculty, jointly appointed (25%) as core faculty in GSAH and several departments (English, Spanish, Germanic Languages, Asian Languages, Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures)
- 2011: Expansion of core faculty to non-contractually appointed colleagues
Phase 2: 2011 to 2013
- 2011-2012: Acting Director, Sandra Logan
- 2012-2013: Co-Directorship Sandra Logan and Russell Lucas
- Additional joint hires (25% in GSAH)
- Further expansion of core faculty to include non-contractually appointed colleagues
Phase 3: 2014 to 2019
- 2014: Russell Lucas appointed Program Director
- Several new core faculty are hired
- formalization of agreements (memoranda of understanding) with some departments
At the core of Global Studies is its teaching mission, which has developed overtime with the addition of new faculty and changes in the curriculum. Over the last several years, the program has revised the Major and Minor programs to enhance opportunities for student success, build greater flexibility into course requirements, and align course requirements with program resources. The most recent revision of the curriculum was approved by the University Committee on the Curriculum in Spring 2021 and will offer a more flexible, interdisciplinary Global Studies degree programs in for the major and the minor. Students can now explore cross-college electives in Global Studies education and bridge GSAH introductory and capstone requirements with courses in the field of Global Studies from various disciplines.
GSAH has always offered an original humanities education focused on globalization that emphasizes critical analysis of global cultural phenomena. The diverse research-active faculty work across disciplines, languages, and cultural contexts, teaching innovative courses. As GSAH enters its second decade, the program is poised to expand collaborative initiatives with other academic units and advance co-curricular activities oriented toward research and education on globalization.