In September 2008, Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate an annual, campuswide themed learning program designed to increase cultural awareness and international competency. The program, named Gustavus Global Insight, will feature invited speakers, fine arts events, special presentations, common reading, and service learning opportunities, as well as class time dedicated to discussions relating to the focus topic.
In 2008-09, the theme of Gustavus Global Insight will be “China.” In addition to continuing to pursue their own major courses and electives, students will acquire new knowledge of this vast, 3.7 million-square-mile country and gain new perspectives on its 1.3 billion inhabitants.
Class offerings and invited presentations will delve into China’s history, culture, economy, environment, government, current trends, future outlook, and more. Already scheduled events include a theatre production of Nobel Prize-winner Gao Xingjian’s The Other Shore in Spring 2009, two Artist Series performances, and a film series.
In addition, the Reading in Common book committee has selected Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China, by Washington Post journalist John Pomfret, as its common reading for the Gustavus community this fall. Pomfret is scheduled to visit Gustavus and give a lecture in the fall.
“Gustavus Global Insight is an exciting new program because it will involve such a large percentage of the Gustavus community,” said Tom Huber, chair of the Gustavus Global Insight planning committee. “Next year, Gustavus students will have the opportunity to gain a greater insight into some of the global issues related to China in the world today, as well as its history and culture.”
Gustavus Global Insight will focus on a single country, region, or global issue during each academic year. The tentative schedule for future topics is “Mexico” in 2009-10, “Food/Nutrition” in 2010-11, and “The Circumpolar Year” (Scandinavia, Northern Canada, Greenland, and Russia) in 2011-12. For more information about Gustavus Global Insight, go online to gustavus.edu/academics/globalinsight/.
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