Diversity in the Curriculum

By Guest Contributor

To the Editors:

I am writing as an alumnus and recent visiting instructor (Winter Term 2014) in support of the student cultural organization, Midd Included, and in particular their campaign to revise the Cultures and Civilizations requirement at Middlebury. As Midd Included accurately puts it, “Under the current requirements, the college seems to place an emphasis on the study of Western cultures and civilizations, while minimizing the importance of all other cultures and civilizations of the world by lumping them together into one category.” The aims of the campaign, as its website articulates are to revise the Cultures and Civilizations requirement such that a student’s course of study would have to cover a reasonably wide geographical and cultural range.

Middlebury College, like many small liberal arts schools in this country, trumpets the cultural diversity of its incoming classes each year with statistics about the numbers of countries and states represented. These numbers are indeed something to be proud of. Now it’s time — or rather, past time — to reflect this interest in diversity at the pedagogical level, too. I hope that students, professors, and administrators will come together and support this important campaign.

Sincerely,

NATHAN JANDL ’05

PhD Candidate, Literary Studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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