What do Urban Economics, American Jewish Literature, and Global Environmental History all have in common? These three classes at Wake Forest all count toward the American Ethnic Studies minor. With registration just around the corner, why not learn about this interdisciplinary minor that you have probably already taken classes for?
The American Ethnic Studies (AES) minor incorporates subjects from Music to Communications to teach students about race, class, gender, and ethnicity in American culture.
Dr. Alessandra Beasley Von Burg, interim director for the program explains, “[The minor] provides very different ways to look at our pasts and our relationships with people who are different ethnicities, races and backgrounds.”
She believes that the skills and knowledge students gain in the AES minor are valuable for everyone, regardless of what field you are trying to enter when you graduate.
“No matter what job you get, no matter what career, you are going to be around people that are like you and people who are unlike you,” Dr. Beasley Von Burg said. “You will be around people who are different than you, and it’s so important to be comfortable in an environment where people aren’t like you and to be able to work together with them.”
There are over 70 classes which count toward the 18 credit hour minor, and the current classes being offered for the minor can be found on the AES website.http://college.wfu.edu/aes/
If you are interested in the minor, Dr. Beasley Von Burg recommends taking some of the intro classes, like AES 151: Race and Ethnic Diversity in America, and just seeing if you find something you like to think about in and outside of class.
Also be sure to check out the Where Are You From Project, an effort to collect interviews and stories from members of the community—American or not—sponsored by the AES department here at Wake and the North Carolina Humanities Council. Their new website launched this past October: http://www.whereareyoufromproject.org/