Statement of Purpose
The primary goal of this minor is to provide students with a complex and multifaceted understanding of Britain and the former British Empire by requiring related course work across disciplinary boundaries and fostering independent research using methods that combine two or more disciplines. The hope is that, in this way, students who may no longer concentrate (even within English departments) on specifically British themes would still be able to gain a rich and nuanced appreciation of a culture that historically has been one of the major forces shaping the world we have inherited.
Program of Study
The program of study draws almost entirely from existing course offerings in six related departments: English, Film, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Theatre. (Other departments, such as Art History, Sociology, and Music, may at some point schedule courses related to British society and culture, and students may petition to have such courses counted toward the minor.) The content of approved courses draws substantially from British society and culture, including the society and culture of former colonies of the British Empire in its various phases. One course, currently offered in the English Department, will function as a capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar in British Studies, in which independent research and a longer research paper will be mentored by the instructor.
The course work for the minor requires a balance of courses in three broad areas:
- the cultural/aesthetic (courses in literature, film, and theatre)
- the socio-historical (courses in History and Political Science)
- the world of ideas (courses in Philosophy)
A candidate for the minor in British Studies is required to take at least two courses in each of areas A and B, and at least one course in area C. The candidate must also choose one elective from any of the three areas, and enroll in the capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar in British Studies. The total number of courses required for the minor is thus seven, or 21 credit hours, at the 3000-level or above, including the capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar.