Foreign Culture courses are taught in English by faculty in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. Courses include film, literature, culture studies, history, and current global events. Current courses include offerings in Chinese Studies and Nordic Studies. For more information about individual courses, please refer to the catalog listings under each individual program.
This course explores the importance of China in a rapidly globalized world from an intercultural perspective. Students are invited to examine how China interacts with the world, and vice versa, through a variety of issues. The course begins with an interdisciplinary project that offers students a gateway to explore the global presence of China. After a comparative study of origin myth and flood in China and the West, the course continues with an examination of cross-cultural education, during which students will complete an interview project. Both Chinese cuisine and the topic of "made in China" will be essential parts of this course, but students will also be able to explore topics of personal interest, such as Hollywood's representation of Chinese culture, international adoption or the Dalai Lama. With class discussion and student-led projects, this interdisciplinary course will provide a basic understanding of Chinese culture and tradition. (Same as IDS 142)
From the fall of the Celestial Empire to the rise of China's economy today, Chinese cinema has witnessed many social changes in the modern era. This course will focus on the interaction between Chinese cinema and the process of modernization. By examining how Chinese films dialogue with Hollywood, it will explore Chinese people's experiences of semi-colonial modernity, socialist modernity and postsocialist/global modernity. Students will watch select films made in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Along with reading and writing assignments, students will be required to do oral presentations. All films have English subtitles. All readings are in English. Students with Chinese language background may elect to enroll in CHIN 246 for additional assignments in Chinese.
This course will offer reading and discussion of literature of various genres, authors and time periods of Norway and other Nordic countries. Topics will change annually and rotate. Students may enroll in the course multiple times for credit (and count towards the major/minor in Nordic Studies), provided that the topic is new. The course is taught in English and readings are in English. Students who have completed NORST 202 may elect to enroll in NORST 250 for extra assignments in Norwegian.
The course will offer viewing and discussion of films of various genres, directors and time periods of Norway and other Nordic countries. Topics will change annually and rotate. Students may enroll in the course multiple times for credit (and count towards the major/minor in Nordic Studies), provided that the topic is new. The course is taught in English, readings are in English, and films are subtitled in English. Students who have completed NORST 202 may elect to enroll in NORST 251 for extra assignments in Norwegian.
It is at the core of human history: people leaving their homes in search of a better life. This course explores the role of immigration and emigration for the German-speaking countries over the last 250 years. We will look at the immigration of Germans to the US and South America in the 19th and 20th century, the mass displacement of Germans after WWII, the guest worker program in the 1950s and 1960s (which brought many foreigners to Germany), as well as the so-called European refugee crisis since 2015. We will research the different reasons for people traveling to and leaving Germany, the reactions of the population, and the consequences migration has had for German history and society. Specifically, we will analyze the political and societal reactions to the European refugee crisis and will put it into historical context. The course is taught in English. No German required. This course cannot be used to fulfill the language requirement.
Film has long been used as a way to (re)interpret history. This course allows students to examine moments and issues in German history, each through the lens of two films made at different times. For example, how is Hitler portrayed differently in early post-WWII films than in 2004's Downfall? What does this reveal about German views of the past? Topics for film pairings may include (but are not limited to) the Berlin Wall, Red Army Faction terrorism, immigrants, and German unification. All films will be shown in German with English subtitles. No German is required.
Norway's preeminent playwright, Henrik Ibsen, lived most of his life outside of his homeland, which he nevertheless observed with unmatched acuity. The course follows Ibsen's development as a dramatist while also exploring the cultural context of his time. The course includes recent film productions of selected plays and an opportunity to experience an Ibsen play as performed by the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro, MN. All readings and discussions are in English. Students who have completed NORST 202 may elect to enroll in NORST 361 for additional coursework in Norwegian. Offered on a rotating basis.
Through the lives and literature of Nobel Prize-winning authors, Bjornstjerne Bjornson, Knut Hamsun, and Sigrid Undset, the history of Norway unfolds with its struggles and triumphs from the Middle Ages through Norway's World War II occupation by Hitler's forces. Reading selected works and viewing films based on them, as well as researching the authors' lives and times, students will gain an understanding of the highlights of Norway's history and literary production. All readings and discussion are in English. Advanced Norwegian language students may enroll in NORST 363 for additional coursework in Norwegian. Offered on a rotating basis.