EXPLORING DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

Williams College is committed to creating and maintaining a curriculum, faculty, and student body that reflects and explores a diverse, globalized world and the multi-cultural character of the United States. Courses designated "(D)" in the College Bulletin are a part of the College's Exploring Diversity Initiative (EDI); they represent our dedication to study groups, cultures, and societies as they interact with, and challenge, each other. Through such courses, Williams College students and faculty also consider the multiple approaches that engage these issues. Rather than simply focus on the study of specific peoples, cultures, or regions of the world, in the past or present, however, courses fulfilling the EDI requirement actively promote a self-conscious and critical engagement with diversity. They urge students to consider the operations of difference in the world and provide them with the tools to do so. The ultimate aim of the EDI requirement is to lay the groundwork for a life-long engagement with the diverse cultures, societies, and histories of the United States and the rest of the world.

Courses that comprise the Exploring Diversity Initiative may fall under a variety of categories, including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Comparative Study of Cultures and Societies. These courses focus on the differences and similarities between cultures and societies, and/or on the ways in which cultures, peoples, and societies have interacted and responded to one another in the past.

2. Empathetic Understanding. These courses explore diverse human feelings, thoughts, and actions by recreating the social, political, cultural, and historical context of a group in order to imagine why within that context, those beliefs, experiences, and actions of the group emerged.

3. Power and Privilege: These courses link issues of diversity to economic and political power relations, investigating how cultural interaction is influenced by various structures, institutions, or practices that enable, maintain, or mitigate inequality among different groups.

4. Critical Theorization: These courses focus on ways scholars theorize the possibilities of cross-cultural understanding and interaction; they investigate the ways that disciplines and paradigms of knowledge both constitute "difference" and are reconfigured by the study of diversity-related questions.

5. Cultural Immersion: In various ways these courses immerse students in another culture and give them the tools with which to understand that culture from the inside. They include those foreign language courses that explicitly engage in the self-conscious awareness of cultural and societal differences, traditions, and customs as an integral aspect of language study.

All students are required to complete ONE course that is part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative. Although this course, which may be counted toward the divisional distribution requirement, may be completed any semester before graduation, students are urged to complete the course by the end of their sophomore year. Courses used to fulfill this requirement may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.

By immersing students in foreign cultures, and often by furthering language acquisition, study abroad programs can offer a robust way to study cultural diversity. Students wishing to fulfill the EDI requirement via the completion of a study abroad program must submit a petition before their departure proposing EDI credit for a particular course on their program, for particular experiences (such as independent research or a homestay), or for a specific language training program they will undertake while abroad. The petition will require students to describe how they believe their proposed study abroad experience will meet one or more of the goals of the Exploring Diversity Initiative; it will be considered by the Director of the Exploring Diversity Initiative working in concert with the Committee on Academic Standing.

The one-course EDI requirement must be met by all members of the class of 2012; members of the classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 who have already completed a course designated "People's and Cultures" do not need to complete an EDI course.

Courses offered in 2008-2009:

AFR 111(F) Introduction to Francophone Studies (Same as French 111) (D)

AFR 235(F) African Rhythm, African Sensibility (Same as Music 235) (D)

AFR 241(F) Performing Race: From Shakespeare to Spike Lee (Same as Comparative Literature 241 and Theatre 241) (D)

AFR 403(S) New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (Same as American Studies 403, Comparative Literature 375, English 375 and Latina/o Studies 403) (D)

AMST 201(F,S) Introduction to American Studies (D)

AMST 332(S) Latinos and Education: The Politics of Schooling, Language, and Latino Studies (Same as Latina/o Studies 332) (Junior Seminar) (W) (D)

AMST 403(S) New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (Same as Africana Studies 403, Comparative Literature 375, English 375 and Latina/o Studies 403) (D)

AMST 405(S) Home and Belonging: Comparative Explorations of Displacements, Relocations, and Place-Making (Same as Latina/o Studies 405) (Senior Seminar) (W) (D)

ANTH 101(F,S) The Scope of Anthropology (D)

ANTH 256(S) Engendering Buddhism: How Women and Men Shape and Are Shaped by Buddhism (Same as Religion 256 and Women's and Gender Studies 256) (W) (D)

ARTH 464(F) Latina/o Visual Culture: Histories, Identities, and Representation (Same as Latina/o Studies 464) (W) (D)

ASST 250(S) Scholars, Saints and Immortals: The Religious Life in East Asia (Same as Religion 250) (D)

CHIN 101(F)-W88-102(S) Basic Chinese (D)

CHIN 201(F), 202(S) Intermediate Chinese (D)

CHIN 251T(S) Crises and Critiques: The Literature and Intellectual History of Early 20th Century China (Same as Comparative Literature 256T and History 215T) (W) (D)

CHIN 301(F), 302(S) Upper-Intermediate Chinese (D)

CHIN 401(F), 402(S) Advanced Chinese (D)

JAPN 101(F)-W88-102(S) First-Year Japanese (D)

JAPN 201(F), 202(S) Second-Year Japanese (D)

JAPN 301(F), 302(S) Third-Year Japanese (D)

JAPN 403(F) Advanced Japanese (D)

JAPN 404(S) Advanced Japanese (D)

BIOL 134(F) The Tropics: Biology and Social Issues (Same as Environmental Studies 134) (D)

COMP 104(F) Introduction to World Theatre and Performance (Same as Theatre 104) (D)

COMP 212(S) Nordic Lights: Literary and Cultural Diversity in Modern Scandinavia (Same as Women's and Gender Studies 200) (D)

COMP 230T(F) Violent States, Violent Subjects: Nation-Building and Atrocity in 19th-Century Latin America (Same as Spanish 230T) (W) (D)

COMP 231T(S) Postmodernism (Same as English 266T) (W) (D)

COMP 241(F) Performing Race: From Shakespeare to Spike Lee (Same as Africana Studies 241 and Theatre 241) (D)

COMP 256T(S) Crises and Critiques: The Literature and Intellectual History of Early 20th Century China (Same as Chinese 251T and History 215T) (W) (D)

COMP 309T(S) Exile, Homecoming and the Promised Land (Same as Jewish Studies 491T and Religion 289T) (W) (D)

COMP 375(S) New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (Same as Africana Studies 402, American Studies 403, English 375 and Latina/o Studies 403) (D)

ECON 468(S) Microfinance (Same as Economics 508) (D) (Q)

ECON 508(S) Microfinance (Same as Economics 468) (D) (Q)

ENGL 266T(S) Postmodernism (Same as Comparative Literature 231T) (W) (D)

ENGL 332(F) Colonial Subjects (D)

ENGL 375(S) New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (Same as Africana Studies 403, American Studies 403, Comparative Literature 375 and Latina/o Studies 403) (D)

ENVI 134(F) The Tropics: Biology and Social Issues (Same as Biology 134) (D)

HIST 207(F) The Modern Middle East (D)

HIST 215T(S) Crises and Critiques: The Literature and Intellectual History of Early 20th Century China (Same as Chinese 251T and Comparative Literature 256T) (W) (D)

HIST 310(S) Iraq and Iran in the Twentieth Century (D)

HIST 491T(S) Political Islam: Past, Present, Future (D) (W)

HIST 492T(S) Revolutionary Thought in Latin America (W) (D)

JWST 101(F) Judaism: Innovation and Tradition (Same as Religion 203) (D)

JWST 491T(S) Exile, Homecoming and the Promised Land (Same as Comparative Literature 309T and Religion 289T) (W) (D)

LATS 332(S) Latinos and Education: The Politics of Schooling, Language, and Latino Studies (Same as American Studies 332) (W) (D)

LATS 403(S) New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (Same as Africana Studies 403, American Studies 403, Comparative Literature 375 and English 375) (D)

LATS 405(S) Home and Belonging: Comparative Explorations of Displacements, Relocations, and Place-Making (Same as American Studies 405) (W) (D)

LATS 464(F) Latina/o Visual Culture: Histories, Identities, and Representation (Same as ArtH 464) (W) (D)

MUS 235(F) African Rhythm, African Sensibility (Same as Africana Studies 235) (D)

REL 203(F) Judaism: Innovation and Tradition (Same as Jewish Studies 101) (D)

REL 250(S) Scholars, Saints and Immortals: The Religious Life in East Asia (Same as Asian Studies 250) (D)

REL 256(S) Engendering Buddhism: How Women and Men Shape and Are Shaped by Buddhism (Same as Anthropology 256 and Women's and Gender Studies 256) (W) (D)

REL 289T(S) (formerly 309) Exile, Homecoming and the Promised Land (Same as Comparative Literature 309T and Jewish Studies 491T) (W) (D)

RLFR 111(F) Introduction to Francophone Studies (Same as Africana Studies 111) (D)

RLSP 204(S) Icons and Imaginaries: Culture and Politics in Latin America (D)

RLSP 230T(F) Violent States, Violent Subjects: Nation-Building and Atrocity in 19th-Century Latin America (Same as Comparative Literature 230T) (W) (D)

RLSP 308(S) Foundations of Latin American Literature: Colonialism and Post-Coloniality (D)

THEA 104(F) Introduction to World Theatre and Performance (Same as Comparative Literature 104) (D)

THEA 241(F) Performing Race: From Shakespeare to Spike Lee (Same as Africana Studies 241 and Comparative Literature 241) (D)

WGST 101(F,S) Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (W) (D)

WGST 200(S) Nordic Lights: Literary and Cultural Diversity in Modern Scandinavia (Same as Comparative Literature 212) (D)

WGST 256(S) Engendering Buddhism: How Women and Men Shape and Are Shaped by Buddhism (Same as Anthropology 256 and Religion 256) (W) (D)