The Relevance of Area Studies

In recent weeks political and economic uprisings on several continents have captured our attention. I followed the Facebook activity from former and current Stags about the Venezuelan protests. Most news outlets have become alarmists about the potential consequences of the recent political change in Ukraine. These global stories have grabbed some attention away from other important issues in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East that also have a global impact. Fairfield faculty go to great lengths to provide courses, majors, and minors that help keep students plugged in globally including our Area Studies minors: Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies.

These interdisciplinary minors are designed to enhance your understanding of a variety of regional issues that have a global effect on commerce, politics, policy, and other societal concerns. As evidenced by several International Studies and International Business majors, these minors are an excellent way to develop a regional expertise and more importantly, a deeper understanding of why, for instance, the Ukrainian protests matter here in the US. Last night, program directors for all three Area Studies minors met with students in Canisius Hall to illustrate why interdisciplinary studies matters. Below are a few pictures of what you missed:

 

Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.
Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.
Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos, associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies program discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.
Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos (center), associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.
Dr. Qin Zhang, associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.
Dr. Qin Zhang (center), associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.

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