Americas Studies Course
Discovering the Americas in the 21st century
Let’s think about the times we live in from the global standpoint to the local, and from the local standpoint to the global.American Studies Course : Reiko MATSUHISA, Professor
Our program treats the North and South American continents and nearby islands as a single region: the Americas. From the appearance of the Americas on the world map at the end of the 15th century, the world came together as a truly global market. Caribbean sugar and indigenous American plants like the potato, tomato, and corn brought major changes to dietary cultures in the rest of the world. The massive mining of gold and silver stimulated the development of the monetary economy on a global scale, while the fur trade with northern native Americans revolutionized European high fashion. In the modern era, the United States attracted and absorbed diverse people, information, and intellectual currents from throughout the world, and in turn became influential in every corner of the globe in not only political, economic and military affairs, but also music, fashion and other aspects of popular culture. Latin American nations as well, such as Mexico and Brazil, host of the 2016 Olympics, are a growing presence in global society, in ways both economic and cultural.
With lecture classes on topics including history, thought, race and ethnic relations, migration, indigenous peoples, gender, popular culture, and international politics, this program cultivates understanding of the internal diversity of the Americas and its relationships with other regions. The program is designed especially for students who are eager to learn languages, and to gain an understanding of contemporary social issues and cultural phenomena from a variety of angles, going beyond a specific discipline of study.
Americas Studies Course Third Year Student : Takeshi YOSHIDA
Starting with Spanish was thrilling, and I hope to reach my goals by studying in MexicoI enrolled in this faculty because I like English and world history, and in the future, I want to have a job that requires foreign languages and an international sensibility. It’s exciting to have so many other people around me who want to study abroad and learn languages. I started learning Spanish at the university, and I’d always been interested in Latin America, and it feels like I’ve found what I really want to do. Last summer I went to Mexico for a one-month training course at Universidad De Las Americas, which was a wonderful experience that allowed me to observe for myself the realities of Mexican society, including the disparity between the rich and the poor. This summer I will return to the same university for half a year. I’ll be in classes together with local students, and I expect it will help me clarity my specific goals for the future.