Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Approval

Department or Program:     Honors
Course Number:         251
Semester Hours:         3
Frequency Offered:         Yearly
Course Title:              Multicultural Seminar

Catalog Description:
Multicultural Seminars concentrate on specialized topics within the Multicultural Perspectives category of the Unity and Diversity Requirements in the University Studies Program. These seminars emphasize student initiative and presentation. A high degree of technical expertise is not required.
Prerequisite: Admission into the program or instructor's permission. Grade only

A2C2 Approved Course:    Yes (with course title change)
Requested Approval:     Unity and Diversity -- Multicultural Perspectives
Contact person: Dr. Catherine Schmidt (243 PAC; 457-5256;

General Course Information:
Through reading, discussing, researching, presenting, and writing about or creating work that evidences multicultural perspectives, students will be introduced to basic ideas about the role of diversity, cultural differences within and between societies. These courses help students learn about these issues within disciplines such as music, history, literature, and art. Thus, students are engaged in reading literature or history, viewing works of art, or listening to music from different cultures and ethnic groups.

University Studies 251 will have a variety of subject areas, but a consistency in terms of University Studies outcomes. Thus, while in one semester the course may focus on World Music or the Art of the Caribbean, in another semester it may focus on Travel Literature of Latin America and Africa. Although the content of the course and the methods of approaching the material will vary depending on the instructor involved, the course will consistently adhere to the objectives of the university studies program. Various examples of approaches to content but consistency with objectives are demonstrated in the attached syllabi. Rationale:
Discovering, interpreting, and understanding diversity can occur through many mediums. Whether through music, art, or literature, students can learn that different cultures have different thought patterns, values, and beliefs. They will have the opportunity to see that specific ideas, events, and experiences can be interpreted in different ways by different peoples. They can come to realize that these cultural differences influence the interactions between two subject groups, and they will be able to examine these different cultures fully. Finally, through study of these different cultures students will be prepared to meet and interact successfully with people from a different culture to the benefit of the world community.

Courses offered as Honors 251--Multicultural Seminar will include requirements and learning activities that promote student's abilities to (each class will address at least three of the following outcomes):

a.     demonstrate knowledge of diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, and belief as manifest in different cultures;

In Honors 251 seminars, students will examine diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, and belief as manifest in different cultures through the study of various cultures' art, music, history, or literature. For example, students in "World Music Performance" will experience concerts that are presented as part of the Residential College International Series. Groups of students will research the cultural contexts of the music and the beliefs and values of the people creating the music, including both overall cultural ideas and norms and those specifically related to the music in the performance. Emphasizing the skills required in Honors courses, these students would then make oral presentations on their findings and lead class discussion regarding comparisons between past concerts and the focus of their current study.

In "Foreign Travelers in Exotic Lands", students will examine travel memoirs of British and American travelers who observe Latin America, Africa, and Asia, allowing students to think critically about what happens in the "contact zones", those spaces where two cultures meet. In the readings students will find examples of how foreign authors found similarities with the culture from which they came (for example, signs of the use of crosses in Latin America) which they uniformly applauded, and dissimilarities which they generally abhorred (human sacrifice for example). The more sophisticated accounts will be more sympathetic to the voices of the people being visited and hence more aware of the diversity of thought, values, and beliefs of the culture they are visiting.

b.    understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interpretations
    and expression of events, ideas and experiences;

Honors 251 seminar students will examine the influence cultural differences have on the particular cultural expression that is the focus of the course. For example, in the course "Foreign travelers in Exotic Lands" students will examine travel literature that exemplifies how, at the point of contact, Europeans and the peoples they were visiting frequently misunderstood each other because of differing interpretations of the events they witnessed. In "World Music Performance," students will learn about the differing views of performance context, audience-performer relationships, and the functions of music in relationship to deeply embedded cultural norms and values. For example, something that might sound very much like a musical "performance" to western ears, might be conceived as just a part of daily work routine and not intended "for a listening audience" in the views of someone from another part of the world.

c.    understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interactions     between individuals and /or groups;

Again, each section of Honors 251 will explore culture's influence on group and individual interactions through a different lens. This outcome is particularly well suited for "The Carnival Culture of Trinidad in A Caribbean Art Context" as the population of Trinidad is, in itself, so diverse. Reading, discussing, and writing that revolves around the interactions between different groups within the context of the culture of Carnival provides an excellent example of how this outcome might be met. Courses focusing on historical materials will also find this outcome particularly well served with their topics, as so much of the subject of history focuses on interactions between people, both within the same culture group and from different groups.

d.    examine different cultures through their various expressions; and /or

Each of the three sample syllabi provided with this university studies course proposal focus on a specific form of cultural expression as the vehicle for exploring diverse patterns of thought and behavior. Music, art, and literature are expressive forms that clearly provide windows to an understanding of diverse cultures.

e.    possess the skills necessary for interaction with someone from a different culture
    or cultural group.

Cultural understanding and insight are prerequisites for positive interactions between people of diverse cultural backgrounds. The intensive writing, discussion, and aural presentation components of an honors course focused on topics such as the music, literature, art, and history of diverse culture groups will provide students within the courses with a strong base of these prerequisites to help prepare them for future interactions with individuals from the groups studied. Additional opportunities to develop the skills for interaction with people of a different culture are exemplified in the "Carnival Culture of Trinidad" seminar project that "puts WSU students in contact over e-mail and NetMeeting software with students at The University of West Indies in Trinidad" and in the opportunities for discussion sessions with the visiting artists in the "World Music Performance" seminar. These discussion opportunities occur both formally within the context of the class meeting and informally following the performances.
(Sample Syllabus)
HON 251
World Music Performance--Syllabus

Instructor:    Cathy Schmidt    Phone:     457-5256
Office:    PAC 243                 E-Mail:

Course Description:
Music is part of culture; music is culture. This course is designed to meet the Multicultural Perspectives requirement of the University Studies Program, and help students develop an understanding of cultural diversity through the expressive form of music. In this course students attend weekly music concerts given by representatives of cultures from all parts of the world. In the classroom portion of the seminar, investigations concerning the relationship of music and culture revolve around the cultures represented in the concert series. The influence of cultural values on the interpretation of musical events and how the music itself may reflect cultural values are two of the central issues examined through group and individual research, class readings, oral presentations, and class discussions.

Course Objectives:
This courses meets the requirements for the Multicultural Perspectives option within the category of Unity and Diversity in the University Studies Program by including learning activities that promote students' abilities to:

A.     demonstrate knowledge of diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, and belief as manifest in different cultures;
B.     understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interpretations and expression of events, ideas and experiences;
C.     examine different cultures through their various expressions; and/or
D.     possess the skills necessary for interaction with someone from a different culture or cultural group.

In this course, you will:
�    Examine differences in how music functions in societies; (USP Outcomes A and C)
�    Discuss various ways music is transmitted from one generation to the next in some societies; (USP Outcome C)
�    Understand how music can interact with the history and politics of a society; (USP Outcomes A and C)
�    Understand how cultural differences influence the interpretations of musical materials and performances; (USP Outcome B)
�    Examine the dynamics of change in relationship to musical culture; (USP Outcome C)
�    Relate how behaviors surrounding musical events vary and signal cultural values and ideas; (USP Outcomes A, B, and C)
�    Examine the music of specific culture groups for aesthetic values; (USP Outcome C) and
�    Understand basic concepts in the field of ethnomusicology (USP Outcome C).

�    Course materials will be taken from a variety of sources. You will be required to do a significant amount of copying and reading at the library.
�    International Series Concert attendance at the Residential College in Lourdes Hall is required. There is no admission charge for these concerts.

Course Assignments, Activities, and Evaluation:
�    Two presentations on the musical cultures represented by specified concerts in the series (USP Outcomes A, B, and C).
�    You will work in groups and research the cultural contexts of the music and the beliefs and values of the people creating the music, including both overall cultural ideas and norms and those specifically related to the music in the performance. Your group will make an oral presentation on your findings prior to the concert represented by your research. You will lead a class discussion focusing on the similarities and differences within and between the culture group you have researched and past groups and ideas presented within the context of the course.
�    One additional research project on a culture group of your choice (USP Outcomes A, B, and C).
�    You will write a research paper investigating a music culture or genre of your choice. You will create an outline of important points discussed in your paper to distribute to the class and make a short oral presentation on your topic.
�    Prepare course readings and reviews as assigned (USP Outcomes A, B, and C).
�    For each culture group/concert that we focus on in this seminar, the group researching the culture area and I will both choose readings for the class to read and reflect on. Readings will be on reserve at the library or on the web. You will also have assigned readings that deal with topics in ethnomusicology or the relation of music to culture generally. You will be expected to come to class with hand-written notes detailing pertinent points from the assigned readings and thoughtful questions to contribute to class discussion.
�    Write reflective review papers following each concert (USP Outcomes A and C).
�    You will write reflective reviews of each concert that discuss the following: 1) the function of the music in the culture as ascertained from the performers' comments and performance; 2) the prominent musical characteristics of the performance and how they relate to the materials discussed in class and 3) any other cultural connections you became aware of through this concert experience.
�    Participate in class discussions focused on readings and concerts. Ask pertinent questions when appropriate during the question and answer sessions within the concerts (USP Outcomes A, B, C, and D).
�    You are expected to participate fully in all classroom interactions. On several occasions, the performers will be guests during the classroom portion of this seminar. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the music and culture with them. During the concerts, many performers will allow time for questions. You should try to ask pertinent questions that will help illuminate the issues discussed in class when these opportunities arise. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the performers informally after the concert, looking more closely at the instruments, asking questions, and discussing the concert. You should take full advantage of these opportunities.

Grades will be based on:
�    Quality of written work and aural presentation represented by clarity of thought, writing and presentation skills, critical analysis, and organization of materials. (75% of grade)
�    Participation in class discussions and preparation of reading materials. (Attendance effects evaluation of this criterion as you must be present to participate and demonstrate preparation of materials.) (25% of grade)

Concert Schedule--International Music Series
Sponsored by the Winona State University Residential College at Lourdes Hall
Spring 2000--Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM.
Concerts will be held in the Lourdes Hall North Lounge (457 Gould Street)

(Sample schedule from last year's class/series)

Jan. 13:    John and Therese Bernadot
        American Folk songs
Jan. 27:    Diane Jarvi
        Songs and Music of Finland
Feb. 3:        Bruce Paddington
        Music in Caribbean festivals' film and video
Feb. 10:    Theatre Mu
        Taiko - Japanese Drumming
Feb. 17:    David Whetstone
        North Indian Sitar Music
March 2:    Schubert Club Javanese Gamelan Ensemble
Joko Sutrisno and the Schubert Club gamelan ensemble performing Central Javanese gamelan music

March 23:    Peter Phippen
        Flute music from around the world
March 30:    Sowah Mensah and ensemble
        A master Drummer from Ghana with his West African Drumming Ensemble
April 13:    Steel Drum Band
        Steel Drum music of the Caribbean
April 20:    Mariachi Mexico
        Mexican Mariachi music
April 27:    Spirit of Nature
Gao Hong, Chen Tao, Wang Hong, and Zhao Yangqin performing traditional silk and bamboo music from China.

May 4:    La Negra & Las Commandres
Colombian musician La Negra Karin with Alice Hampton and Edgar East performing traditional music of South America

May 11:    Frank (Anakwad) Montano
Traditional flute, guitar and drum music dreamed and found on the shores of Lake Superior by this Chippewa flute maker

University Studies Course Approval 03/30/1/03/30/1/ Psychology Lab WSU 03/30/0101/24/0153