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  • About American Multicultural Studies

American Multicultural Studies

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  • About the American Multicultural Studies Department

    Mission of the American Multicultural Studies Department

    The American Multicultural Studies Department (AMCS) at Minnesota State University Moorhead exemplifies the institution's commitment to deriving value from the richness of diversity.  The department's interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences faculty facilitate the discovery and acquisition of knowledge, independent inquiry, professional and scholarly activity, and student/faculty/community collaboration. Such an approach develops a critical perspective to examine the characteristics and relationships of the cultures that have shaped this nation in the past and today.  As a result, students learn theoretical and applied skills central to a liberal studies education, while cultivating a greater respect for the diversity of our common humanity.  

    Grounded in the historical experiences, cultural practices, traditions, artistic production, intellectual contributions, political struggles, and voices of Native American Indian, African American, Chicano/Latino and Asian American peoples, American Multicultural Studies courses provide an increased level of knowledge about the diverse heritage of the United States.   We emphasize the perspectives and aspirations of peoples of color. We  honor and teach their histories, contributions, values, issues and concerns in order to correct misperceptions derived from the social construction of race.  A unique contribution of American Multicultural Studies focuses on the continuum of interrelationships between subordinate and dominant cultural groups in American society.  We use interdisciplinary methods to situate these histories and viewpoints into contexts that highlight interactions with the American mainstream.  We examine relationships that are shaped by inequalities of power and identities such as class, gender, national origin and ideologies, within and between cultural groups.  Exposure to such knowledge enables students to acquire an enhanced understanding of the cultural, socioeconomic and political consequences of these matters in a multicultural society.

    The American Multicultural Studies Department seeks to broaden students perspectives by offering them a wide array of courses that prepare them to oppose prejudice and discrimination and contribute creatively to achieving a more just society.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    We anticipate that students taking American Multicultural Studies courses will:

    • Be familiar with and understand knowledge about the status, concerns, achievements, representations and experiences of African Americans, Native American Indians, Chicanos/Latinos, and Asian Americans.
    • Recognize the status, concerns, achievements, representations and experiences of African Americans, Native American Indians, Chicanos/Latinos and Asian Americans.
    • Examine and apply key concepts from multicultural American experiences, values, beliefs and behaviors to core visual, aural and literary texts.
    • Comprehend and critique humanistic and social scientific texts within their historical and cultural contexts.
    • Identify, analyze and discuss complex issues and policies in Americna society from critical interdisciplinary, comparative and multicultural perspectives.
    • Interpret and synthesize research materials using interdisciplinary methodologies and skills.
    • Create and critically evaluate oral, written and visual presentations of multicultural research.       

    American Multicultural Studies Values

    • We value multicultural voices and perspectives in the classroom and community. We believe that cultural diversity strengthens this university, nation and world. We believe that providing students with more exposure and opportunities to interact with people and cultures different than their own better prepares them to live in an interdependent world and strengthens civic responsibility.
    • We value respect for ourselves and for all peoples.
    • We value creating safe environments for the exploration of unfamiliar and challenging ideas and issues. We encourage students to move outside their comfort zones as they are exposed to new knowledge and critical understandings of diverse cultures within and outside our society.
    • We value learning as a continuous growth process in personal understanding and in knowledge. Ideas have to be cultivated and nurtured to take root.
    • We value interdisciplinary approaches. We draw and link perspectives from a variety of disciplines in the arts,  humanities and social sciences to develop a more complete understanding of peoples in a multicultural world.
    • We value social justice.  We believe that multicultural studies can be a means to dismantling oppression and creating a foundation for rectifying inequalities of power between peoples in a multicultural world.