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.
We anticipate that students taking American Multicultural Studies courses will: