We are Stony Brook University faculty and students dedicated to developing both traditional and nontraditional strategies of learning how to become engaged global citizens. Our Project promotes awareness of a range of issues for which our campus community shares responsibility, such as cross-cultural understanding and peaceful negotiation of global differences; environmental activism; engagement with resource inequalities and poverty; and gender and sexuality politics aimed at equality and respect. To this end, we teach literary works and creative work in other media originating within our national borders or constituting the western canon more broadly, but we place special emphasis on cultural expression and production from outside this familiar sphere. These works link the classroom to the world, enlarging comprehension and encouraging commitment to global change.
Through our speaker series and undergraduate curricular initiatives we cultivate independent thinking and acting outside the classroom as well. Through our work with advisors, local and visiting experts, and students, we are constantly involved in a process of learning, while translating new ideas into new practices and models of engagement. We also synthesize resources from allies and “kindred spirit” programs to make global initiatives inside and outside the university more accessible to both students and instructors.
Ultimately, we are committed to exposing students to literature and the arts, pertinent scholarship, and social and scientific inquiry that reckons with the “global”–the “global South” in particular. The Global Citizenship and World Literature project promotes a heightened sense of civic engagement with the consciousness of world-oriented impacts within students’ lives. Our work unites divergent academic disciplines at Stony Brook University in new and productive ways. We invite the campus community to participate in a globally mindful conversation about the university’s role in preparing our students to be vibrant national and world citizens. As tomorrow’s true change agents, they will explore new modes of learning that expand the boundaries of the classroom to encompass the world beyond.