Associate Professor of English Eric Haralson received a grant from the Empowerment Charitable Trust to oversee a thee-year project, “Global Citizenship and World Literature,” which will feature a guest-lecture series, development of model courses and teaching materials — including an expansive new anthology of international writings and a website dedicated to global consciousness-raising resources — student-organized global-activism events, and an interdisciplinary faculty/student advisory group. The project has a budget of $700,000.
The goal of the Global Citizenship project is to help Stony Brook’s talented, intellectually curious students become more aware of the dynamic globalized world we inhabit and more dedicated to applying what they learn to urgent global-change efforts. Working with the Dean’s Office in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Provost’s Division of Undergraduate Education, Haralson will set in motion a sequence of courses using literature, film and other media as vehicles for students to confront vital questions about what it means to be a global citizen — to understand the complex of different cultures that touch our lives and to vigorously contribute to making this a better world.
The Global Citizenship curriculum will be activist-oriented, encouraging students to get involved in campus fundraising for pressing international causes and in other consciousness-raising events as engaged global citizens. Students will be inspired and guided by an interdisciplinary teaching corps and an expansive faculty/student advisory group, as well as a series of campus visits and presentations from guest experts outside of Stony Brook — scholars of globalism, international artists in diverse fields and noted global activists. An informative website will keep students connected with important events and valuable resources, and a topnotch teaching anthology of global citizen-oriented world literature will be developed.
“As daily news draws attention to many global crises that demand action, we are thrilled that students will have the opportunity to think about citizenship through world literature,” said Department of English Chair Celia Marshik. “Instead of defaulting to apathy or frustration, literature can help students discover productive responses to local and global problems. The curricula and programming that come out of Eric’s project could not be more timely.”
The project welcomes colleagues from an array of disciplines across the College of Arts and Sciences, whose expertise will be essential to helping Stony Brook undergrads evolve into more aware and committed citizens of the world we all share.
The Empowerment Charitable Trust is a globally active donor organization with projects in Asia, Africa, Australia, and at several U.S. universities. It has special interest in supporting initiatives in social justice, micro enterprise, hunger eradication and children’s well-being.
— Lynne Roth