Cross-Cultural Diversity Artifacts, Spring 2016
Culture may be described in its broadest sense as all socially patterned, symbolically mediated, learned behavior among humans. It covers everything from technology to aesthetic judgments. Students who would be truly educated must have an appreciation of the interrelatedness of and the diversity within cultural traditions on a regional and global scale. They must also recognize that issues of culture are not limited to the societal level, but include race, class, and gender. Having a multicultural understanding recognizes and reflects the full range of human groupings and cultural perspectives as well as the complex relationships among them. Gaining an understanding of diverse cultures enhances student’s self-understanding and their understanding of contemporary cultural contexts, a context characterized by a rich diversity of cultures and experiences in which the Western European intellectual tradition figures as one among many.
As part of Introduction to World Religions, students engage in a research project where they select one aspect of global religious culture and in the process of researching it, create various documents, images, videos, blogs, and other media which become "artifacts" demonstrating cultural exploration and engagement. As part of Florida State's Multicultural Liberal Studies requirements, students are required to collect these "artifacts," demonstrating their cultural competency. This archive is where many of these "artifacts" are described and stored. Each "artifact" is a lasting example of how students engage and explore the complex religious cultures of the world, and how they come to see their position within that global context.