About Cultural Formations:
Cultural Formations (CF, CFA, CFB) courses allow
students the opportunity to study interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge
within the humanities and the social sciences, and the natural sciences when
related to either of these other two areas of knowledge. CF courses value new
and unusual combinations of study and are intended to encourage faculty
innovation and creativity.
CF courses go beyond disciplinary training to develop awareness of the complex formations of values, traditions, and institutions that constitute cultures, and to examine the paradoxes such formations pose. These courses have three major purposes: 1) to introduce students to broad maps of human culture and to the fact that they, as the heirs of all that has gone before, need to assess a long past and a global present; 2) to reveal the interrelatedness of problems of knowledge amid shifting intellectual boundaries; and 3) to make points of reference along those boundaries and so begin to form intellectual communities that embrace the varied schools and disciplines at SMU.
Dr. Ron Wetherington, teaching CFB 3351, Forensic Anthropology: Stories Told by Bones.
Cultural Formation Requirements:
CF courses must be interdisciplinary. These courses
explore how the approaches and materials of more than one discipline can be
brought to bear on the study of complex social, cultural, and institutional
formations. Teaching in teams is strongly encouraged to realize these
interdisciplinary goals. Courses must be broad in scope – whether historically
over time or more immediately in the contemporary world. They may include
emphasis on global awareness, interculturalism, and ethnic diversities as well
as engage problems of ethics and value. CF courses must be critical in approach,
writing-intensive, and focus on primary sources.
CF courses must be taken at SMU, either on the
Dallas campus, at SMU-in-Taos, or through the Study Abroad International
Programs. Courses transferred from other institutions may not receive CF credit
under any circumstances. CF credit will only be given for courses taken at SMU
that bear the CF, CFA, or CFB prefix.
Cultural Formations may also carry departmental
co-listings; if the course is taken with the departmental number, it will not
be given Cultural Formations credit. Similarly, a course taken with a CF number
will not also count as a departmental course. Please note that the
departmental co-listing of a CF course may NOT receive Perspectives credit.
Cultural Formations and Perspectives are mutually-exclusive categories; one
cannot count for the other.
Students must complete two CF courses between their sophomore and senior years.