To the Editor:
The News’ editorial about the international education component of the academic review ignores a lack that myself and others have encountered about the Yale undergraduate curriculum.
Being a student observer of global change and economic development, I would like to be able to pursue my studies in a more coherent way. Presently, neither the interdisciplinary programs nor any component departments enable me to analyze the extraordinary relationship between rich nations and poor nations in our day. While professors often acknowledge the interaction between development and, say, democracy or security, very little is offered that looks specifically at the motivations, nor the effectiveness, nor even the methods of the system of NGOs and multilateral institutions currently “developing” the poor post-colonial states of the world. While experience with foreign cultures is of undoubted value, many Yalies will probably be more personally challenged by encounters with the desperate poverty and lack of opportunity that is the reality of half of the world.
The academic review, despite its calls for more professorships and greater cross-disciplinary classes, brought me no reassurance that a student like me would find adequate opportunities to study development. Unless there is a conscious effort to bring in professors of development studies in its related disciplines, and consideration given to a program in development studies once the field reaches sufficient intellectual maturity, then Yale’s new intent to engage with the world will be limited to an engagement with only the privileged fraction of it.
Colleen Carey ’04
April 21, 2003
The writer directs curriculum development for Reach Out: Yale College Partnership for International Service and Social Justice.