The New Global and Regional Studies Program Off to a Busy Start

Professor Luis Vivanco

The new UVM Global and Regional Studies Program is off to a busy start as the Fall 2009 semester begins. The program, which was approved in February 2009, replaces the former Area and International Studies Program. It brings with it a new major and minor in Global Studies. Global Studies is a relatively new interdisciplinary field of scholarship and teaching on global issues. A central goal of the Global Studies major is to promote interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary understandings of the intertwined economic, political, military, cultural, and social processes that intensify contemporary global interdependencies and conflicts. Global Studies deals with themes of inequality, justice, human rights, environmental degradation, and other civic concerns. The objective of the Global Studies curriculum is to cultivate citizens of the world who are critically aware of and actively engaged in issues of global equity, sustainability, and well-being.

The first Introduction to Global Studies course was taught by Prof. Luis Vivanco (pictured above) in the fall of 2008 to a larger-than-expected class of 60 students. The course will be taught again this fall by Prof. Jonah Steinberg and has already reached maximum capacity at 80 students. To highlight the popularity of this field of study even further, over 40 students had already declared Global Studies as their major before the start of the semester. The positive buzz around this program continues to grow not just among students, but among faculty and administration as well.

The Global and Regional Studies Program continues to offer majors in Asian Studies, Canadian Studies, European Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Studies, and Russian/East European Studies. It also offers minors in all of the above fields, as well as African Studies and Middle East Studies. With the recent addition of Arabic language, demand for Middle East Studies courses continues to rise.

The name change from Area & International Studies to Global and Regional Studies brings with it new possibilities - the integration of regional and global curricula, for example - but it also reinforces the program’s status as a dynamic and relevant environment for international studies. For more information on the program, visit, and be sure to check out the upcoming fall lecture series at