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Center aims to raise awareness of non-western studies

Huntington, Ind.-Huntington University has established the Centre for Non-Western Studies to bring awareness to the university's broad offerings in non-western studies.

The center is directed by Dr. Tim Smith, assistant professor of history, and includes renowned academics in the fields of Bible and religion, English and modern languages, history and political studies, ministry and missions, TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages), social work and sociology.

Smith describes the center as a "one-stop-shop" for students looking to take more non-western classes.

"We do a great deal of non-western teaching," Smith said, "but we don't shout about it, and it tends to get lost in everything else."

The center is currently endorsing the digital media arts program's "Signs & Wonders" film discussion series, which often features non-western films. The series goes through December and meets Thursdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m.

Also in the works is a yearly forum to discuss non-western politics, culture and geography, as well as library events, and potentially a chapel speaker, Smith said.

In addition, the center is promoting a Forester Lecture to be given by Dr. Todd Martin, professor of English, on April 27, 2010, titled "Race, Gender, Feminism and the Case of Edwidge Danticat." Danticat is a Haitian-American author.

Smith hopes that through the events and academic offerings that "students will gain a better understanding of the cultural context of the world in which they live."

For more about the Centre for Non-Western Studies, visit www.huntington.edu/cnws.