Why area studies? NIU centers answer the question

Instructor and gamelan master Ngurah Kertayuda, right, will be back with NIU’s Balinese gamelan at this year’s area studies open house.Instructor and gamelan master Ngurah Kertayuda, right, will be back with NIU’s Balinese gamelan at this year’s area studies open house.
Instructor and gamelan master Ngurah Kertayuda, right, will be back with NIU’s Balinese gamelan at this year’s area studies open house.

NIU’s three area studies centers – the Center for Burma Studies, the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) – will host their fifth annual Area Studies Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, on College View Court.

Events include a regional food tasting along with music and activities from both sides of the ocean. Visitors can take a turn on the Balinese gamelan with NIU instructor and gamelan master Ngurah Kertayuda or take a salsa lesson from the Tumbao student dance group.

Student groups including the Southeast Asia Club, the Burma Interest Group-NIU and the Spanish Club will be on hand to share information about their upcoming events and activities. Center staff will be available to discuss their programs for pursuing Southeast Asian or Latino and Latin American studies.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about area studies at NIU,” said Judy Ledgerwood, CSEAS director and anthropology professor. “We hope to interest more students in pursuing Southeast Asian or Latin American studies here and the many opportunities that come with them. These interdisciplinary programs offer scholarships, activities, and a multicultural experience that can open many doors in our globalized world.”

History graduate student Adam Lopez said that the Latino and Latin American Studies minor allowed him to better understand his cultural roots. “Once I had a strong sense of self,” he said, “I was able to branch out to other cultural groups and see how their histories and experiences were interconnected with Latin America.”

The open house is free and open to all. For more information, call (815) 753-1771 or email cseas@niu.edu.

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