New M.S. in Global Media and Cultures at Georgia Tech
Dina Khapaeva, Georgia Institute of Technology
More than ten years ago, Georgia Tech launched its Russian Program at the School of Modern Languages. Over the years, the program has been offering Bachelor of Science majors, a minor, and a language certificate to its undergraduates. Although there is no language requirement at Georgia Tech, 50% of students take a language and 54% graduate with substantive experience abroad. Students have shown considerable interest in and enthusiasm for the Russian program and the study of Russian. As a result we felt it was time to offer a Master’s Degree that prepares them to use these skills in their future.
This program is located at the intersection of language studies, cultural studies, and media studies. It is a joint degree by the School of Modern Languages and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. As a professional Master’s degree, the MS-GMC reflects the rising importance of humanistic study for many career fields in the 21st century, ranging from media, education, and international business to non-profit and engineering. These degrees build on a rapidly expanding global media ecosystem in Atlanta, where students in the humanities gain sought-after cultural and creative industry competence. MS-GMC aims to help students apply their skills in language and analysis — as well as their passion for cross-cultural communication, social justice, and media — to a successful, impactful career. This program is brand new: it is enrolling the first cohort of students now for classes beginning fall 2019.
The Russian program offers rigorous content-based study of the matrices and fault lines that define Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet culture. Faculty strengths lie in the study of historical and cultural memory and its manipulations, systems of artistic meaning and their history, Russian poetry, fiction, and song, and intersections of literature and the sciences. Students achieve a high level of real-world linguistic competence, acquire deep knowledge of “what makes Russian culture tick,” and work with our faculty to design their own paths of inquiry. Students’ Master projects range from producing a film on urban development and cultural sustainability in St. Petersburg or doing an internship at the CISR sociological institute in St. Petersburg to working with faculty to lead the Language for Business and Technology (LBAT) program to Latvia and Russia and bringing innovative film-makers to Atlanta through the Global Media Fest.
There are two fellowship programs that support the new MS degree: The GT-Политех Scholarship supports students to study for up to a year at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. The program enables interdisciplinary graduate study by allowing students to take courses in Russian in any discipline that is pertinent to their professional goals. This study abroad experience can be combined with the MS-GMC as an additional funded semester or year of study. The GT-Политех Scholarship covers tuition and dormitory fees. Students live with native-speaker roommates in the university dormitory. A three-week bridge program in technical Russian can be arranged preceding the start of the program.
The Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC), a consortium of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, announces the competition for 2019-2020 FLAS Fellowships, which assist students in achieving competency in selected foreign languages in combination with international and area studies coursework.
Dina Khapaeva, is a Professor of Russian in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech.