MERCED, CA— University of California,
Merced, literature professors proudly announced their new major
“I actually got applause in class yesterday when I told my
students,” said Manuel Martín-Rodríguez, who teaches U.S.
Latino literature. “The students now have this major, which they
hold close to their hearts.”
Students have already formed literary groups and publications on
campus, he said, but until now, did not have a program to call home.
Martín-Rodríguez said UC Merced’s literature program
is not only new, it’s unique. There will be two concentrations:
literature and cultures of the English-speaking world; and
literature and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The two will
overlap, in many cases, and, in keeping with UC Merced’s
interdisciplinary approach, also incorporate history, philosophy
and the arts.
Students in the Spanish-speaking concentration will get
something no other university can boast: two professors who are
learned and published in African writers who write in Spanish.
“Our program is going to encompass all the possibilities and be
truly global in nature,” Martín-Rodríguez said.
In the English-language concentration, students will study with
an expert in ecocriticism and nature writing while being near
Yosemite National Park.
Like many UC Merced undergrads, students in the literature major
will have plenty of opportunities for research with faculty who are
experts in their fields.
The management program also made an announcement this week,
being approved to offer students a bachelor’s of science degree
instead of a bachelor’s of arts. UC Merced is one of only three UC
campuses to offer the business administration and management
programs, and the standard is to offer a bachelor’s of science. The
other two campuses are UC Berkeley and UC Riverside.
The change doesn’t mean the curriculum will be adjusted, however.
“The degree requirements for the UC Merced management program
already require technical skills comparable to - and in some cases
exceeding - those required for the bachelor’s of science degree at
the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley,” management professor
Shawn Kantor said.
The change will affect all management students, the first of
whom are scheduled to graduate in spring 2008.