Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 11:50:31 -0400

From: "H Stephen STRAIGHT (Binghamton University,


Subject: Re: Gen Ed Linguistics

At Binghamton University (SUNY) for over 15 years now most of the

Linguistics Program's 100-level offerings, and several of its higher-level

offerings as well, have satisfied either a humanities or a social sciences

distribution requirement -- at the student's choice -- in the Harpur

College of Arts & Sciences and, because of their linkage to Harpur's three

divisions, also in the Gen Ed requirements of Binghamton's other schools

(of Education and Human Development, Engineering and Applied Science,

Management, and Nursing). In particular, Anthro/Ling 112, Language in

Human Behavior, which surveys the findings (as opposed to the methods) of

linguistics -- required for the major but not a prerequisite for

higher-level courses -- has drawn up to 480 enrollees a year.

Under Harpur's -- and by extension Binghamton's -- divisionally defined

distribution requirements, which is all Binghamton has had in the way of

Gen Ed except for separately defined language and writing requirements,

any course whatsoever in a divisionally-grounded department's listings

could count toward humanities, social sciences, or science and mathematics

requirements. As an interdivisional program, Linguistics used a

combination of cross-listings and mere fiat to define the divisional

rubrics for its courses, many of which have counted in more than one

division (but with no divisional double-counting for an individual

student). For example, historical linguistics counts as Hum or Soc Sci,

sociolinguistics as Soc Sci, psycholinguistics as Soc Sci or Sci & Math,

and neurolinguistics as Sci & Math.

Beginning soon, in addition to Harpur's continuing distribution

requirements, Harpur students will have to meet a two-course "Diversity"

requirement, while Binghamton students at large will have to meet a new

set of Gen Ed requirements that include such headings as "US Pluralism",

"Global Interdependencies", and "Laboratory Science". It remains to be

seen how linguistics courses will mesh with these new requirements, but

precedent suggests that individual courses -- with our without new or

revamped titles and descriptions -- will eventually find their way into

all four of the mentioned rubrics and perhaps some others as well.

Linguistics easily vies for honors as the most interdisciplinary of


Best. 'Bye. Steve

signature =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

H Stephen STRAIGHT LxC Binghamton University (SUNY)

Assoc Prof, Anthro and Ling Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13902-6000

Dir, Langs Across the Curriculum Tel: 607-777-2824 Fax: 607-777-2889