The Area Studies Network

Invitation to join the Subject Centre’s Area Studies Network

The Area Studies NetworkThe Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies is launching its new Area Studies Network which aims to bring together colleagues with an interest and expertise in the teaching of area-related subjects. Our experience over the past few years has shown that while Area Studies is a very diverse field encompassing a wide range of disciplines and types of programme there are occasions when it is of great benefit to network with colleagues across apparently discrete Areas. For example last March we held an event that addressed the issue of marketing and recruitment in Area Studies which was attended by representatives of many Area Studies. At this event it was agreed that similar problems do arise across Areas, such as difficulties in recruitment, lack of support from the institution for interdisciplinary courses, not always having a named department, falling student numbers. We also looked, more positively at strategies that can be adopted to exploit the key strengths of Area Studies courses - language learning, study abroad, multidisciplinarity, intercultural competence, key skills and employability. Thinking about and debating about these aspects of Area Studies (and what constitutes best practice within them) is another way in which apparently discrete Areas can share common ground. The Subject Centre has developed a short powerpoint presentation which can be adapted by colleagues to the particular needs and features of their area. The Area Studies marketing e-pack is being distributed via the Subject Centre’s website.

Collaboration within and across Areas is a vital ingredient to address some of the challenges explored at this meeting. The Subject Centre is itself now collaborating with five other Subject Centres serving those disciplines that frequently contribute to Area Studies courses (History, Geography, Anthropology, Politics, Economics, English). These centres will be contributing ideas relating to issues such as the status of the field especially with regard to colonialism, study abroad (overseas field trips), programme design issues and recruitment (how to deliver a programme that is cohesive and coherent), integration and service level teaching (teaching the discipline to specialists and non-specialists), mixed level teaching.

So if you would like to be involved in shaping our national support network for the learning and teaching of Area Studies we invite you to sign join the Network and in return you will:

  • be included on our mailing list and receive information about our activities and initiatives on area-related issues
  • have the opportunity to attend Subject Centre Area Studies events at a reduced cost (some events are free)
  • have the opportunity to sign up to our Area Studies Network discussion list and raise issues of importance to your area
  • be invited to attend our annual Area Studies Network meeting – the inaugural meeting was held in London on 11th December 2002

We hope that by working together with colleagues in the field, in institutions, departments and associations that we can build on the excellent work that has already been done by the benchmarking group, the Co-ordinating Association for Area Studies, subject associations and most of all by the individual practitioner in the classroom.

To join please send a message to stating that you wish to join the Area Studies Network and giving you name and contact details.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Network.