Graduate Studies in Cultural and Historic Aspects of the Near Environment  focuses on how culture influences individuals' and groups' decisions concerning choices and use of material products in the near environment today or in the past. Students may choose to emphasize either the cultural or the historic aspect or both. To pursue graduate level study in cultural and historic aspects of the near environment one needs a background in history and/or anthropology in addition to course work in some aspect of the near environment.

What is the Near Environment?

The environment is all factors that impinge upon or influence an individual. The near environment or the immediate or personal environment is that part of the environment which is close to the individual and with which the individual interacts; our clothing, building interiors, and housing are all components of the near environment. The near environment includes the specific places and things with which an individual engages daily or regularly. The near environment has both tangible and intangible components. The focus of study for students in the College of Business Design Programs is both the tangible products -- apparel and other textile products, interiors, housing -- and intangible aspects -- cultural and individual values and attitudes, social institutions, individual perceptions and motivations, and so forth -- of the near environment. Students in all areas of concentration study the tangible components as influenced by the intangible aspects.

The following courses are offered in support of the cultural and historic aspects of the near environment emphasis:

DHE 561 History of the Near Environment I (4 credits)
DHE 562 History of the Near Environment II (4 credits)
DHE 563 History of Contemporary Fashion (3 credits)
DHE 564 Contemporary History of Interiors and Housing (3 credits)
DHE 566 Research in Cross-Cultural Aspects of the Near Environment (3 credits)
DHE 577 Fashion Theory (3 credits)
DHE 582 Aesthetic and Perceptual Theories of the Near Environment (2 credits)
DHE 665 Theories & Methods in Historical/Cultural Research of the Near Environment (3 credits)
DHE 677 Theoretical Frameworks in Fashion, Aesthetics and Housing (3 credits)

Suggested Minor Areas:

Anthropology (courses such as):

ANTH 571 Cash, Class and Culture (3 credits)
ANTH 575 Theory of Culture (3 credits)
ANTH 591 Ethnographic Methods (3 credits)
ANTH 598 Oral Traditions (3 credits)
ANTH 595 Anthropological Research Design (3 credits)

History (courses such as):

HST 528-531 History of Western Thought (3 credits each)
HST 560 American Thought and Culture (3 credits)
HST 568 History of the American West (4 credits)

Integrated Minor (combining courses such as those listed above and/or):

SOC 513 Sociological Theory (3 credits)
SOC 515 Understanding Social Research (3 credits)
SOC 518 Qualitative Sociology (3 credits)
SOC 521 Social Change and Modernization (3 credits)
SOC 530 Gender and Society (3 credits)
SOC 566 International Development: Gender Issues (3 credits)
TA 543 Costume Design (3 credits)
TA 550 Studio: Theater Arts (3 credits)
WS 516 Theories of Feminism (3 credits)
WS 517 Feminist Philosophies (3 credits)
WS 518 Feminist Research (3 credits)
WS 580 International Women (3 credits)