Mike Sullivan of the Math Department suggested that I point readers toward a draft document he's prepared suggesting things that foreign graduate students, especially those planning on staying on in the US after their education, might want to bone up on. Compare the Beloit College "mindset list" meant to introduce faculty to their students--though that list is devoted to what humanities types call "little c" rather than "capital c" culture (i.e., popular rather than fancy pants culture). This is a nice diversion from our more divisive fare, so I'm happy to oblige. Here's Mike:
This Summer I will become the graduate advisor for the Math Dept. A large fraction of our graduate students are from overseas. I started thinking about how to acclimate them to American culture. Many students in math, science and engineering are foreign but will stay here and become apart of our technological elite. Foreign undergrad students will be taking courses in the humanities, but foreign grad students in the STEM fields will not. So, I put together a web page I'm calling "An Introduction to American Culture for Foreign Graduate Students." It is just a series of lists of mostly books and movies that students or young academics could pursue when they have time over the next few years. It is pretty haphazard.
I'd like to get feed back on it either here or by e-mail (look me up). It is really a job for people in the humanities after all. I want to keep it short and be something a busy grad student or young academic could get through in a few years. I did not include recent movies that were widely seen overseas. I wanted to include both important literary novels and popular novels. So, here is the link, let be know what you think:
It is easy to think of things to add - but harder to decide what to prune. You may want to think about it yourself for a while before looking at what I have done.