This course is designed for sophomores who plan to major in international studies. It explores the evolution of modern international society by examining the roles of industrialization, capitalism, nationalism, individualism and other elements of modernity in propelling and directing the flow of wealth, people and ideas between different regions of the world. In addition to studying general political and economic changes, the course considers various local and personal perspectives, giving life to otherwise abstract forces and complicating attempts to construct a single overarching narrative of "modernization," "Westernization" or "development." Among the issues to be examined are the causes and effects of international economic disparities, migration, cultural tensions, and stresses on the environment. In surveying major viewpoints and illustrative cases within these themes, the course is meant to serve as an introduction to the international studies major, utilizing a variety of academic disciplines and providing a foundation for further study of relations between different nations and peoples of the world. As part of the course, students will complete a research paper related to the geographic area where they plan to go for their off-campus experience. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Offered every year.
This seminar will examine some of the problems inherent in cross-cultural comparison and will explore the ways in which a variety of disciplines grapple with these difficulties by investigating contemporary themes in international affairs. These themes will include some or all of the following: (1) ethnic conflict; (2) comparative perspectives on development; (3) religion and socioeconomic development; (4) contemporary environmental problems; (5) the ethics of armed intervention; (6) the emergence of a world popular culture and its consequences for national cultures; (7) the challenges of democratization; and (8) perceptions of the United States, Americans, and U.S. foreign policy abroad. Open only to international studies majors with senior standing. Offered every year.
Individual study is available to highly qualified juniors and seniors who would like to pursue a course of reading or complete a focused research project on a topic not regularly offered in the international studies curriculum. This option is available only in exceptional circumstances and must focus on topics specific to international studies, rather than ones more suited to another department. All proposals must be approved by the International Studies Program director. To be considered for an individual study (IS) project, the candidate must prepare a proposal in consultation with a member of the international studies faculty who has suitable expertise and is willing to work with the student over the course of a semester. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the seventh day of classes in a semester, candidates should begin outlining their planned course of study with the supervising faculty member and the program director the semester before they hope to undertake the project. In all cases, proposals must be submitted by the fourth day of classes in the semester when the IS will take place. The (2–3 page) proposal for individual study should include a statement of the questions to be explored, a preliminary bibliography, schedules for meeting with the supervising faculty member and for the completion of work, and a description of grading criteria. The student also should briefly describe prior coursework that particularly qualifies her or him to pursue the project independently. The program director will, in conjunction with the supervising faculty member, review the proposal, and if it is approved the student will then be allowed to pursue an individual study.
For all international studies IS projects, certain conditions will apply. The student will be required to meet regularly with the instructor for an average of at least one hour per week. The work involved will be substantial: for a 0.5 IS, the amount of graded work should approximate that required in a full credit 300- or 400-level course in the social sciences, humanities, or sciences, while for a 0.25 IS, reading and writing requirements will be approximately than half of that amount. Individual projects will vary, but students pursuing an IS in international studies should plan to read approximately 200 pages a week and to write at least 25 pages over the course of the semester. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar’s deadline.
The Honors Program is designed to recognize and encourage exceptional scholarship and to allow able students to do more independent work than is otherwise feasible. The senior honors candidate works with members of the international studies faculty to prepare an extended essay on a topic of mutual interest, which is defended before an outside examiner in May. For more detailed information about honors in international studies, see the department chair. Note: students standing for honors also take the senior seminar. Prerequisite: permission of the International Studies Steering Committee.
See description for INST 497Y.