The study of issues related to the environment, eco-systems and natural resources requires an interdisciplinary approach. Particularly as we learn more about the great changes that have occurred through human interaction with the natural world, we recognize how global these issues really are. Therefore, there has been an increasingly obvious confluence between the fields of environmental studies and international studies.
The Global Environment track in the International Studies major recognizes the benefit of mutual interaction between these two fields.
For example, many environmental issues are, in fact, transnational and can only be studied from an international perspective. Some of these are global in scope, such as climate change, but others have a more regional focus, such as the impact of life along rivers that flow across international boundaries or the consequences of deforestation in one nation's mountain range that sends sediment to another nation's coastline. Secondly, other issues that have always been central to international studies—i.e., economic development, agricultural growth, indigenous land rights, natural resource extraction—have fundamental implications for the environment, some of which have not always been fully addressed. Finally, there are environmental questions that are best studied comparatively, such as how similar eco-systems work on different continents.
For all of these reasons students and faculty are increasingly drawn to a study of the global environment. To meet these intellectual needs, the Global Environment track requires students to combine scientific training with international studies in order to examine complex environmental issues. In addition, there are a number of courses that have traditionally been common both to Kenyon's International Studies and Environmental Studies programs. These classes on economy, politics, and society underscore the logical interconnections between the two programs.
Students in this track are expected to take advantage of a growing number of off-campus studies programs (particularly in Africa and Latin America) that deal directly with environmental questions. Students will focus in depth on a region (or regions) where they carry out field research. The area studies focus will emphasize language as well as the social, historical, and cultural contexts in which environmental issues take place.
Students majoring in the Global Environment track will also fulfill the requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration. To major in International Studies in the Global Environment track, students must fulfill the following requirements:
INST 201 (The Expansion of International Society)
Introductory: ENVS 112; BIOL 115 or BIOL 106; CHEM 108 or CHEM 110; ECON 101; and one introductory course on the global social context of the environment, such as: ANTH 113, PSCI 240, PSCI 260, SOCY 101, SOCY 103, or SOCY 105.
Upper-level: ENVS 461 and three upper-level courses on the challenges of managing the environment, such as: ANTH 320, ECON 336, ECON 342, ECON 347, ENVS 253, PSCI 361, PSCI 363, PSCI 480, RLST 481, SOCY 233, SOCY 242.
Method: One of the following, including the appropriate lab for science courses: ANTH 464; BIOL 228, 229 (lab); BIOL 352, 353 (lab); CHEM 231, 233 (lab); ECON 205; ENVS 261; PSCI 280; PSCI 397.
Students must take 4 courses in one of the following geographic or cultural regions: sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, the Islamic World, Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe or Western Europe. At least two of the area courses must be historical in scope, including a course in the modern history of the region. At least 2 of the courses must be taken at Kenyon.
Majors must complete at least one year of language study beyond the introductory level, for any language offered at Kenyon. If you are studying abroad in a place where the local language is one not offered at Kenyon, then you must complete the Kenyon language requirement and, for the major, take the equivalent of two semesters of additional language study while abroad or through summer programs. All students are required to study a local language during their study-abroad experience.
All international studies majors must study abroad for at least one semester in an area where the majority of the people speak a language different from the student’s own primary language. Students are expected to study abroad on programs relevant to their academic interests within the International Studies major, area expertise, and foreign language training. Keep in mind that off-campus study at Kenyon is competitive and writing a strong application is critical. In order to study abroad, a student must receive approval from the College and have achieved a GPA of at least 2.75.
The senior seminar, INST 401 (Contemporary Global Issues) is a comparative course that brings all international studies majors together to look at significant global problems from the various perspectives they bring based on their specializations.