International Studies
Course Offerings & Descriptions

International Studies Courses  |  Public Health Courses

University Seminar Courses (US)

207 Global Citizenship: Who in the World Are We? (An Interactive Workshop) (4 credits) What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? This course will explore this question from a historical, political, cultural and personal perspective. Students will develop a clearer understanding of what citizenship is, a clearer understanding of the ways citizenship is changing as a result of globalization, and a strategy to enact change in an era of globalization. We will look personally at the question of where our identities come from. How do we know who we are? What shapes us socially? Where does "the world" fit in to our identities? We will then look historically at the concept of citizenship in order to deepen our understanding of what it means to be a citizen. Where did the idea of citizenship come from? Who is a citizen and what does that mean? What are the rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities that come with citizenship? How have these understandings of citizenship changed historically? How are these understandings of citizenship changing as a result of globalization? We will then look at global issues, such as climate change, crimes against humanity, and global poverty. What role have global citizens played in addressing these issues in the past? What will the emerging role of "global citizens" be in the future? Students will ultimately be required to take a perspective on what citizenship in a global era means for each of them. What are the rights and responsibilities associated with being a global citizen? Finally, we will raise questions about social change. Historically, how have definitions of citizenship been used to bring about social change? How is this different in light of globalization? How can global citizens have a positive influence on global issues? What are the change mechanisms through which they can act? Throughout the course, students will work on projects in which they select an issue of concern to them and design a strategy to address a global issue. Students will reflect on how their changing understanding of citizenship alters the way they understand their privileges, responsibilities and ability to enact change in a global era.

234 Representations of the Spanish Civil War (4 credits) This University Seminar examines perceptions of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and their international implications. Topics discussed include the significance of the war, the political and social background of Spanish events and society, and how the conflict was been by Spanish, American, Canadian, English, and French writers and philosophers. Texts include journalistic perspectives as well as autobiographical accounts and poetic responses. Spanish and international films and documentaries are screened covering topics such as women’s participation in the war and the origins of global responses to the war. This course is a bilingual course and is taught in both Spanish and English. Readings are in both Spanish and English. Prerequisite: SP102. Note: US234 can count toward the History, International Studies & Spanish majors and minors.

236 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Spain: From Eden to Exile (4 credits) This course will examine the coexistence of the three principal religions: Christianity (Catholicism), Islam, and Judaism during the middle Ages. Tenets and beliefs of each religion will be examined in detail. Art and architecture reflecting the three religions will be analyzed and will include such national treasures as the synagogues in Toledo, The mosque in Córdoba, The Alhambra in Granada and the cathedrals of Santiago de Compostela and Seville. Topics discussed will include the Spanish Inquisition, The Catholic kings, the reconquest, and medieval life in Europe at that time. The historical time period will cover roughly from 700-1492. Readings will include various poems written by writers of the three religions, El Cid, La Celestina and historical documents of the epoch. Teaching the coexistence of the three religions exposes students to different ideological discourses embodied in cultural fields of the time. The class will also examine the three religions and their role in Spanish society today. This course is a bilingual course and will be taught in both Spanish and English. Readings will be in both Spanish and English. Prerequisites: EN 101 and SP 202.

262 Sex, Sin & Kin: The Genesis, Evolution and Future of Gender (4 credits) The ways in which whole sets of ideologies and practices function to define, direct and limit gender and gendered activities differ markedly according to time, place and culture. The purpose of this course is to explore key issues and debates in the history of women and men, in cross-cultural perspective, within the framework of the relationship between gender and change. The main focus of the course is the gendered experiences of women in the modern world, specifically the West, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Far East, with selected references to historical antecedents in the pre-modern world. Students examine the variety of ways in which women have reflected upon and reacted to the gendered conditions of their lives. We explore representations and self-representations of women within and external to specific cultures. This includes understanding how the categorization as male and female determines so many aspects of individual lives and personal power, the power of groups, and the larger systems of power they confront. The course also raises the question of the future direction of gender, social responsibility and change. Assignments consist of readings in anthropology, history, gender theory, literature, and memoirs. We explore thematic topics through primary and secondary sources. Writing assignments include journaling, reflective essays, the generation of an interview protocol and an oral history project. Students also analyze film, art and communication media and possibly a theatre production. Students are assessed on individual and team based research and reflection, culminating in the creation of a collective oral history and film project. Note: US262 can count toward the History and International Studies majors and minors.

263 Postcolonialism on Screen (4 credits) This course is primarily interested in how colonial and postcolonial subjects and identities have been constructed, negotiated, contested, and resisted. Thus, a fundamental question asked here is: How has the colonial experience restructured thinking about race, culture, class, economy, politics, and sexuality? To explore these key issues and questions, this course will examine how films have represented different themes in postcolonial studies. Students will be encouraged to read key texts in postcolonial studies and then attempt to understand how issues raised in these texts are represented in film. Note: US 263 can count toward the International Studies major and minor.

266 Understanding the Age of Genocide (4 credits) This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study and understanding of genocide from several theoretical foundations and perspectives, including political science, international law, peace and conflict resolution, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and history,. The course will harness different perspectives on the formation of genocide in modern and historical settings, while highlighting the potential avenues for preventing future genocidal acts. Subjects covered will include the underpinnings of the concept of crimes against humanity, the psychology of group violence, historical revisionism, transitional justice, reconstruction, reconciliation, trauma healing, the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention, and conflict prevention and resolution. These main themes will be highlighted through numerous genocide case studies from each continent, as well as exploring lesser known or contested historical cases. The course will also feature guest lectures from genocide survivors, opportunities for research and reflection, and a simulation on humanitarian intervention in a contemporary genocide case. Note: US 266 can count toward the International Studies major and minor.

International Studies Courses (IS)

101 Introduction to International Studies (4 credits) This course enables students to become knowledgeable in global interrelations among nations, non-state actors, and peoples from a multidisciplinary perspective. Themes and focus vary.

120 Global Public Health (4 credits) This course introduces students to critical challenges in global health using multidisciplinary perspectives. Issues at the nexus between development and health are explored through millennium development goals, disease burden, environmental health and safe water, epidemiology and demography of disease, AIDS and HIV prevention, chronic diseases, nutritional challenges, social determinants of global health, harm reduction and behavioral modification, health professionals and capacity development, as well as human rights and bioethical issues in a global context.

130 Modern Mediterranean World (4 credits) This course enables students to become knowledgeable about the geopolitically strategic as well as social-cultural importance of the Mediterranean region, both historically and in the modern era. Students learn about the strategic waterways, land, and air routes, the Suez Canal, and the nature of war and peace and how the conflicts in the region have affected global peace, stability and security. The course examines the Arab-Israeli conflict, the impact of immigration and migration into the European Union, trade patterns, and cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic identities and how they affect regional relations.

201 International Studies Research Writing (4 credits) This course provides students an intensive introduction to discipline-focused research and writing in their International Studies field(s) of interest. Students are introduced to a variety of types of primary and secondary sources. They learn about how to search for and locate these different sources, how to evaluate them, and how to utilize the sources in their research-based writing. Students learn how to develop research projects from the initial topic of interest through to the final written product; this work includes the generation of research proposals, re-drafting of papers, and practice in formulating different kinds of arguments depending on audience, sources, and written form.

220 Global Environment (4 credits) This course focuses on global interconnections and the consequences of humans’ use and frequent degradation of natural resources around the planet. All continents are explored. Readings, discussions, and written assignments examine such topics as the shifting demand for and politics of resource extraction, trends in energy use (past, present and future), environmental health and justice, and how and the extent to which ecological balances have been imperiled by human economic and social development.

225 Conflict and Inequality in Latin America (4 credits) This class presents an overview of Latin America by focusing on the historical processes and contemporary socio-political practices that produce conflict and inequality in the region. Why has a region so rich in resources been historically underdeveloped? What issues have recurred across contexts as causes of conflict and inequality in the region? And how have people mobilized to address these causes? Through an examination of several specific case studies, from the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico to community health care activism in Chile, we will explore the similarities and differences in the nature of conflict and inequality found in countries across Latin America. As part of this, we will consider the role the United States has played in shaping the political economy of the region.

320 Global Poverty and Inequality (4 credits) Debates that surround poverty and inequality are some of the most urgent in our time. This advanced seminar critically analyzes the causes of poverty and inequality and applies this analysis to new approaches to development around the world. Students explore historical efforts to address poverty as well as contemporary texts that offer cutting edge solutions to development challenges.

340 Law, Disorder and Globalization (4 credits) In the late 20th century, there was a global turn towards criminalization and incarceration as responses to social problems-to "disorder." While justified by claims about increases in crime, this "penal turn" often precedes such increases, and so cannot be explained by crime rates alone. The politics of crime are a useful way to examine many social and political changes, such as the criminalization of poor and African-American youth and "urban decline" in U.S. inner cities. This course will examine how these politics help construct inequality in the U.S.; we will also consider how they shape international relationships between the U.S., Europe, and nation-states in Latin America and Africa. As part of this, we will examine how criminalization creates social hierarchies, in which some types of people and some nation-states are seen as inherently criminal and disorderly. We will discuss a range of specific cases that allow us to understand the factors that motivate the penal turn, exploring the ways the penal turn has material consequences that encourage future criminalization, such as for-profit prisons. 

430 Social Life of War: Political, Cultural and Identity Process in Global Conflict (4 credits) This course explores war and violent conflict from a socio-cultural perspective. The course explores the ways in which war and violent conflict reshape social structures, create new cultural processes in reaction to altered reality, and reconstitute identities. Students read and discuss ethnographic accounts that show how war and violent conflict are experienced at the personal, cultural and social level. This course enhances and complicates understandings of what conflict is and what it means for people and social groups who are forced to endure it.

490, 491 International Studies Senior Thesis Seminars (4 credits each; 490 in Fall only, 491 in Spring only) In this two-semester Capstone course, students explore research methods and develop and complete a substantial research project. Project topics are chosen by students in consultation with the seminar professor.

Public Health Courses (PBH)

110 Introduction to Public Health (4 credits) This course provides an overview of public health globally, with an emphasis on the United States. The course focuses on the population health perspective, including the impact on the health care system and the environment and the specific needs of under-served populations. A history and background of public health are included to provide a framework for understanding how health and health care evolved globally and within the United States. This history is intricately connected to the discovery of the science of epidemiology, which also is discussed. The course provides an introduction to disease incidence and prevalence, and how the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease affect how resources are allocated to target health conditions and health disparities. Methods used to detect diseases within populations are described along with educational interventions used to facilitate behavior change and disease prevention. Issues of health care delivery are included with a discussion of health care financing, reimbursement, cost containment and utilization. Finally, students are introduced to the concept of social determinants of health promotion and disease prevention, including health communication and informatics, so that they may gain an understanding of the health disparities that exist today and the factors that contribute to this inequity.

120 Global Public Health (4 credits) This course introduces students to critical challenges in global health using multidisciplinary perspectives. Issues at the nexus between development and health are explored through: millennium development goals, disease burden, environmental health and safe water, epidemiology and demography of disease, AIDS and HIV prevention, chronic diseases, nutritional challenges, social determinants of global health, harm reduction and behavioral modification, health professionals and capacity development, as well as human rights and bioethical issues in a global context.

250 Epidemiology: The Science of Public Health (4 credits) This course provides a basic understanding of the epidemiologic method of identifying disease-causing exposures and behavioral factors that place individuals at risk of other health-related events. It emphasizes the generation of hypotheses based on descriptive epidemiological data, the testing of hypotheses through analytic epidemiologic research, the determination of causality, and the value of epidemiologic research in developing and evaluating disease prevention strategies. The course is designed to enhance students’ ability to analyze problems systematically and to think collectively.

320 Health Policy, Law and Bioethics (4 credits ) This course is designed to integrate theories and principles addressed in public health epidemiology and global health using a case study format. The focus is on how policies are made, who makes them, how they are enforced, and the impact of policies on the health of populations in general and vulnerable populations in particular, depending on the cultural context of the policy and the population it affects.

381 Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies (4 credits) This course is an introduction to the concepts and principles of nutrition. Throughout the semester, students will learn the basic components of foods--macro and micro-nutrients, their relationship to diet and metabolism and weight management. Nutritional needs through the lifecycle will be discussed along with the primary disease states associated with each age group. Controversial issues, such as food supplementation, factory farming, genetically modified foods, the impact of a beef culture on the environment, and dieting will be discussed along with holistic approaches to food and healing.


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