International Studies 489

International Studies 489: Seminar in International Studies

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; for all others approval by the course coordinator

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours seminar

This elective course concentrates on a regional or topical theme related to international studies, varying each time offered, depending upon the individual instructor in charge. Ideally it will be cross-disciplinary and team-taught, and may be cross-listed with other departments.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This offering is open as an elective to all students and is particularly suitable to students pursuing a Minor in International Studies or completing international concentrations within their majors. It provides opportunity for students to interact across disciplines with others on campus who share common interests in global issues. The course is team taught by faculty drawn from various disciplines, with one person as coordinator. The seminar will have either an area or topical focus with a different theme each time. The following, among others, are examples of the topics that might provide focus for the seminar:

  • Strategies of Economic Development in the Third World
  • Population Growth & Birth Control Programs in Developing Countries
  • Comparative Guerilla Movements in the 20th Century
  • Ecological Preservation or Economic Development: Dilemma for a Developing Country
  • Comparative Women's Issues around the World
  • Comparative Systems of Education in an International Context
  • International Perspectives on Traditional Medicine and Its Practitioners
  • Cultural Survival in a Globalized World
  • World Hunger
  • Technology Transfer from an International Perspective
  • Fashion and Cuisine: A Reflection of Cultural Values & Change
  • Musical Trends and Cultural Borrowing from around the World
  • Models of Democracy: Shaping Egalitarian Societies


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

Class format will be determined by the instructor of the course. Likely, methodology would include a combination of lectures, informal discussions, guest speakers, and audio-visual presentations. Lectures and discussions may focus upon assigned readings and media presentations relevant to the topic of the course. The frequency and variety of examinations and writing assignments will be determined by the individual instructor. The use of the Internet and other electronic media would likely be an integral component of the course.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Specific goals might vary with each seminar, but underpinning these, generally, students will:

1. gain deeper understanding of a particular global issue, being able to draw comparison with other cultures, regions, and topics they have studied.

2. come to a better appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of education by applying ideas and methodology gained from an interdisciplinary seminar and from interactions with faculty and students across disciplines, thus placing their own knowledge in a broader context.

3. be able to make comparisons across cultures, across disciplines, and across time, demonstrating an awareness of and appreciation for the difficulties in making such comparisons; appreciate the dangers involved in relying upon stereotypes, generalizations, and political jargon.

4. develop new ideas independently; cultivate an inquisitive and inquiring mind; examine viewpoints and perspectives with an open-mind from the vantage point of several inter-related disciplines.


Assessment Measures

Assessment will be up to the supervising instructor. Students may be graded on a variety of in-class or take-home examinations, oral presentations, term papers or projects, journals and other informal writing. Since the course is designed to be highly interactive class attendance and participation are encouraged, and the individual instructor may choose to include it as a graded component.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval
September 2001 Review & Approved Charles W. McClellan