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INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-106
First Year Seminar (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, not repeatable for credit. This seminar course introduces first year SIS students to critical issues in world affairs. May be taken A-F only. Prerequisite: first-year SIS students with permission of SIS Undergraduate Advising Office

SISU-106
001
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Transnational Migration

This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on transnational migration. It analyzes the causes and effects of transnational migration, i.e., why people leave their homelands and for what purposes; the different types of migration, and the key consequences on sending and receiving societies. Among the topics covered are immigration regulations and changing notions of the nation; migration and tourism development; international education initiatives and exchanges; and debates between the human trafficking and transnational migration for work perspectives.

SISU-106
003
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Global Cities

This seminar explores the nature, as dynamic spaces, of fourteen global cities. The class examines their social, political, and economic processes through considerations of urban form and culture and the disruptions of climate change, migration, and social transformation. The seminar prepares students to make an informed choice by focusing on potential study abroad sites including Beijing, Chengdu, Mumbai, Tokyo, Seoul, Nairobi, Cape Town, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Copenhagen, and London, as well as Washington, DC.

SISU-106
004
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Psychology and Politics of Genocide

This interdisciplinary course explores the psychology of genocide as a form of mass killing and the social and political circumstances that facilitate it. The course theme is examined through the following case studies: the Holocaust, Stalin's genocides, the Cambodian genocide, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Rwandan genocide. A major research component of the course work is conducted by consulting the archival collections of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

SISU-106
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Culture and Power in International Education

Around the globe, education is becoming recognized as a fundamental human right key to the development of individuals, communities, and nations. Indeed, education can help empower, open opportunities, combat poverty, support innovation, and spur economic growth. But at the same time, the educational process can, and does, also serve to disempower people, further marginalize communities, and more deeply entrench existing social inequalities. This course looks at how and why this happens and what can be done about it. Using multimedia case studies from international educational development initiatives, the course critically examines these twin powers of education and considers their impacts on global educational initiatives.

SISU-106
008
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Gross National Happiness

What makes a nation happy? This seminar explores the defining, the determining, and the significance of happiness in world politics. From surveys to social engineering, students enter an active space for discussing the means and ends of national fulfillment.

SISU-106
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Identity and USF Relations

Students in this seminar explore the question of how Americans and foreigners perceive each other through cultural, historical, economic, and psychological approaches. The seminar encourages American students to reflect upon how they want to engage the world and for foreign students to reflect on how they want to engage Americans.

SISU-106
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Civilizations and World Order

This course embarks on a sweeping historical journey to seek answers to a fundamental question about world order: do civilizations normally clash with each other or learn from each other? They may do both, but which has been more important in shaping human history and world order? A number of related questions are addressed, including if civilizations are the wellspring of ideas and innovation, is it mainly a matter of "the West" leading the way and teaching "the Rest" or also the other way around, and can the spread of civilization and ideas be peaceful, or does it require coercion and conquest. Finally, are we really doomed to live in a world in which the clash of civilizations shapes the world order?

SISU-106
014
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

War, Politics, and the Silver

From Hollywood thrillers such as Green Zone to Academy Award winners such as The Hurt Locker, the silver screen continues to offer a rich medium for the study of international relations (IR). This seminar uses the medium of films to understand key theoretical issues in IR and examine how contemporary movies reflect our understanding of the nature of the state, the role of U.S. power, transnational challenges such as war, environmental pressures, criminal networks, the behavior of non-state states actors, as well as exploring how they all impact and shape the international system in the twenty-first century.

SISU-106
015
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Identities & Intersections: Exploring Race, Ethnicity & Gender inContemporary Society

This course explores the complex and dynamic configuration of identity with respect to the social constructions of race, ethnicity, and gender within a historical, theoretical, and practice oriented framework. A racial, ethnic, or gendered understanding in which one is in relation to others is neither exhaustive nor inherently correct, as no one descriptor captures the essence of one's identity. Regardless of how individuals manage their identities, each has a restrictive scope, which creates opportunities for misunderstandings, stereotypes, and conflict. Students use a variety of resources, such as case studies, class discussions, a group project, and analytic short essays to develop their analytic skills. Guest speakers and attending a dramatic performance add to the breadth of the course experience.

SISU-106
018
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Why Do They Love and Hate Us?

This course examines a number of global issues from a non-Western perspective, including societal values (free speech vs. religious rights, gender equality vs. gender inequality, etc.); environmental degradation; human rights; food security/insecurity; civil liberties vs. internal security; use of force (what concepts of justice govern the use of force and how they vary across cultures); development (is it imperialist of the West to assert that much of the world is not developed?); and human security.

SISU-106
017
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Environmental Ethics

This course focuses on how one can live most deeply and responsibly in the face of global environmental dangers, with the aim to understand the meaning of the "good life" at this historical moment of environmental intensification. Students read philosophically oriented and literary texts, and draw on their own experiences of place, memory, writing, and loss to develop ways of knowing and engaging in environmental politics.

SISU-106
019
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Postcolonial City

Colonialism was an experiment in physical and ideological domination that left behind strong social, cultural, economic and spatial legacies. This course explores those legacies in cities that are paradigms of the colonial encounter, via: a) population and resource flows, b) the ways urbanites construct selves vis-a-vis a geographically and temporally imagined modernity, and according to modern notions of gender, race, and nation, and c) the shared challenges postcolonial subjects face to access, survive and succeed in the city. A postcolonial lens illuminates many of the most prominent divides that structure contemporary urban space and social life as well as the connections that linger in global trade and migration patterns. This course goes beyond common global North/South distinctions to study how cities like Lagos and London are postcolonial cities. Students gain an understanding of how the colonial experiment reflects or anticipates the distribution of power and opportunity in and across these cities today.

SISU-106
020
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Diplomacy in Practice

This course discusses questions such as: How do states mediate their relationships with one another and with other actors? How has this changed over time? What do current trends tell us about the future? This class combines theoretical and historical readings to allow students to better understand the origins, evolution, and purpose of diplomatic practice over time. Topics covered include: the evolving role of ambassadors, the bureaucratization and professionalization of diplomacy, summitry, multilateral and bilateral diplomacy, the expansion of diplomacy to new domains and actors, and the processes of diplomacy such as negotiation, mediation, rhetoric, persuasion, and symbolic politics.

SISU-106
021
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Living in a Walmart World

After the U.S. and Chinese militaries, Walmart is the third-largest employer in the world. Walmart is praised for its low prices and vilified with equal passion for its labor practices. Admirers and critics agree that by virtue of its size, Walmart has changed consumer, retail, and manufacturing practices. To understand who wins and loses in a Walmart world, the course studies the travels of a t-shirt from production to purchase-and the people and policies behind that journey. This interdisciplinary course examines globalization, trade, supply chains, labor practices, corporate responsibility and the structure of our economic and political systems. Students visit a Walmart store in downtown Washington, D.C. and evaluate its impact on the local community.

SISU-106
001
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Social Movements and Society in MENA

This seminar examines social movements and civil society in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Arab Revolts of 2011 brought to the limelight the potential of popular movements rooted in civil society in MENA. In an effort to map this understudied level of MENA politics, this course first introduces students to the history of MENA, foundational scholarly work on non-violent social movements and civil society, basic rules and practices of scholarly research, and proceeds to engage students in a major research project on MENA civil society. Students study several movements for change in the region, including Lebanon (2005), Iran (2009), Tunisia and Egypt (both 2011).

SISU-106
002
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Globalization 3.0

This course considers the three periods of intense globalization which touched the new and the old worlds. Students examine how and why the first two ended badly for Europe, East Asia, and Latin America, and discuss scenarios for the evolution of the current globalization.

SISU-106
003
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

War, Politics and the Silver Screen

From Hollywood thrillers such as Green Zone to Academy Award winners such as The Hurt Locker, the silver screen continues to offer a rich medium for the study of international relations (IR). This seminar uses the medium of films to understand key theoretical issues in IR and examine how contemporary movies reflect our understanding of the nature of the state, the role of U.S. power, transnational challenges such as war, environmental pressures, criminal networks, the behavior of non-state states actors, as well as exploring how they all impact and shape the international system in the twenty-first century.

SISU-106
004
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Game Changers

Good models, concepts, and theories in the social sciences provide us with new ways of thinking about perplexing, puzzling, or previously unnoticed aspects of social behavior. Ideally, they also make us better thinkers, both in our daily lives and as students and practitioners in international affairs. This course introduces students to "game-changing" theoretical ideas drawn from sociology, political science, and international relations. Each week, students encounter a new idea as well as several ways in which it applies to different topics in international affairs and to social phenomena more broadly. Rather than focus in-depth on a single school of thought or discipline, the theories featured in this course span the breadth of what social science has to offer. Students encounter ideas derived from game theory and computational modeling, as well as traditional sociology, symbolic interactionism, and constructivism. The aim is to offer a broad introduction to a variety of approaches for building knowledge, all of which may provide useful heuristic models for evaluating human behaviors, predicting potential outcomes, or improving policy.

SISU-106
005
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Rise of the African State

This course examines questions such as where do states come from; how do the contemporary and historical states of Africa differ from similar structures in other parts of the world and in other times throughout human history; and what can be learned about state-building and state-development from studying Africa. Lastly, to what extent can the successes and failures of contemporary African states be traced to the relations that underpinned their pre-colonial incarnations?

SISU-106
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

China From the Inside

This course draws on memoirs, documentaries, guest speakers, and student interviews to provide a worm's-eye view of China from 1911 to today. The course provides students with an understanding of the complex challenges of Chinese identity today, as ordinary people try to satisfy their pent-up aspirations and deal with entrenched problems of environmental degradation and political repression.

SISU-106
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Struggle for Political Change in the Middle East

This course focuses on the prospects for political change in the Middle East in light of both the stunning protest movements of 2011 and the considerable obstacles to achieving their aspirations for political change which have emerged since. The course begins with an overview of the various aspects of the initial mobilizations including the primary grievances, the role of youth and women, the role of social media, etc. It then considers the gains, success stories, and ongoing promise of the era of protest and change in the Middle East as well as the many subsequent setbacks and formidable challenges including the turn to violence, the role of foreign powers, Islamist-secular divides, and enduring authoritarian structures. Students consider the unique political context of and differing post-uprising paths taken in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. Throughout the course, they critically examine each county in order to gain better insight into current predicaments and prospects for long-term political change in each case individually and the region as a whole.

SISU-106
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Weak and Fragile States

This First Year Seminar focuses on nations that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. As havens for terrorism and incubators for regional conflicts, these countries are studied from the perspective of U.S. foreign policy and as opportunities for international development.

SISU-106
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2016

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Postcolonial City

Colonialism was an experiment in physical and ideological domination that left behind strong social, cultural, economic and spatial legacies. This course explores those legacies in cities that are paradigms of the colonial encounter, via: population and resource flows, the ways urbanites construct selves vis-a-vis a geographically and temporally imagined modernity, and according to modern notions of gender, race, and nation, and the shared challenges postcolonial subjects face to access, survive and succeed in the city. A postcolonial lens illuminates many of the most prominent divides that structure contemporary urban space and social life as well as the connections that linger in global trade and migration patterns. This course goes beyond common global North/South distinctions to study how cities like Lagos and London are postcolonial cities. Students gain an understanding of how the colonial experiment reflects or anticipates the distribution of power and opportunity in and across these cities today.

SISU-106
023
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Rise and Fall of Democracy around the World

Coups d'etat, peaceful transitions, civil wars, and revolutions are the "nuts and bolts" of politics and international relations. They show us why politics matters, and highlight the consequences of political choices in times of institutional crisis. Few events are more dramatic than the collapse of a political system, whether through violent conflict or the peaceful negotiation of new political institutions. Explaining why regimes break down, why new ones emerge, and how these new regimes are consolidated are among the most important questions in international relations and politics. As such, the issue of regime change has obsessed scholars for centuries, from Aristotle to Machiavelli, to Tocqueville, to Marx, to current theorists of democratization. The seminar reviews several theories of regime change, examines some of history's most famous and theoretically interesting political transitions to help understand why democracies emerge and why they die, from ancient times to the most recent wave of democratization around the world.

SISU-106
022
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Rise of the African State

This course examines questions such as where do states come from; how do the contemporary and historical states of Africa differ from similar structures in other parts of the world and in other times throughout human history; and what can be learned about state-building and state-development from studying Africa. Lastly, to what extent can the successes and failures of contemporary African states be traced to the relations that underpinned their pre-colonial incarnations?

SISU-106
024
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Nationalism and Identity

The course provides students with an understanding of the current explanations of nationalism and identity-formation, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them. Because most of these explanations, or theories, are designed to apply generally, i.e. they are not restricted by place and time, this course is very broad in its scope. In readings and lectures, the class examines the origins and effects of nationalism and identity-formation among groups as disparate in time and space as the Chewas of Malawi, the German-speaking Frenchmen of Alsace, the Ukrainians in the distant reaches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the nineteenth century, and ethnic political parties in modern-day India. The course also bores down into the details of individual cases to shed light on the processes of identity-formation posited in each of the theories examined.