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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
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Discourses of Sustainability

This seminar provides an opportunity for students to examine and answer the deceptively simple question of what "sustainability" is from a diversity of perspectives. Sustainability is in many ways a source of both profound discursive disagreement as well as political promise. Students become familiar with concepts such as development, inter-generationality, integration, regimes, stakeholder participation, resilience and corporate social responsibility. They consider the sustainability of human practices and ideas related to climate change, energy, water resources, forests and the arctic.

SISU-106
002
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Weak and Failed States

This course examines weak and failed states and their role in the world order. The class studies how colonial empires, war, and internal politics contribute to state collapse and the effect these nations and regions have on U.S. foreign policy and the international community.

SISU-106
003
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Reflections: United States in the Mirror

This course examines how the United States sees itself, and how others see the United States. Analyzing historical as well as current trends, the course explores American ideology, society, and foreign policy from perspectives within, and outside, of the United States, particularly the issue of immigration. The class looks at what Americans think it means to be an American, and how that compares with the perspectives of others, addressing questions such as why people migrate to the United States; how different constituencies in the United States view migrants; what factors determine current U.S. immigration policy; how does an immigrant's conception of the United States, as well as their national and cultural identity, change while living in the U.S.; and if immigrants return to their country of origin, whether new values and beliefs affect their old community.

SISU-106
004
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

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
005
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Power of Food: Farming, Social Development & Sustainability

This course explores how interactions between geography, technology, social systems, and biology influence the development of agricultural paradigms, and how such paradigms in turn have shaped the environment and society. The course looks across the broad span of history, from the dawn of agriculture in the Neolithic era 10,000 years ago to the present, to see how agriculture has evolved and transformed in response to external threats and internally generated contradictions. This survey sets the stage for a discussion of contemporary industrial agriculture, its advantages and disadvantages, and proposed alternatives, including permaculture, organic farming, and agrarian communitarianism.

SISU-106
006
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

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
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

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
008
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Ethnic and Identity Politics in Multicultural Societies

This course examines the impact of ethnicity, religion, and identity politics on the political, economic, and social development of multicultural societies, with special focus on Malaysia and America. The theoretical inquiry on different and multi-layered "forms of belonging" focuses on structures and agents, institutions, and processes--political, economic, religious and cultural--that are fundamental to the shaping and re-shaping of identity and culture at the individual, family, communal, national, and global levels. Key determinants of contemporary Malaysian and American identity formation examined include citizenship and nationhood, family and community, ethnicity and race, religion, class, gender, and migration, as well as the impact of the market and mass consumption in a globalizing and interdependent world. Apart from scholarly texts, films/videos, fiction, novels and graphic novels are used to further illuminate the manner in which political, economic, socio-cultural, and religious changes have impacted on the process of identity formation and inter-ethnic cultural construction at the different levels of analysis used in the investigative framework.

SISU-106
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Identity and U.S. Foreign 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
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

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
013
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

America and the World

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
014
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Imagining Peace

This course enables students to explore the concept of peace through novels, films, music, art, and scholarly books and articles. Students critically analyze the concept of peace in international relations and are encouraged to develop their own understanding and critical reflections on peace. A series of short reflective essays and a final project provide students with the opportunity to create their own space for the study of peace.

SISU-106
015
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Crime, Corruption and the State

This seminar examines the relationship between organized crime and states. The course investigates the diverse forms of criminal organization, the markets these organizations exploit, and the threats such organizations pose to contemporary nation-states. The class also examines state responses to organized crime including government anti-crime strategies; transnational governmental cooperation; and intelligence, law enforcement and prosecutorial tactics that governments employ in the fight against organized crime. A central thread is corruption and the way in which corruption blurs the lines between licit and illicit behaviors in areas as varied as eco-crime, sex trafficking, and money laundering.

SISU-106
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Building a Post-Carbon World

It is essential, for a host of pressing reasons, that human societies be weaned from fossil fuels. The need is clear, but the path less so. This course examines the options available for constructing a post-carbon world. The class spends significant time looking at different prescriptions for a post-carbon energy system and economy, and examining the different policy instruments and other actions by which such large-scale transition can be made real. Along the way, students work to understand the current state of the global environment, to become familiar with the core mechanisms of global environmental governance, and to unpack the essential features of effective environmental action.

SISU-106
016
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Business in Society: Don't Be Evil?

This course explores the concept and efficacy of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from a variety of viewpoints. Expectations of companies vary historically and based on different perspectives: is the private sector responsible for maximizing profits and shareholder value, or should they create value for society; are corporations responsible for every link of their value chain, including labor standards of a small subcontracting factory making a component of their product in a tiny village of a low income country; does focusing on "Shared Value" and a Triple Bottom Line (profit, people, and the environment) make a company stronger and more sustainable; or is it just the right thing to do, e.g., Google's unofficial mission statement, "Don't Be Evil"?

SISU-106
017
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Disasters and International Cooperation

This course examines variously successful international responses to environmental disasters and questions including what impact emergencies such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident and protracted crises like the hole in the ozone layer have on the prospects of international cooperation; who are the main actors seeking to prevent similar problems in the future; and how effective are their strategies. In addition to examining the institutional roots of successful cooperation and the diversity of regional approaches, the class also considers the connections between environmental challenges and questions of economic growth, power, security, international integration, and state sovereignty.

SISU-106
019
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Lilliputians in Gulliver's World: Do Small States Matter?

The study of politics, and especially world politics, is characterized by a focus on power. Though the majority of attention in international relations has gone to understanding the behaviors of great powers, most of the world's states are small or middle-sized. This seminar asks how these states have survived in an anarchical system that seems to present a hostile environment for small states. It goes on to explore whether and how these states might be able to constrain or influence the actions of their larger homologues--unexpectedly potent Lilliputians in Gulliver's world.

SISU-106
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Crime and Security in the Western Hemisphere

This course evaluates the many threats to personal integrity, national sovereignty, political regimes, and international order in the Americas. Substantively, students analyze border conflicts in the Andes, terror links at the Triple Frontier, Brazil's crack epidemic, Central America's role as a smuggling pipeline, and the flow of arms and drugs across North America's borders. At a broader level, the course helps students build strategies for successful learning, critical thinking, and effective writing.

SISU-106
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

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
005
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Break-Up of Britain?

There are immense challenges underway in Britain that have led to questions not only about national identity, but also about the legacies of the past and their impact on British political and economic development. With a tumultuous marriage with Europe, leading to calls for a referendum, and possible "brexit" from the European Union, a pending Scottish referendum that may dissolve the union, the emergence of populist, radical parties challenging the established political party system, the calls for greater immigration controls, a crumbling welfare state and growing inequality, Britain is in turmoil. Starting from Ken Loach's film, The Spirit of 45, This course examines and traces the political, economic, and societal changes facing contemporary Britain.

SISU-106
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The U.S. and Other Worlds

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
001
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

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
012
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Weak and Failed States

This course examines weak and failed states and their role in the world order. The class studies how colonial empires, war, and internal politics contribute to state collapse and the effect these nations and regions have on U.S. foreign policy and the international community.

SISU-106
003
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

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
004
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

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 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Apple, Inc. in the Global Political Economy

This course uses the history of Apple, Inc. as a case study to engage long-standing debates in political economy. First, it explores the cultural, political, economic, and other sources of technological innovation. Next, through an in-depth analysis of the iPhone, the class examines how corporations such as Apple make global production decisions and debates whether and how corporations need to be socially responsible. Also explored is how social and political awareness and activism have changed in the information age.

SISU-106
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Identities & Intersections:Exploring Race, Ethnicity, Gender

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
013
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Identity Politics in Multiracial Societies: U.S. & Malaysia

This course examines the impact of ethnicity, religion, and identity politics on the political, economic, and social development of multicultural societies, with special focus on Malaysia and America. The theoretical inquiry on different and multi-layered "forms of belonging" focuses on structures and agents, institutions, and processes--political, economic, religious, and cultural--that are fundamental to the shaping and re-shaping of identity and culture at the individual, family, communal, national, and global levels. Key determinants of contemporary Malaysian and American identity formation examined include citizenship and nationhood, family and community, ethnicity and race, religion, class, gender, and migration, as well as the impact of the market and mass consumption in a globalizing and interdependent world. Apart from scholarly texts, films/videos, fiction, novels and graphic novels are used to further illuminate the manner in which political, economic, socio-cultural, and religious changes have impacted on the process of identity formation and inter-ethnic cultural construction at the different levels of analysis used in the investigative framework.

SISU-106
015
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

King, Obama, and the Politics of the Nobel Peace Prize

This course examines and compares the international politics of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Barack Obama and the significance of their both winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The course discusses the changing criteria used to determine who wins the prize; the similarities and differences in King and Obama's view of international relations; the reaction to their winning the prize by people in the United States and globally; and the intersection of race and international relations then and now.

SISU-106
006
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2014

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?