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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
018
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Environment and the Imagination

This course uses fiction, literary nonfiction, and film, as well as scholarly articles for background, to introduce the global politics of the environment. Organized around the four core concepts of past, future, south, and north, the class explores the environment across time and space, with particular attention to the role of empathy in how the challenges of environmental degradation and governance are understood. Open only to SIS students.

SISU-106
013
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

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. Open only to SIS students.

SISU-106
001
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

China: Politics and Foreign Policy

This course focuses on contemporary China, examining its society, politics, and foreign policy. The course first familiarizes students with an overview of China's development from historical and theoretical perspectives. It then examines Chinese society and politics, including state-society relations, and economic and political reforms. In studying Chinese foreign policy a variety of issues and policy analyses, such as the domestic foundations of foreign policy, and relations between China and major powers and its Asian neighbors, are covered. As a theoretically-informed empirical study, the course is a combination of lectures, student presentations, and guest speeches from leading scholars and practitioners. A variety of perspectives as analytical tools for research are introduced and significant controversies are analyzed as a way of participating in the field's theoretical and policy debates.

SISU-106
004
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

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
016
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Agrarianism in the Americas

This seminar explores the history and geography of agrarian politics and agrarian philosophies in the Americas. After surveying key historical land reforms, agrarian revolutions, and agricultural political movements, the class analyzes influential and recurring agrarianist philosophies that have emerged in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean over the past few centuries. The course concludes with reflections on current neo-agrarian, agricultural labor, and campesin@ political mobilizations in the United States and throughout Latin America.

SISU-106
002
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

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
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

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
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Weird International Relations

This seminar introduces students to the idea of a deviant case--a rare phenomenon that cannot be explained by existing theory. It focuses on the funny and bizarre stories that puzzle and amuse scholars. By studying weird international relations, students strengthen their understanding of the field while sharpening their critical thinking skills.

SISU-106
012
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Reflections: United States in the Mirror

This course examines the values and interests of the United States and how they are, or are not, reflected in U.S. foreign policy. Analyzing historical as well as current trends, the course explores how American ideology and interests have been represented in U.S. policies such as war, humanitarian intervention, democracy promotion, and immigration. The class looks at what Americans think it means to be an American, and how that compares with the perspectives of others. On immigration, the course explores 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; and how immigrants' conceptions of the United States, as well as their national and cultural identities, change while living in the United States.

SISU-106
008
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 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
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 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
022
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Beyond Big Brother: Global Surveillance and Resistance

With the Edward Snowden leaks, international attention has come to the practices of surveillance and the implications that it has for our increasingly digital society. This course explores different historical models and theories of surveillance, as well as ways in which these programs have been, and continue to be, resisted. Particular attention is paid to the role of popular culture in shaping the discourse, policies, and politics of surveillance.

SISU-106
017
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Apple in the Global Economy

This course embraces a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the causes and consequences of the meteoric rise of Apple, Inc. in the global political economy. Major debates explored include the sources of technological innovation, the ethics and politics of global production decisions, and changes in social awareness and political activism in the information age.

SISU-106
019
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

International Interventions

This course seeks to explain when and how international actors intervene in the domestic politics and economies of countries. Both the theory and application of various forms of international intervention including sanctions; structural adjustment policies; humanitarian intervention; and state-building are addressed. Class discussion focuses on key questions such as, what factors motivate international intervention; what are the responsibilities of the interveners and what are the rights of the intervened upon; and who international intervention benefits. The course provides an understanding of the broad nature of international intervention in global politics while grounding theoretical arguments in case-specific investigations. The seminar format enables in-depth discussion of the theoretical material as well as relevant current events and includes presentations by Washington, D.C.-based policy advocates.

SISU-106
015
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Water in World Politics

Water is many things: a basic human need, the lifeblood of critical ecosystems, a source of livelihoods, an unpredictable flow, a powerful destructive force, the chief delivery mechanism for the social and ecological effects of climate change, and a commodity with increasing value in many parts of the world. This seminar examines several of the major water challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century. In doing so, it uses water as a window on several key concepts and processes in world politics, including conflict, cooperation, sovereignty, identity, political economy, justice, borders, and globalization.

SISU-106
020CB
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Freedom and Solidarity in Western Democratic Thought

Through close readings of Tocqueville and Rousseau, students examine fundamental themes and debates in Western democratic thought such as freedom, inequality, legitimacy, and cultural norms. Students practice civic solidarity through service learning in a low income Washington community, and also utilize ideas from philosophy to analyze how democracies fared during great crises of the last century from World War I through the 2008 economic crash.

SISU-106
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

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
021
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

The Break Up of Britain?

There are immense challenges underway in Britain that has 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 recent Scottish referendum that could have dissolved 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 historic films and documentaries to contemporary speeches, the course examines and traces the political, economic and societal changes facing contemporary Britain through various print and visual source materials.

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
002
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Classical Quest for Justice

Through a careful study of works by ancient Greek authors, this course considers fundamental questions of political theory, including what is justice, what do human beings owe to one another at home and on the global stage, how conceptions of justice are shaped by political circumstances, can justice be fostered in better or worse ways, and what motivates just action. The course begins by considering a classic cycle of vengeance as explored by Aeschylus in the Oresteia, where ancient Athens attempted to codify a new kind of domestic justice based on equality and the rule of law; then considers justice in an international setting through a study of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War; and concludes with a study of Plato's masterpiece, The Republic, where Socrates leads his interlocutors, as well as his readers, through a comprehensive inquiry into the meaning and value of justice as a human virtue.

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
005
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

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 historic films and documentaries to contemporary speeches, the course examines and traces the political, economic and societal changes facing contemporary Britain through various print and visual source materials.

SISU-106
006
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

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 like oil and coal. The need is clear, but the path less so. This course looks at the roles played by fossil fuels in the constitution of key global environmental and economic challenges. It then looks at different visions for a post-carbon world and considers the politics of such a large-scale transition. Along the way, students work to understand what drives environmental harm and economic unrest, to become familiar with the core mechanisms of global environmental governance, and to unpack the essential features of effective environmental action.

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
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

From Bean to Brew

This course is an exploration of one of the most popular beverages in the world--coffee. A tool of diplomats, workers, and students, coffee has been a staple underlying international discourse from halls of the Ottoman Empire to the coffee houses that became the first stock exchanges in Amsterdam, to the wood-paneled refuge of Starbucks. The course examines the life-cycle of coffee from the bean that is picked to the brewed cup, looking at the human rights, international law, trade, social, and economic impacts of one of the most ubiquitous commodities in the world.

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
016
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

First Year Seminar (3)

Beyond Big Brother

With the Edward Snowden leaks, international attention has come to the practices of surveillance and the implications that it has for our increasingly digital society. This course explores different historical models and theories of surveillance, as well as ways in which these programs have been, and continue to be, resisted. Particular attention is paid to the role of popular culture in shaping the discourse, policies, and politics of surveillance.

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.