In addition to our robust area studies programs in East Asian, French, German, Hispanic, Italian, and Slavic Studies, in which students acquire deep interdisciplinary knowledge of specific world regions, our innovative curriculum offers students opportunities to develop critical perspectives on transnational and world phenomena through the lens of race and ethnicity, religion, gender, and environmental justice.
Examples of area studies and global studies courses, most of which are being offered in AY 2015-16, include:
Africa in the Americas
An introduction to the history of the African diaspora with a focus on the Americas. The course will engage the following questions: What is the African diaspora? What led to the dispersal of Africans throughout the Americas? What is the impact of the African presence on the New World? How have diasporic Africans constructed identities and how have such identities shifted over time?
An examination of the causes and consequences of China's domestic transformation and integration into the global system. Students explore China’s globalization through the lens of the most significant urban transformation in world history, considering the challenges and opportunities that Chinese citizens face in light of recent developmental strategies and trajectories.
Introduction to Global Islamic Studies
This course introduces students to Islam and Muslim communities through a global historical lens. Tracing Islam’s emergence as a new religion in the seventh-century Middle East, the course explores how it steadily grew over subsequent centuries to become one of the world’s largest religions, whose adherents live mainly outside the Middle East (today more than 60% of the world's Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia, and about 20% live in the Middle East). Organized around central themes and concepts that structure the Global Islamic Studies (GIS) major and minor, the course explores Islam’s internal diversity; citizenship/identity; Muslim experiences of European colonial rule/legacies of colonial rule; religious/secular divide; Islamophobia; jihad; varieties of political Islam; and conversion to Islam in history and the present day. Taught on a rotation by GIS faculty with expertise in Islam in Russia and Central Asia; the Middle East; South Asia; and Western Europe.
An examination of trends and processes since the transition to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Topics include democratization, social movements, economic restructuring, violence, and religion. Emphasis on ethnography and oral history. This course may include an optional section that will meet outside of class to discuss supplemental readings in Portuguese.
The Net Generation
Examination of global youth cultures in the Internet age, focusing on institutions and practices that socialize children as national subjects. Topics include the family, education, student life, youth activism, popular culture, marginalized youth, and social networks. Includes real-time discussions via teleconference with Russian students from the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and from other universities abroad. This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Polish.
The Case for Diversity from Global to Local: Leaving Hispanic Studies
This interdisciplinary, team-taught course offers a diachronic and synchronic approach to diversity in the Hispanic/Latino world. Employing the theoretical lens of race, gender, film, linguistics, literature, sexuality, environmentalism, and the arts, students explore the benefits and challenges of diverse populations, linguistic codes, and artistic expression. In this capstone course, students will engage in original, twenty-five page research projects that engage diversity in the context of Spain, Latin America, and the United States.
Women and World Politics
This course examines the reasons for and the impact of global power inequality on women, and covers several silent political issues including women and war, women and violence, women and human rights, and women in the international political economy.
Environmental Justice in Global Perspective
A seminar addressing current environmental issues and conflicts such as pollution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, acidic deposition and global change. Students will be expected to make presentations and actively participate in discussions.
Gender in Communist and Post-Communist Societies
This course examines representations and theories of gender, social policies designed to create more just and egalitarian societies and the lived experiences of women and men in socialist and post-socialist Russia and China. Through the analysis of works of history, literature, memoir, film, political posters, advertising and podcasts, this course examines state political agendas behind constructions of femininity/masculinity, how these constructions have changed in the market-driven economies of modern Russia and China, and what dominant public rhetoric reveals about the realities of citizens of these regimes.