Curriculum Overview 

The mission of the International Studies Program is to unite a cohort of students who, both individually and in collaboration, will broaden the experience of their various major programs as they develop international perspectives and immerse themselves in the languages and cultures of non-English-speaking countries. The program prepares students for future study, careers and life in our increasingly unbordered world. The International Studies Program offers two minors: one in International Studies and one in Area Studies. Students may also choose a joint major with International Studies, or earn a concentration.

A minor in International Studies requires that a student: (1) take IST 200, typically in the first or sophomore year; (2) propose a coherent program of four specific courses (of which no more than two can overlap with courses in the major) focusing on a particular geographical or topical theme; (3) study for at least one semester outside the United States in a non-English-speaking environment, including (where feasible) doing coursework or research in the local language; (4) achieve an advanced level of proficiency in a foreign language (normally marked by successful completion of a course at the 300 level); and (5) complete IST 489, typically during fall of the senior year. In addition, while not required, an international internship is highly recommended.

A joint major in International Studies requires that a student: (1) take IST 200, typically durping spring of the first or sophomore year; (2) propose a coherent program of six elective courses focusing on a particular geographical or topical theme, one of which must be numbered 300 or above, and which may include courses taken abroad with the approval of the program chair; (3) study for at least one semester outside the United States in a non-English-speaking environment, including (where feasible) doing coursework or research in the local language; (4) achieve an advanced level of proficiency in a foreign language (normally marked by successful completion of a course at the 300 level); and (5) complete IST 489. Joint majors are strongly encouraged to include GOV 130, ANT 100 and ECO 100 or 103 among their electives.

A minor in Area Studies requires that a student  take six courses on a given geographical area, of which at least two must be at the 300 level or above, selected in consultation with a faculty member specializing in that area. The Chair of the International Studies Program will refer interested students to an appropriate adviser, with whom the student will develop a list of appropriate courses. The minor declaration form must include signatures of chairpersons of departments offering the courses included in a student’s program and the signature of the Chair of the International Studies Program. Topics for which there is no existing minor housed in a regular department or program are appropriate for this minor, which would take its name from the geographical area of its emphasis, for example, African, Chinese, European Union, Francophone, Iberian, Japanese, Middle Eastern or Latin American Studies. An Area Studies minor may include courses in a language other than English, although ordinarily no more than four will be foreign language courses. IST 200 and 489 could be a part of this minor, but are not required. Study abroad and language proficiency are strongly recommended but not required.

In addition to the minor, the International Studies Program offers a concentration. Requirements for the concentration are the same as for the International Studies minor except that the concentration requires only two courses in addition to IST 200 and IST 489. These two courses can be either inside or outside the student’s major and are expected to cohere with and bring a significant international dimension to the student’s chosen major.

Recent students in the program have studied abroad in Argentina, Bolivia, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Mongolia, Spain, Switzerland, and Uganda through programs run by the School for International Training (SIT), the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) and various U.S. colleges and universities. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

Courses Offered 

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

200. Introduction to International Studies. (S) (NW)
Interdisciplinary course required for students with an International Studies minor or concentration. Through coordinated lectures by a team of  F&M faculty and guest speakers, students will consider topics such as globalization, security, migration, human rights, sustainability, and consumerism in the light of various disciplines. Offered every Spring.  

228. Middle Eastern Music and Culture. (A) (NW)
This interdisciplinary course will explore the musical identities of the Middle East and North Africa in terms of the complex sociological, historical, and political processes that have shaped the region. We will proceed from the idea that music is a powerful agent in the negotiation of power and identity, and examine the ways in which it has been utilized throughout transformative periods of history. Particular attention will be given to the transnational and diasporic nature of musics under consideration. Classical, folk, and popular musical traditions will be considered, as will the roles of art, popular culture, and mass media. Same as MUS 228.  

314. Global Environmental Politics. (S) 
Analysis of environmental problem definition and policy solutions in different countries, with particular focus on the developing world. Effects of political drivers of air and water pollution, land cover change, and biodiversity conservation. Influence of political structures, power relations, cultural values, ecological dynamics, and social interactions on environmental politics. Roles of national and multilateral institutions, NGOs, and civil society in policy debates. Outcomes of multi-stakeholder negotiations over environmental governance of global commons, including North-South disputes. Prerequisite: ENV/ENE216 / GOV100. Counts as Human Environment core course for Environmental Studies. Same as GOV374 and ENE314. 

319. Making Sense of Putin’s Russia: 
From Perestroika to Presidential Election Tampering. (S)

This course will explore these issues by examining the factors leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union; Gorbachev’s attempts to reinvigorate the system economically and politically through his policies of perestroika and glasnost’ that ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and breakup of the Soviet Union; the creation of the present-day Russian regime under Yeltsin, whose close ties to the oligarchs helped usher in an era of unprecedented corruption and the emergence of the Russian mafia; and the change in leadership from Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin, whose crackdown on democratic institutions like the free press and civil liberties and whose Cold-War-era style posturing alarms the West and has stoked the beginnings of grass-roots opposition movements (and ruthless crackdown against them) at home. In addition to lecture and discussion of common readings, students will do presentations of focused topics that they will then turn into final papers for the course. Same as HIS/RUS 319.    

327. Latin American Politics. (NW) (S)
This course introduces students to Latin American government and politics. The course provides a brief overview of the region’s history and a discussion of some of the key issues shaping the region’s politics, including: authoritarianism and democracy; development and dependency; and revolution. The rest of the course will be dedicated to a survey of the politics of several countries from different areas of Latin America.    Same as GOV327.    

350. International Business. (S)
Students in this course will learn about the history of international business, investigate the political and economic institutions that structure the global economy, and explore the impact of international environments on firm-level decisions. Same as BOS 350.     

489. International Studies Seminar. (S) (NW)
This capstone seminar for International Studies seniors is also open to other seniors with permission of the instructor. The course will be organized around a core set of readings on one broad international topic: in Fall 2017 Power, Identity, and Resistance in the Post-Colonial Age. Students will define an individualized research program, building on their previous coursework in International Studies, share readings and findings with fellow seminar students and produce a final paper and oral presentation. Prerequisite: IST 200. Offered every Fall.    
Alajaji, Anthony

Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2020-2021 
  • HIS/IST 372. World War I.
  • SOC/IST 471. Global Urbanism.