Int’l studies to add new course offerings next fall



The International Studies program will increase its course offerings starting next year, Director of Undergraduate Studies James Vreeland said.

The program, which is offered as a second major, will begin offering its own courses geared toward history and political science, anthropology, economics and sociology, and science and technology. Currently, students in the major must take courses in each of these areas that are offered in other departments. As part of the curriculum restructuring, diplomat in residence Charles Hill’s yearlong junior core course, “International Ideas and Institutions,” will be offered as an introductory class open to all students.

New courses will include an introductory history course called “Statecraft and Power As Lenses on World Order,” taught by history professor Paul Kennedy, and “Culture and Ethnicity As Lenses of the World” with American studies and anthropology professor Patricia Pessar. Vreeland said the program will eventually also offer courses on political economy, technology and economics specifically geared toward international studies.

Vreeland said appropriate courses in other departments will still count for the major.

Because international studies is a program and not a department, it cannot hire its own faculty members. But International Studies Chairman John Gaddis said the program will draw on faculty members hired with the intention of teaching International Studies.

“International Studies has had to depend on other departments for staffing,” Gaddis said.

To get faculty members for the new courses, Vreeland said the program will bring in visiting experts to teach full-time for the program, get commitments from departments rather than borrowing professors “ad-hoc,” and hire new faculty members who will be based in departments “with an understanding that their teaching time will be dedicated to [international studies].”

Vreeland said Hill will teach both semesters of “International Ideas and Institutions” next year but will teach only one semester after that in order to teach upperclassmen in the International Studies program.

Though faculty members considered offering international studies as a stand-alone major as part of the program’s restructuring, Vreeland said the program will remain a second major.

“If it was a stand-alone then we would not be on the defensive [for faculty],” Vreeland said. “But we decided for pedagogic decisions to keep it as a secondary major. International studies in its nature is interdisciplinary and therefore very broad — but you have to have depth in something.”

Alexis Ringwald ’05, who is considering the international studies major, said she would be interested in taking the new courses.

“I just like the interdisciplinary nature of it,” Ringwald said. “They’re designing the courses with the interdisciplinary nature in mind.”

Alexander Daniels ’05, who said he applied to the major, said he took a South Asian history course in order to satisfy the requirements. He said he found it rewarding but would not have taken it if there were an international studies history course.

“I think the point of the major is to draw from other departments,” Daniels said.

Comments