Courses Offered | St. Lawrence University Global Studies

Courses Offered

The following are regularly offered courses. In addition there are Special Topics courses offered frequently as well as courses cross- and dual-listed with other departments and programs. These can be found in the course schedule available from the Registrar’s Office on the Web and in hard copy.

101. Introduction to Global Studies I: Political Economy. An introduction to the reasons for the emergence of a global political economy. Using case studies, students examine the basic concepts and vocabulary in the political-economic analysis of globalization, such as free trade, capital accumulation, international division of labor, neo-liberalism, privatization, structural adjustment and sustainable development. The course explores the consequences of changing patterns of transnational economic and governance structures for nation-states, ecosystems and people’s lives, and examines the repercussions of economic globalization.. Discussion of the opposition movements that have formed to contest globalization, such as those emerging from labor movements, environmentalism and feminism. This course fulfills the social science (SSC) distribution requirement.

102. Introduction to Global Studies II: Race, Culture, Identity. Examination of their own identities and social locations leads students to an understanding of how those identities exist in a global matrix of cultural, economic and political relationships. Students are introduced to various theoretical and political positions on identity, with a focus on gender, race, ethnicity, class, spirituality and sexuality. While much of the material is drawn from the contemporary era, the historical context of European conquest and expansion and the Middle Passage frame a critical examination of the evolving ideas of "America" and the "West." This course fulfills the diversity (DIV) requirement. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Native American Studies and African-American Studies.

218. Cities and Globalization. Cities reflect and embody the myriad and complex processes of globalization, challenging the nation-state's role in circumscribing people's life and activities. A few "global cities" are the control points for the organization of new forms of economic, political and social geographies associated with global processes. Other large "world" cities in both the developed and the developing world are incorporated into the global urban system through the economic, cultural and political power they exercise at different scales-local, national, transnational, regional, and global. The objective of this course is to critically understand the relationship between cities and globalization, and to appreciate cities as sites of struggle associated with globalization. When possible, the course includes a field trip to Toronto, Canada.

222. Asian Political Economy in the Global Age. This course covers the geographical and historical rise of East Asian economies in the context of “quasi-states” in the world economy, the spectacular economic growth of China and the social and economic crisis gripping South Asia in the context of contemporary debates about neo-liberalism, gender, identity, community and communalism. What are the prospects for East and South Asia in the new global millennium? Topics include regional perspectives on global capital accumulation, global inequalities, human rights discourse, fundamentalism and social movements. Also offered through Asian Studies.

230. Secrets and Lies: Nationalism, Violence and Memory. This course explores the complex and difficult processes through which nations confront- or fail to confront- their histories of colonization, genocide and other types of mass violence. Through a comparative look at case studies such as South Africa, Israel/Palestine and the United States, the course examines a variety of collective responses to mass violence, including denial, truth commissions, war crimes trials and reparations. Also offered through Peace Studies.

233. GIS w/Lab. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the use of computers to manage, display, and analyze spatial or geographical information. This course introduces students to the basic concepts, functions, and applications of GIS. We discuss maps, data sources and management, and geographic techniques, including global positioning systems, aerial photography, and satellite imagery. Through a series of lab exercises students explore the analytical functions of GIS, such as proximity, overlay, and three-dimensional modeling. To further understand GIS practices and applications, each student develops a GIS project with data appropriate to his/her area of interest.

250. La Frontera: Cultural Identities on the Mexican-U.S. Borderland. This course investigates the cultural expressions derived from the interactions among people on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. The goal is to understand the different ways in which immigration, drug smuggling and transnational industries affect the everyday lives of borderlanders through historical and critical approaches to the cultural expressions (music, images, or other forms of discourse) that have served as mechanisms to mediate the contradictions arising out of the border. This course fulfills the diversity (DIV) requirement. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Native American Studies.

255. Popular Culture. This course introduces students to key themes in the study of popular media and to debates about the role of media in contemporary societies. It also introduces methodologies used to study culture and asks students to apply them to case studies from music, sports, comics, fashion, television, cyberculture, film or advertising. Emphasis will be placed on various cultural expressions of ethnic subcultures in the United States and their complex negotiations with the dominant culture and their co-resisters in a global/local struggle over meaning. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies.

259. Global-Local Environmentalisms.  This course explores the ways environmental social movements and environmental conflicts are experienced across multiple scales: global and local. We will examine the role that broad-based and influential environmental or development efforts play in defining contested landscapes and concepts of "nature" more broadly. In addition, we will consider how they engage with variously positioned local communities that often have deeply rooted and socially and culturally rich connections to those same landscapes. We will focus on particular case studies addressing wilderness preservation, fortress conservation and environmental justice efforts in the global North and South.

260. Transnational Migration. Students acquire a global perspective on the nature of migration movements, why they take place and how they affect migrating peoples, as well as the societies receiving them. Themes include transnationalism and new approaches to national identity and citizenship; migration as a social network-driven process; gendered migration; migration and the formation of ethnic minorities. The course analyzes how transnational movements of people, goods and services affect and transform the relationships between cities and nations and explores the political meaning of contemporary nationalism and the possibilities of new forms of citizenship. Emphasis is on the (trans)formations of Latino identities in the U.S. This course fulfills the diversity (DIV) requirement. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Native American Studies.

262. Africa and Globalization. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, Africa appears marginalized or absent from contemporary imaginations and discourses of globalization. Often, we hear about crises, failures and problems. Yet, Africa, a heterogeneous continent differentiated along geographical, historical, social, cultural, religious, economic, and political lines among others, has been and continues to be integral to the global economy. This course seeks to examine and understand how particular global processes intersect with and manifest differently in specific places and social realities in Africa. We explore Africa and the global economy; globalization and technology; African youth experiences; African women's experiences; and contemporary African diasporas and their transnational activities.

264. Global Public Health: Critical Approaches.  Global public health is an interdisciplinary field that addresses how to achieve health and well-being in an interconnected world. This course will explore how health and well-being are conceptualized and pursued in the context of global diversity and inequality.  Students will consider how class, race, gender, sexuality and (dis)ability shape health opportunities and challenges for individuals, groups and populations. The course will adderss established social determinants of health including: food security, housing, health care, education, work and income, the ecosystem, peace and social justice. This course fulfills the diversity (DIV13) requirement.

290. Global Studies Research Methods. An introduction to research approaches that take into account the economic and political context of the production of culture, textual analysis and people’s perceptions. Objectives are to examine the philosophy and epistemology of qualitative methods, to understand various approaches to qualitative research, to develop the skills to design a qualitative research project, to gather and analyze qualitative data, and to present the preliminary findings. For their final project, students produce a research design for their SYE and apply learned research strategies to their own research questions. The course emphasizes the importance of critical awareness of the practical, social and ethical issues that arise in doing cultural and social analysis and research in everyday settings.

301. Theories of Global Political Economy. This course explores the complex relationship between states and economies at the global level. Its primary purpose is to provide a critical understanding of the major theoretical and analytical issues that constitute the crucial challenge to the study of global political economy today. It moves beyond the traditional agenda of international political economy, namely trade and investment, to address a wide range of alternative theories, concepts and themes, including the origins, functions and impacts of transnational corporations, international financial institutions, regional and global trade organizations and non-governmental organizations involved in social movements. Prerequisite: Global Studies 101. Also offered through Asian Studies.

302. Theories of Cultural Studies. An introduction to the growing field of cultural studies through examination of its major theoretical paradigms, particularly as these bear on the question of unequal global power relations. These may include Marxism, critical theory, post-structuralism, feminist theory and emerging work in postmodernism and post-colonial studies. Students explore strategies for “reading” cultural practices and texts not simply as reflections of reality, but as political interventions, expressions of desire, attempts to persuade and producers of power. Through a combination of theoretical criticism and analysis of specific materials, students prepare to undertake independent research with an informed understanding of how cultural studies challenge and enrich traditional social science and humanities approaches. Prerequisite: Global Studies 101 or 102. This course fulfills the diversity (DIV) and humanities (HUM) distribution requirements. Also offered through Film and Representation Studies.

3031 (Spring 2018) Special Topic:  #TakeAKnee: Power, Profits and the Cultural Politics of Sports.  From Nelson Mandela using rugby to unite South Africa and rehabilitate its international image to Billie Jean King championing equality in women’s tennis and LGBTQ rights, to Muhammad Ali’s political stance against the Vietnam War, to Colin Kaepernick protesting police brutality and oppression, sports and athletes have served as vehicles of social critique and catalysts for social transformation.  This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to contextualize and analyze how sports constitute contested sites of power.  We will examine critically how sports has been globalized, commodified and controlled by a handful of transnational corporations.  Drawing on cultural studies, we will also explore how sports manifest expressions of local cultural values, embodiment, representations of normalcy, and difference.  Topics that will be covered in this course include, but are not limited to, colonialism; sports and the racialized body; global sports labor; corporatization of college sports; popular media and representation; embodied masculinity and femininity; nationalism and identity; sports and politics; militarization of sports; and the ethics of sports.  Finally, this course will engage us as participants, fans, consumers, and spectators to critically and reflexively interrogate the relationship between sports and social justice.

3032 (Spring 2018) SOPHORMORES ONLY: Experiences of Health and Illness: Differences and Debates.

What does it mean to be 'healthy'? How is health both an intensely personal experience and an important public project? How do the conditions in which we live shape our experiences of health as well as illness? How can we understand, represent and analyze health experiences? How can we pursue a more equitable vision of health in a world fraught with inequalities? These broad and urgent questions are at the heart of the proposed sophomore seminar, which supports St. Lawrence University's exciting new minor in public health. In this 0.5 credit course, students will be invited to explore a range of perspectives on health and its social determinants drawn from literatures in public health, the social sciences and humanities. In critically examining understandings, experiences and efforts to achieve health in varied social and geographical contexts, the course will incorporate materials such as personal narratives, digital stories, ethnographic works, sociological writings and public health texts. Significantly, this course will offer students a unique opportunity to understand and document social determinants of health through experimenting with 'photovoice', an increasingly popular qualitative research method used in a variety of disciplines.

324. Global Public Goods: Exploring Solutions for the 21st Century. This course is intended for upper level students interested in social, political and economic thought from any department who wish to explore and address problems that are global or local in nature: cultural destruction, disease and health care, financial crises, ecological destruction, aging and social security challenges, state and non-state actor violence, and migration to mention only a few issue areas. It recognizes and taps into attempts to initiate, coordinate and execute solutions to problems that many understand as being not solely local in origin and implication, but rather connected with other sites, across the world. Framing issues in the language of global interests, the metaphor of "public goods" invites an approach that seeks commonalities with an eye towards action that allow forms of cooperation to be imagined and achieved. Students will be expected to develop a major paper on one theme written over the semester as part of their course obligations.   Also may be counted toward the minor in Peace Studies.

333. Ethics of Global Citizenship. This research seminar is designed to address, from a philosophical perspective, some of the difficult ethical questions arising from the global organization of the world. Readings include classical, non-western, and alternative theories of justice and peace. The course interrogates the discourses surrounding patriotism and cosmopolitanism, peace and violence, terrorism and war, justice and retribution, and the debates surrounding relativism versus universalism, especially with regard to the claims for human rights. Students undertake research projects dealing with the ways these issues are being negotiated in countries where they studied abroad, and develop ethical positions on their own responsibilities toward global citizenship. Also offered as Philosophy 333 and through Peace Studies.

335. Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. This research seminar will draw on students’ experiences in off-campus programs to undertake comparative analysis of a series of regional case studies, initially drawn from the Caribbean and North American region, then moving outward to include the areas class members have studied and lived in. Students will produce a series of research projects on the country in which they have lived or studied abroad and they will use their research for class presentations. A significant portion of the readings will critically examine dominant U.S. assumptions about race, ethnicity, and culture, including “whiteness.” The course will pay particular attention to the interrelations between gender and race in different regions, especially as this is revealed through attitudes toward miscegenation and mixed-race identities.

340. Blogging the Globe: News Analysis and Investigative Journalism. This course fosters the tools necessary to be critical readers and viewers of the news in a complex, globalized media environment while also giving students the opportunity to become investigative journalists themselves. In addition to examining patterns in how global events are covered in mainstream and independent/alternative media outlets in the U.S. and elsewhere, the course explores deeper structural issues concerning discourse, ideology and the representation of "other" cultures; the relationship between media, corporate and state power; and the role of institutions in defining the bounds of "legitimate" knowledge. Students in the course contribute to The Weave, an online public intellectual project, by researching and blogging about underreported stories. Also offered through Film and Representation Studies and Performance and Communication Arts.

350. Global Palestine. This course explores the global significance of the modern colonization of Palestine and the resulting Palestinian struggle for national liberation. Moving beyond conventional interpretations of the conflict between Israel/Zionism and the Palestinians, the course emphasizes Palestine’s location within a set of broader global structures and processes including settler colonialism, militarization, social acceleration, solidarity movements, and the relationship between state and non-state forms of terrorism. Students develop familiarity with important theoretical concepts within global studies while also furthering their understanding of why Palestine, despite its small size, continues to matter so much to so many. Also offered through Peace Studies.

352. Clinic. The Effects of Globalization on Human Rights.  The particular cases and themes of the clinic vary from semester to semester, however, the commonality among them is the exploration of the ways in which drastic global economic and social restructural policies are shaping the living conditions and have infringed on human rights in different parts of the world.  Students will consider the drug trafficking and the War on Drugs from historical, comparative and contemporary angles, and the way that international drug policy has shaped drug trade and civil society. We will also analyze the effect that the Drug War has had on human rights, migration, trade, poverty, political power, feminicide, militarization and the environment. Also offered as CLAS-352 and may be counted towards the minors in Native American Studies and Peace Studies.

357. Postcolonial Theory and Literature. This course introduces a distinct way of organizing literary study, substituting for the study of national traditions the notion of postcoloniality as a global condition affecting not only literature but also categories we use to think about human experience: relations between colonizers and colonized and between culture and power, identity, authenticity and hybridity; roots, motherland, mother tongue; nationality. Readings include contemporary literature produced int he Indian subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean as well as important theoretical texts about postcoloniality. Also offered as English 357, Philosophy 357.

365. Rethinking Population and Environment. This course addresses population issues and challenges facing an increasingly interdependent world. The aim is to provide a grounded understanding of the historical and contemporary evolution of various population issues and patterns, including population growth, aging, the AIDS epidemic, immigration and human trafficking, urban development and environmental implications of population change, and how these are shaped by and engender economic, political, cultural, social and environmental change across multiple scales (local to global). Through specific case studies, the course also explores existing and alternative population policies around family planning and health reforms, environment and development, and migration. Fulfills the diversity (DIV) requirement.

367. Feminist Postcolonial Theory. Postcolonial theory addresses issues of identity, culture, literature and history arising from the social context of colonization, resistance to colonization, liberation from colonization, and the formation of new nations. It crosses the boundaries of the social sciences and humanities in its approach to theory and analysis of the discourses used to constitute colonial and postcolonial subjects. We begin with some classic texts of postcolonial theory before moving to a focus on specifically feminist debates and texts within postcolonial studies. Literature and film are used in dialogue with theoretical texts to examine questions about gender and women’s issues in various societies. Also offered as English 367, Gender Studies 367, and Philosophy 367.

412. Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Healing. This class using healing traditions as the lens with which to examine culture. During the semester students have the opportunity to meet healers from around the world. In a typical semester presenters include a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, an Ayurvedic physician (from India), a shaman from Peru, an exorcist, a Native American healer, an allopathic physician, new age healers, a Christian Scientist and others. Fulfills the diversity (DIV) requirement. Also offered as Biology 412 and Religious Studies 412.

390. Independent Study.
489, 490. SYE: Senior Project.
498, 499. SYE: Honors Project.