Global Studies Courses

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. Also required for the major in Conservation Biology and may be counted toward the minor in Peace Studies.

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.” Also offered occasionally as CLAS 102 and may be counted toward the minors in African-American Studies, Native American Studies and Peace 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 may be counted toward the minor in 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 may be counted toward the minor in Peace Studies.

233.        GIS. (with 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 or her area of interest. Also offered as GEOL 233.

235.        Power, Profit, and Culture of Politics of Sport

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.  It examines critically how sports has been globalized, commodified and controlled by a handful of transnational corporations. It also explores how sports manifest expressions of local cultural values, embodiment, representations of normalcy, and difference. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, colonialism and sports; sports labor and the racialized body; corporatization of college sports; popular media and representation; masculinity and femininity; nationalism and identity; sports and militarization; and the ethics of sports. Finally, this course engages students as participants, fans, consumers, and spectators to critically and reflexively interrogate the relationship between sports and social justice. Fulfills DIV13 requirement.

238.        Global Christianities.

This course explores Christianity outside the United States and Europe. Catholic and Protestant Christianities in addition to newer forms of Christianity are included, and case studies are drawn from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Pentecostal Christianity (also called Charismatic Christianity) is a particular focus. The course considers the conflict and interplay of older forms of Christianity, often part of the inheritance of colonialism, with more recent arrivals; probes the relationship between religion and the processes of globalization; and questions whether any of these forms of Christianity can be described as globalized, and, if so, whether global Christianity resists or supports globalization. Also offered as REL 238.

255.        Popular Culture.

What is popular culture?  What role does it play in our lives and how we understand the world?  How does globalization shape popular media, cultural productions and expressions?  This course introduces students to how various contemporary popular cultural forms are embedded in complex historical, political, sociocultural contexts, and in relations of power around identity categories such as race, gender, sexuality and class.  Students will engage with various theoretical debates and with the works of artists, musicians, film-makers, literary figures from across the world, and in the Americas in particular, to analyze and understand the global dimensions and different facets of popular culture (e.g., hip hop music, sports, comics, fashion, reality TV, social media, cybercultures, and advertising). Students will also have the opportunity to think critically and be self-reflexive about the ideologies and representations of how global and local popular cultural forms are (re)produced and consumed in America.

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. Also offered occasionally as CLAS 260 and may be counted toward the minor in Native American Studies.

262.        Globalization and the African Diaspora

In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, Africa appears marginalized or absent from contemporary imaginations and discourses of globalization. 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. Through an interdisciplinary diasporic approach, this course examines how particular global processes intersect with and manifest differently in and across specific places and social realities in the Africa diaspora. It explores the complex historical place of Africa in the global economy through the forced and voluntary dispersion of Africans and the legacies of slavery, colonialism, racism, underdevelopment, and globalization. By engaging with the works of diaspora African scholars, academics, activists, and various visual and literary artists, the course aims to widen students’ perspectives and understanding of how global and transnational exchanges articulates myriad intersecting social practices and identities in the African diaspora. Themes covered in the course include slavery, colonialism and imperialism, diasporas and migration, global and popular culture, gender and sexuality, social media and youth cultures, politics and social justice.  Also offered as AFS 262.

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 address 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 (DIV) requirement.

268.        Global Health and Justice.

This course considers the ways colonial power dynamics continue to structure our present and are fundamentally sickening. Solutions for contemporary health injustices must take into account ongoing colonial effects - including the construction and continued salience of race, the imposition of gender/sex binaries, ecological devastation, global inequities in wealth and power, and the dominance of colonial knowledge systems. Through case studies, in-class activities and independent research projects, students will begin to conceptualize more deeply decolonizing solutions for our contemporary health crises. Fulfills DIV13 (2013 curriculum).

273.        A Literary Harvest.

While environmental writers and activists such as Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben and the Indian physicist Vandana Shiva have alerted us to the ecological, ethical, and health problems associated with factory farming, the North Country has long been a haven for sustainable, small-scale organic agriculture. This is a creative writing course in literary nonfiction that focuses on food, food security, and farming. It has both a CBL component and a cross-cultural, comparative focus (India). The community-based learning takes place in the course’s required lab component. Students will draw from nonfiction readings, their CBL work, and past experience, including travel, to examine the themes from both a local and global perspective. Also offered as ENG 293.

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: GS 101.

302.        Theories of Global 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: GS 101 or 102. Also may be counted toward the minors in Native American Studies and Peace Studies.


324.        Global Public Goods: Exploring Solutions for the 21st Century.

This course addresses 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 (e.g., cultural destruction, disease and health care, financial crises, ecological destruction, aging and social security challenges, state and non-state actor violence, migration). Framing issues in the language of global interests, the metaphor of “public goods” invites an approach that seeks commonalities with an eye toward action that allow forms of cooperation to be imagined and achieved. Students produce 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 PHIL 333 and may be counted toward the minor in Peace Studies.

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. Prerequisite: Global Studies 101 or 102. Also offered as FILM 340 and PCA 312.

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 may be counted toward the minors in Arabic Studies and Peace Studies.

365.        Rethinking Population, Health and Environment.

This course addresses complex interrelations among and between population, health and the environment in an increasingly interdependent world. The aim is to provide theoretically and empirically grounded understandings of the historical and contemporary evolution of various population dynamics, including demographic change, public health, diseases, human migration, urbanization, disasters, and population-environment patterns. The course employs an interdisciplinary approach to identify critically how economic, political, cultural, social and environmental factors operating across multiple scales (local to global) shape the intersection of population, health and the environment. Through specific case studies, the course also explores current challenges in global health, population policies around reproductive rights, health systems and reforms, environment change, and emerging issues around equity, social, and environmental justice.  This course may be counted toward the major in Conservation Biology.

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 post-colonial studies. Literature and film are used in dialog with theoretical texts to examine questions about gender and women’s issues in various societies. Also offered as ENG 367, GNDR 367 and PHIL 367.

390.        Independent Study.

409.        Internship: Weave News.

This project-based internship course is designed for students who are interested in the intersection of independent media and social justice activism. Students in the course serve as one-semester interns for Weave News ( an independent media organization focused on stories that are not receiving sufficient attention from the corporate and establishment news media. Through working on collaborative projects, students develop practical skills in a number of areas such as media production, digital content creation, fundraising, community outreach, public relations, event planning, grant writing, and organizational development.

 412.       Cross Cultural Perspectives of Healing.

This class uses healing traditions as the lens with which to examine culture. During the semester students will have the opportunity to meet healers from around the world. In a typical semester presenters include a Traditional Chinese Medical 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. Also offered as REL 412 and BIOL 412.

489, 490. SYE: Senior Project.

498, 499. SYE: Honors Project.