Our INTS majors concentrate on one of six tracks. They do not always take classes together. This seminar is designed to bring our majors together preferably in their Junior year. Through intensive discussion and writing the class will explore a theme, allowing students to bring their expertise in the various areas or tracks they are exploring, and to enable them to go deeper into the interactions across “areas” through a close examination of a theme. The INTS 300 class is a “pro-seminar” toward the Senior Exercise; the class introduces students to research techniques and methods as much as on analysis.
INTS 300 courses are offered once every semester. Various themes have been explored in the past. Those that are most frequently in rotation are:
- Global South
- Human Rights
- Mapping the World
- Transnational Urbanism
- Worldly Sex
The Senior Exercise is the capstone project for majors in International Studies. All students must do the Senior Exercise. The Senior Exercise is an original piece of research and analysis produced by each student. The product could either be a long written paper (40 pages) or else a video, an art installation, a musical interlude, or any other media. If other media than the 40-page (minimum) paper is chosen, the student is yet obliged to provide some text to go with it (minimum, 15 pages). The 15 + page paper must be based on scholarly research, with a historically-driven analysis. The Senior Exercise, as befits the students in our program, should be a high-level research project that showcases your learning and your perseverance. As much as possible, students are encouraged to use their language skills, as well as to do some of their research while overseas in their Junior year.
It is often the case that students who graduated in years past recall the work they put into this Exercise (and some say that it is the only paper that they saved from college). Along this grain, for many of us on the faculty, the work you do on the Exercise serves as a perfect vehicle for our various letters of recommendation toward graduate school or other careers.
The International Studies Program recommends that our students do their Senior Exercise in the Spring term of their Senior year. Students who wish to graduate in December may do their Exercise that Fall. Planning for the Exercise typically begins in the Junior year (the Director meets with Juniors and explains the process, so that those who go overseas might take advantage of their time to begin research for the project). The procedure to sign up for the Senior Exercise begins in the Fall term of the Senior year, which once more allows students to take the time to breathe intellectually and read widely around and within the ambit of their project. Every student must participate in the Senior Exercise Clinic, which meets occasionally in the Fall term, and then a few times in the Spring. It is your lifeline to the Exercise. The final Exercise is due in the first week of May.
Language is a fundamental aspect of the INTS major. Works in translation help provide a window into the complexity of the world, but there is no substitute for both the attempt to learn a language and to learn about other, related worlds that are contained in different languages. We insist upon four semesters of language if the Language and Cultural Studies Department offers the language in question. You may study languages not offered by our college through the Self-Instructional Learning Program (SILP) or elsewhere (but with the approval of the Director). Those who study South Asian languages via SILP are required to take only three semesters of language (to be approved by the coordinator). For more on SILP, please see the SILP coordinator, Professor Isabel Evelein.
Although we do not compel you to study outside the U. S, it is one of the customary requirements of the major. There are many questions that you will have about going outside the U.S. for a semester or a year. You should get a handle on the role of “study abroad” in this era of globalization. One good introduction with essays on study abroad in most of the world is Richard Falk and Nancy Kananch, “Globalization and Study Abroad: An Illusion of Paradox,” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, vol. VI, Winter 2000 (http://www.frontiersjournal.com/issues/vol6/vol6-10_FalkandKanach.htm). For more on Study Abroad, please visit the Office of International Programs.