Catalog Descriptions

Descriptions are grouped into the following areas:

  • Foundation
  • Breadth
  • Capstone

Foundation Courses

1. Language Requirement (see Modern Langauges and Literatures)

2. Global Cultures

ANTH 203 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3) Fall, Spring
Examination of the anthropological approach to the study of human behavior. Exploration of human dependence on learned, socially transmitted behavior through consideration of ways of life in a broad range of societies. Satisfies GE, category D1 (Individual and Society). CAN ANTH 4.
GEP 203 Cultural Geography (3)
A study of the interrelationships between man and the physical environment. Attention is focused on man's role in changing the face of the earth, and on the manner in which the cultures of peoples have influenced their utilization of the environment. Diverse theories of man-environment relationships are discussed. Satisfies GE, category D2 (World History and Civilization). CAN GEOG 4.

3. Global Environment

GEP 200 Global Environmental Issues (3)
Lecture/discussion, 3 hours. An introduction to environmental studies and planning, including: humans in relation to the global ecosystem; an overview of problems of energy use, pollution, resource depletion, population growth, food supply, urbanization, climate change and biodiversity, and the search for solutions and future prospects. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives). Prerequisite or Corequisite: enrollment in ENGL 101 or PHIL 101.
GEP 201 Global Environmental Systems (4)
An integrated study of the physical environment, focusing on the processes and relationships between the four spheres: the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Major topics include global and regional patterns of climate and weather, soils, distribution of plants and animals on earth, and erosional and depositional processes that create landforms on the earth's surface. Also explored are possible links between human activities and changes in climate and vegetation patterns and dominant landform processes. Field trips and hands-on lab exercises included. Satisfies GE, category B3 (Specific Emphasis in Natural Sciences). CAN GEOG 2.

4. Economic Perspectives

ECON 204 Introduction to Macroeconomics (4) Fall, Spring
An examination of the basic characteristics of the U.S. economy and the principles that determine its performance. Emphasis is given to those factors that determine the total level of production, employment, prices, interest rates, inflation, and recession, and the U.S. role in the world economy. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives). CAN ECON 2.

5. Global Issues

GLBL 300 Local Responses to Global Issues: Case Studies from Around the World (3), Fall Only
This class examines various ways in which individuals take action to solve global social problems in their own local cultural, political and economic contexts. Case studies are used to explore the social structures that create social problems, such as human trafficking, hunger and political oppression, and to understand how local people adapt to and seek to change those structures. Prereq: A D5 course.
GLBL 350A Serving the Global Community (1), Fall Only
Students will read Arthur Kleinman’s What Really Matters, and discuss what it means to live in a world that cries out for human involvement and service. All people, both in developed and developing countries, live on the edge of survival, at constant risk of going under (due to disease, economic collapse, societal chaos, or simply the aging process itself). In the class, we will discuss the importance of being of service in the global effort to live a quality existence. And we will read about individuals who have taken it upon themselves to serve humanity in one way or another. A few examples include: Muhammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank; Paul Farmer’s work with patients with infectious diseases; Al Gore’s commitment to the environment; Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity. CR/NC only.
GEP 305 World Regions in Global Context (4)
Selected regions of the world for the basis of study. Economic development, political problems, man-land relationships and global issues are covered. The course uses geographical methodologies and concepts and is interdisciplinary in its observations of world regions. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives).

Breadth Requirements

1. Political Ideas and Institutions

POLS 303 Introduction to Comparative Government (4)
Reviews the principal concepts and theories of comparative politics, and assesses the institutions that comprise varied systems of government. Concrete examples taken from modern systems will be applied throughout the course. Special attention is focused on the political systems of Britain, France, Japan, Russia, and China. Students are assigned research projects on political systems of developing nations.
POLS 304 Introduction to International Relations (4)
An introductory analysis of the dynamics of the international political system, stressing the roles of supranational organizations, internal and external factors in foreign policy formulation by nation-states. Review of traditional and contemporary theories of international interaction.
POLS 315 Democracy, Capitalism, and Socialism (3-4)
An introduction to the major ideas of key theorists on the belief systems of democracy, capitalism, and socialism. A consideration of the actual strengths and shortcomings of some of the current world's major political/economic systems that attempt to put these ideas into practice. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives).
POLS 452 Third World Political Systems (4)
A comparative analysis of politics and political development of Third World countries. International and domestic obstacles to modernization will be studied. The general analysis will be supplemented by an intensive scrutiny of selected countries and regions.

2. Historical Perspectives

HIST 202 Development of the Modern World (3) Fall, Spring
An introduction to modern and contemporary history from 1500 CE to the present. Developments include the impact of Western expansion on the Americas, Africa and Asia; the reaction of non-Western people to Western expansion; the growth of nationalism and the national state; the industrial and political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries; World Wars I and II; decolonization, the emergence of the superpowers and the end of the Cold War. Required of all history majors. Satisfies part of the Social Sciences Single Subject Waiver Program. Satisfies GE, category D2 (World History and Civilization). Prerequisite: ENGL 101.
HIST 380 20th Century World (3) Fall, Spring
An exploration of the origins and development of 20th century ideas, institutions, and systems in global perspective. Forces that have united and divided the contemporary world community are examined: imperialism, science, democracy, communism, nationalism, militarism, racism, cultural traditionalism, and technological disparities. Fulfills part of the Social Science Single Subject Waiver Program requirement. Satisfies upper-division GE, category D2 (World History and Civilization).

3. Globalization and the Social Impact

ANTH 352 Global Issues (4) Spring
This course will explore anthropological perspectives on global issues. The course will include a brief introduction to the theoretical frameworks developed in the discipline for studying issues that impact humanity on a global scale. Possible topics may include: globalization, global capitalism, global climate change, international development, population movements such as international migration and diasporas, global impacts of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS. Topics will vary with each offering; may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.
GEP 322 Globalization and Environments (4)
This course examines some of the ways specific places and people have promoted, encountered, and negotiated the projects of development and globalization. We begin with a critical examination of ‘development’ and ‘globalization’ and a public narrative that has obscured their origins, intentions, and operations. We will use case studies of specific places where development and globalization have motivated resistance; often leading to new identity-based social movements. We will examine cases related to environmental degradation, land dispossession, gender and justice, and personal and community security. The course has a global perspective which includes, but is not limited to cases from the Third World. The class often enlists political ecology and political economy perspectives in our analysis.
WGS 385 Gender and Globalization (4)
This class will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore how gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, and colonialism intersect locally and globally and to understand how gender shapes the realities of women worldwide. We will frame our analyses within an understanding of the processes of globalization and global communities.

4. Religious and Ethical Perspectives

PHIL 302 Ethics and Value Theory (3) Fall and Spring
An introduction to the philosophical analysis of ethics, morality, and values, and a survey of the various systems of moral philosophy. The course covers such issues as: What is the good life? What considerations are relevant to making moral decisions? Are moral principles universal, or relative to a given society? How, if at all, can moral judgments be justified or moral disagreements resolved? Satisfies GE, category C3 (Philosophy and Values). Consult Schedule of Classes for topic to be studied. May be repeated (with a different focus) for credit.
SOCI 305 Perspectives on the Holocaust and Genocide (4) Spring
A weekly lecture series on the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights. Guest lecturers and SSU faculty provide a variety of sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives on the topics. The course explores the intellectual, emotional, and ethical aspects of the Holocaust and seeks to deepen students' understanding of organized society, political leadership, democratic participation, and human nature. Students also attend a weekly discussion group to explore and synthesize information presented in the weekly lectures. Requirements include written position, midterm, and final papers. Prerequisite: upper-division standing. Satisfies upper-division GE, category D5.
SOCI 431 Sociology of Religion (4)
Study of world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism), tribal beliefs, American sects and denominations. Theories of religious development, values, change, and effects on society. Satisfies GE, category C3 (Philosophy and Values).
HUM 301 War and Peace Lecture Series (3)
Students attend the public War and Peace Lecture Series and meet in discussion groups weekly to address a broad range of issues relating to the problem of war and prospects for peace. Lecturers represent diverse disciplines-e.g., economics, physics, peace studies, political science, sociology-and institutions. Discussion sessions synthesize material presented in lectures and outside readings and elicit students' personal responses to the issues raised. Reading and writing assignments required. Satisfies GE, category C3 (Ethics and Values).

Capstone Courses

GLBL 497 Cross-Cultural Community Service Internship (3)
A three-unit community service internship is required of all students. This is a supervised program of cross-cultural community service work and study for a governmental or non-governmental agency, completed either at home or abroad. A minimum of 135 hours of supervised work is required. Students will keep a daily journal of their experiences, and upon completion will submit 1) a formal letter from their internship supervisor, verifying hours worked and duties performed; and 2) a four-page essay summarizing their experience in rich personal detail. Information about a broad spectrum of internship options is available from the Global Studies coordinator, whose approval is required for all service internship proposals. Grade option: CR/NC only.
GEP 320 Geopolitics (4)
Geopolitics is the study of power in geographic space. Much of the field is dedicated to relations among national governments, though power operates at regional, local, and embodied scales as well. Our class begins with a review of dominant theories of geopolitics on the state scale from political and economic perspectives. We then explore power at other scales involving gender, race and class, and conflicts between colonizers and colonized, between states and insurgents, and involving control over environmental resources
GLBL 498 Senior Capstone Seminar (4)
In spring of the senior year, Global Studies majors will enroll in a seminar devoted to research on globally relevant issues of the students' choosing, in consultation with the instructor. Each student will produce an original research paper on one such issue, examined from various disciplinary perspectives. This project is the capstone requirement for completion of the Global Studies degree. The paper must be approved in its final draft by at least one other qualified faculty member besides the seminar instructor.