DIRECTOR: P. H. HANSEN
ASSOCIATED FACULTY: W.A.B. Addison (HU), M. Belz (IGSD), E. Boucher-Yip (HU), M. Brahimi (HU), U. Brisson (HU), C. Brown (SSPS), F. Carrera (IGSD), C. Dehner (IGSD), D. DiMassa (HU), H. Droessler (HU), W. Du (HU), L. Elgert (SSPS), M. Elmes (BUS), P. Everett (HU), K. Foo (IGSD), J. Galante (HU), D. Golding (IGSD), P. H. Hansen (HU), R. Hersh (IGSD), S. Jiusto (IGSD), R. Krueger (SSPS), C. Kurlanska (IGSD), S. McCauley (IGSD), A. S. Madan (HU), I. Matos-Nin (HU), R. Moody, (HU), S. Nikitina (HU), O. Pavlov (SSPS), C. Peet (IGSD), G. Pfeifer (HU), M. J. Radzicki (SSPS), K. J. Rissmiller (SSPS), A. Rivera (HU), J. Rudolph (HU),
K. Saeed (SSPS), W. San Martin (HU), I. Shockey (IGSD), A. Smith (SSPS), G. Somasse (SSPS), J. Sphar (IGSD), S. Stanlick (IGSD), E. Stoddard (SSPS), S. Strauss (IGSD), S. Taylor (BUS), Y. Telliel (HU), A. Trapp (BUS), R. Traver (IGSD), S. Tuler (IGSD), R. Vaz (IGSD; ECE)
International and Global Studies prepares men and women for future leadership roles in business, industry, research, government and public affairs. International and Global Studies integrates WPI’s international and global courses in the humanities, social sciences and business with its global projects and exchange programs. International and Global Studies courses on-campus prepare students to go abroad. After an experience overseas, students integrate their experiences and explore their career options in a capstone seminar. International and Global Studies at WPI offers a range of options including a minor, major, or double major.
International and Global Studies Major,Bachelor of Science
An introduction to the main concepts, tools, fields of study, global problems, and cross-cultural perspectives that comprise international and global studies. No prior background is required. Especially appropriate for students interested in any of WPI’s global Project Centers.
This course will explore Asia through an interdisciplinary approach. We will examine tradition and modernity in some or all of four cultural regions—South Asia (India), East Asia (China),Southeast Asia (Vietnam or Thailand), Inner Asia (Tibet)—and globalization in Japan and/or Hong Kong. We will explore the cultural traditions of these various regions, paying special attention to history, religion, society. We will also consider modern developments in these same regions. The impact of colonialism, nationalism, revolution, industrialization and urbanization on the lives of Asian peoples will be illustrated through films and readings. No prior knowledge of Asian history or culture is expected.
Students may not receive credit for HU 1412 and INTL 1200.
This course reviews the past and present of South America, Central America and the Caribbean through an interdisciplinary approach. It examines historical and contemporary issues related to social mobilization, cultural innovation, political activism, economic development, and environmental sustainability through the critical analysis of books, films, and creative arts from and about the region. It also presents an overview of Latin American relations with other parts of the world through the region’s experiences with global culture, migration, imperialism, dependency, and entanglements with the United States. This course is especially appropriate for students who expect to complete their HUA, IQP, and/or MQP at WPI project centers in Latin America. No prior knowledge is expected.
This course examines the major theoretical and methodological approaches that characterize global studies. Since the end of the Cold War, new forms of transnational integration, interdependence and conflict have been considered examples of globalization. Yet this period is not the first to undergo such transformation, and the “global” is often experienced in disparate ways around the world. This course examines the diverse ways of understanding globalization in the past and present. No prior background is required. Especially appropriate for students interested in any of WPI’s global Project Centers.
What is justice during an era of globalization? What are the rights and responsibilities of individuals, groups, nations, or supranational organizations in a world of profound inequalities of wealth or disparities of power? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to historical, literary, religious, and ethical debates about global justice as well as the political and practical responses by various actors in the global South and North. Themes will vary each time the course is taught and may include globalization and distributive justice, climate justice, migration, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, human rights, ideology, reparations, racial or gender equity, nationalism and internationalism, and global democracy. No prior background required. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
Godzilla, kung-fu, anime, sushi, Hello Kitty, yin and yang, Pokémon, manga. All of these have become part of our American lives, but where did they come from and what meaning do they hold as cultural phenomena? In this class we will explore the popular cultures of East Asia to better understand the influences that have shaped the region’s contemporary societies. Focus country will be either Japan or China, depending on term offered. Students will study various media of popular culture, such as films, songs, advertisements, video games, manga, anime, to explore the changing society of these countries. We will link the individual cultural phenomena studied to both internal and external influences, situating popular culture within transnational currents and exchanges when appropriate. No prior knowledge of Asian history is required forth is class. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
Students may not receive credit for HU 2340 and INTL 2210.
This course uses interdisciplinary, thematic, and case study approaches in the examination of modern Latin America. It draws from the Latin America’s diversity to explore topics in the past and present that are critical for students’ development of a more advanced understanding of the region and its residents. The course may include the study of topics such as cultural production, nationalism, urban and rural development, migration, social and racial inequality, democracy, and social justice through the disciplines of history and global studies, literature and creative arts, social sciences, environmental studies, and others. Examples and case studies from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries will be drawn especially from locations in Latin America where WPI maintains Global Project Centers. Students may not receive credit for both INTL 22IX and INTL 2310. This course will be offered in 2022-23 and in alternating years thereafter.
Latin America and the Caribbean are center stage in discussions about the inequalities and injustices of our current global ecological crisis. This course offers a two-fold approach. 1) It examines historical and contemporary processes producing—and contesting—environmental injustices in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin. 2) It analyzes the role of this region in the politics and policy of global environmental inequalities, including the region’s relationship with the United States, China, and other major international actors in issues such as climate change and sustainable development. This course is especially appropriate for students interested in environment and sustainability issues and international/global affairs, and for students who expect to complete their HUA, IQP, and/or MQP at WPI Project centers in Latin America or the Caribbean.
This interdisciplinary course takes a thematic approach to modern Africa. Topics and themes will vary each time the course is taught, and may include African kingdoms, the influence of Islam, the legacy of the Atlantic slave trade, imperialism and decolonization, democratization, the politics of language, or African literature and art. Examples and case studies will include locations where WPI has programs in this diverse and dynamic region. No prior background required. Students may not receive credit for both INTL 2410 and HU 2441. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.
This interdisciplinary course takes a thematic approach to the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean region. Themes and topics will vary each time the course is taught, and may include religion and culture, national, ethnic and linguistic identities, the Mediterranean as a contact zone, U.S. political and economic involvement in the region, postcolonialism, war and conflict, migration, forced displacement and refugees, human rights, religious freedom, popular culture, the politics of Islam and secularism, the regional intersections of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, representations of Islam and other religions in visual culture, gender and media, and the circulation of U.S. culture. Examples and case studies will include locations where WPI has programs in this diverse and dynamic region. No prior background required.
This interdisciplinary course takes a thematic approach to contemporary Europe, especially since the establishment of European Union’s single market and common currency. Topics and themes will vary each time the course is taught and may include expansion of the EU and Euro, the impact of the free movement of goods, capital, services and people, migration and refugees, populist and nationalist movements, uneven development between regions within Europe, postcolonial relations with other parts of the world, and debates over national heritage and cultural change. Examples and case studies will include locations where WPI has programs in Europe. No prior background is required. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of Russian language, current events and culture. Students will be expected to steadily build essential vocabulary, learn basic grammar and forms of address; they will also review major events of Russian history from the rule of Peter the Great to the Russian Revolution and the Soviet era developments - all of which are key to understanding of Russia today. All through the course, students will have assigned media topics ranging from the student life in Russia, to aerospace exploration to agricultural breakthroughs and political turmoil. Materials under study will include Russian language textbooks and grammar guides, current media, and film. This course is appropriate for students interested in all WPI’s project centers in Eastern and Central Europe. This course will be offered in on-line format. Students may not receive credit for HU 2230 or HU 223X and INTL 2520.
This seminar course takes an interdisciplinary approach to historical and contemporary topics in global studies. Topics vary each year and may include international development, global inequality and justice, global public health, war and terrorism, international organizations and governance, humanitarianism and human rights, travel and tourism, the Anthropocene, climate change. No prior background is required. Especially appropriate for students interested in any of WPI’s global Project Centers.
Global projects are often life-changing and many students want to make sense of their experience and deepen global learning after returning to campus. This course provides opportunities for self-reflection about global experiences, for connecting with peers to share stories, and for translating these experiences into skills and future professional opportunities, which may include internships, scholarships, post-graduate study or employment. Students completing this seminar will have reflected on their global experiences, articulated and identified transferable skills garnered while away, and integrated these reflections into future academic plans, personal aspirations, or career goals.
This course is intended for students who have participated in WPI’s global programs, including global IQPs, MQPs, Humanities projects, or exchange programs, either in the US or abroad.
In this capstone seminar in International and Global Studies, students will reflect on what they learned in previous global experiences and critically analyze contemporary global issues. The seminar aims to develop habits of lifelong learning as students articulate strategies for translating global experiences and expertise into personal values and professional opportunities in their future careers.