Courses of Study
GS111f Human Rights in Global Perspective An examination of the intersection of borders and human rights. Co-instructed by 2020 Oak Fellow, Nasim Mohammadi, an activist and Afghan refugee living in Greece. We will explore many aspects of human rights in relation to borders, including immigration, refugees, militarization, colonialism, imperialism, indigenous rights, and free movement. Students will also consider the different ways to address borders and human rights issues through an exploration of policy, advocacy, and technology. The Oak course may be taken for credit a total of three times. Nongraded. One credit hour. Asch, Dionne, Mohammadi
GS198s Incarceration and Human Rights: A Reading Group This is a Reading Group sponsored by the Oak Institute for Human Rights, whose primary mission is to host a human rights advocate and practitioner every fall in association with an annual theme. In preparation for the 2021-2022 theme on Incarceration and Human Rights, we will come together as a group once a week to discuss what we have read. Various Faculty and writers from different fields and disciplines will be leading each session. Nongraded. One credit hour. Asch, Besteman, Dionne, El-Shaarawi, Gilkes, Plasencia, Ramos Flores
[GS211] Human Rights and Social Justice in Global Perspective Human rights have become one of the primary frameworks for understanding justice and injustice globally. Drawing especially on anthropology, with its longstanding commitment to exploring the diversity of human experience, we first examine critically the contradictory consequences of this new human rights universalism. Moving beyond simplistic arguments of relativism and anti-relativism, we scrutinize human rights claims in the face of concrete contexts of cultural difference and inequality. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. W2.
[GS211J] Human Rights and Social Justice in Global Perspective Human rights have become one of the primary frameworks for understanding justice and injustice globally. Drawing especially on anthropology, with its longstanding commitment to exploring the diversity of human experience, we first examine critically the contradictory consequences of this new human rights universalism. Moving beyond simplistic arguments of relativism and anti-relativism, we scrutinize human rights claims in the face of concrete contexts of cultural difference and inequality. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Three credit hours. W2.
GS214s Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America Listed as Economics 214. Four credit hours. I. Franko
[GS226] Arab Spring The Middle East, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula witnessed a series of revolutions that began in December of 2010. These revolts were long expected by observers of the region, yet paradoxically came as a surprise. This course will explore the reasons for this surprise, the wide range of explanations that scholars have proposed for the revolts, why the revolts happened in some countries but not others and, where they did occur, why some resulted in political reform and others in renewed authoritarian rule. The role of outside powers, such as the United States and Russia, as well as the crossborder intraregional dynamics, will be explored as well. Finally the course will explore the experiences of the participants as expressed in personal narratives, art and literature. Four credit hours. S, I.
GS227f Visual Ways of Knowing: Transcultural Documentary Filmmaking Teaches audio and video recording methods, research practice, documentary filmmaking ethics, and video editing. Special emphasis is placed on learning to understand, collaborate, and tell documentary stories across a variety of socioeconomic and cultural differences. Students will produce audio, video, and text contributions to an online interactive documentary that shares the stories of the Movement for Black Lives (broadly construed) in Maine. Requires significant student initiative including full attendance at the Camden International Film Festival. Humanities lab course. Four credit hours. Razsa
[GS245] Memory and Politics This writing-intensive course invites students to consider how governments and other actors frame the past, for what purposes, and with what effects. The focus is on post-1945 Europe, however students are welcome to examine non-European cases in their own work. Through a variety of writing exercises, students will engage with discipline- and culture-specific debates about whether and how a society should address its past, particularly after periods of violence and authoritarian or totalitarian rule. Three credit hours. S, W2.
[GS245J] Memory and Politics This off-campus course invites students to consider how governments and other actors frame the past, for what purposes, and with what effects. The focus is on post-1945 Europe, with special attention to Austria. Through a variety of writing exercises, students will engage with social science and Austria-specific debates about whether and how a society should address its past, particularly after periods of violence and authoritarian or totalitarian rule. This JanPLan in Salzburg, Austria features excursions, including to Vienna. Three credit hours. S, W2.
GS251f Global Displacement: Understanding Refugees and Refugee Policy When people are forced to flee their homes because of persecution, what happens to them? What should happen? In our transnational world, cross-border conflict and displacement challenge our ideas about governance, identity, and justice. This course provides a framework to understand displacement in global perspective. We will trace the evolution of international refugee law and policy dealing with this growing population and consider the implications of displacement for individuals, communities, and states. Through case studies, we will also grapple with the social, cultural, political, and ethical challenges posed by refugee aid. Boundaries and Margins humanities theme course. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. S, I. El-Shaarawi
GS252s Language, Culture, Discourse Listed as Anthropology 252. Four credit hours. Halvorson
GS253f Cultural Perspectives on Global Economies Listed as Anthropology 253. Four credit hours. W2. Halvorson
GS255fs Global Health: Critical Perspectives on Health, Care, and Policy This writing-intensive course introduces students to central global issues of disease and disability and the interventions that aim to address them. We will discuss the central actors, institutions, and practices that make up the global health landscape. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, we will analyze the value systems and modes of knowledge production that underlie global health research, policy, and practice. Students will engage critically and creatively with topics such as the global burden of disease; the social determinants of health; health, development and human rights; post-disaster health; and global health policy and practice. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. S, W2. El-Shaarawi
[GS273] Economics of Globalization Listed as Economics 273. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. W2.
GS278s United States and the Middle East Listed as GO278. Four credit hours. Simon
GS297f The Syrian Conflict Syria erupted in revolution in 2011 following revolutionary upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. While Tunisia has developed a democratic politics, Egypt remains under authoritarian rule and Libya is contested by two rival claimants to successor status and is plagued by violence. Only Syria, however, descended into a full blown civil war that, as of Spring 2020, included US, Russian, Turkish, Kurdish, Iranian proxy forces and foreign fighters strewn across the country.In this course, we will examine the prehistory of the revolution, use a variety of disciplines to explain its outbreak and transformation into civil war, and the reciprocal impact of the war on Syria, its allies and adversaries. Four credit hours. Simon
GS297Bf Oak Activist Research Lab on Mobility and Mutual Aid Students collaborate in activist research)which both studies and contributes to refugee struggles for human rights. Co-taught with 2020 Oak Fellow Nasim Lomani, himself a refugee, course centers the voices, experiences, and activism of people on the move. Substantial time dedicated to documenting and analyzing Lomaniľs work with refugee solidarity and mutual aid initiatives in Greece and beyond, including his central role in the remarkable self-organized squat City Plaza Hotel that hosted hundreds of refugees in Athens. Recent history studied in the context of contemporary theorizing and analysis of migrant struggles in Europe and beyond. Four credit hours. S, I. Razsa
[GS298] Middle East, World Wars and Regional Conflict The modern Middle East has been shaped by war. To a large extent, these wars have been imposed on the region by outside powers, or fueled by them. These wars created the boundaries of Middle Eastern states, even created the states themselves. Where the state was not invented, it was recast as it was in Egypt and Iran, among others. The Cold War intensified these conflicts and entrenched authoritarian governments. And the subsequent war on terror displaced millions as a consequence of Americans ceaseless quest for security. This course will explore the impact of these wars on regional states and societies using primary and secondary sources and personal narratives. Prerequisite: Government 131. Four credit hours.
GS298Bs Israel in Cinema Israel is a young country with a turbulent history. This course will explore its evolution from independence in 1948 to the present day through movies produced by Israelis and Palestinians as well as feature films produced in the United States that reflect changing perceptions of Israel among Americans over time. We will discuss the making of movies as well as ways of interpreting them. We will relate the movies to their historical context and explore the attitudes, preoccupations, anxieties reflected by the films Questions of survival, inter communal relations, relations with neighboring states and the wider world, relations with Arabs, in particular, will be discussed. Nongraded. Two credit hours. Simon
GS298Cs The Biden Administration First 100 Days When the new administration takes office in January, it will have to manage a deeply divided society, dysfunctional political system, weakened institutions, as well as a public health crisis, climate change, fragile economy, severe wealth inequality, deteriorating infrastructure, a rising China, frayed alliances, and unanticipated crises that routinely arise. This course will bring to campus via Zoom a selected policy expert or practitioner each week to help us understand how the new administration will attempt to govern under these conditions and assess its policy choices as they unfold in the first hundred days. Nongraded. Two credit hours. Simon
[GS303] Topics in Global Affairs Affords the Colby community an opportunity to interact with a combination of outside speakers and Colby faculty on a range of topics relevant to global studies, from climate change and food and water security to human rights and gender equality, to International health and cybersecurity as well as the more traditional security issues raised by shifts in the interstate arena. Two credit hours.
[GS316] Religion and Social Change in Contemporary Africa Participants will build awareness of the religious diversity of contemporary African societies using selected studies from Madagascar, Tanzania, Mali, Mozambique, and other sites. Students will learn to identify the relationship of African religions with diverse, transforming views on biomedicine and healing, urbanization, gender relations, modern subjectivities, development and humanitarianism, and the colonial legacy. Ongoing written and oral discussion will enable students to gain facility with key theoretical models to analyze the role of African religions in dynamic processes of political, economic, and cultural transformation. Previously listed as Anthropology 316. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 and junior or senior standing. Four credit hours.
GS352s Global Activism: From Socialist Internationalism to Today Is revolutionary change possible today? Explores the promises and failures of radical movements from the First International in 1864 to the "global uprisings" of recent years. Considers the historical genealogy of today's transnational movements and their complex relationships to the modern nation-state. To what extent do labor, anarchist, anticolonial, indigenous struggles, as well as the World Social Forum, Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter, offer ways to understand the world today and to imagine alternative political futures? Strong emphasis on discussion and collaborative debate. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. S. Razsa
GS397f Zionism and its Opponents This is a survey of Zionism, a term first coined in the nineteenth century to describe the political movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The various forms of Zionism share the idea that Jewish nationhood is central to Jewish existence and that after 1948 the State of Israel represents the central expression of Jewish national existence. Traces the development of the various forms of Zionism in their historical context by focusing primarily on key political and intellectual leaders. This course is also a survey of the contestation over Zionism. It will, therefore, include discussion of early Arab responses to Zionism, as well as how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has altered Zionism. Prerequisite: At least one course in Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, European or Middle Eastern history. Four credit hours. Simon
[GS398] History of the War on Terrorism 1986-Present The war on terror had an enormous adverse impact on the United States and the many countries in which the US pursued an elusive enemy. The human toll of this 20 year war is only now being tabulated. Millions of people were dispersed, hundreds of thousands killed at a cost of trillions of dollars. Its effects were truly global. This long struggle, which still grinds on in the Middle East, Africas and South Asia, has engendered a new endless war discourse in Washington. This course will explore the roots of the war on terror and its effects on the main protagonists using a range of analytical tools as well as memoirs and cultural artifacts. Prerequisite: Government 111, 131, or 223. Four credit hours.
GS398Bs Global Inequality Internship and Research Group Students work remotely with a civil society partner in the Global South, critically examine issues of inclusive and sustainable development through the Omprakash EdGE platform, and participate in a guided research project (with weekly in-person meetings) related to the theme of their internship through the lens of inequality. Students will deepen research and writing capabilities tied to the needs of a global internship host. Research seminar promotes oral skills and a comparative perspective. Four credit hours. W2. Franko
GS398Cs Decolonizing Europe Europe dominates political, cultural, and intellectual hierarchies. We learn from EuropeXs most perceptive critics, often from the very communities whose material and symbolic exclusion was central to the formation of Europe: How do the racialized and colonized challenge EuropeĖs amnesia about colonialism and racial capitalism? How do Muslim diasporas across Western Europeŷand Muslim peoples in the Balkansƙexpose the Islamophobic foundations of Europe? How do queer women of color in Berlin or Paris challenge heteronormative ideas of belonging? How do Romani activists interrogate nation statesɗ colonial form? Learning goals: to critically interrogate racial and colonial hierarchies through cultivating discussion, research, and writing skills. Four credit hours. W2. Razsa
[GS451] Decolonizing Europe Whether continent or idea, Europe dominates political, cultural, and intellectual hierarchies. What can we learn from the most perceptive critics of Europe, often from the very communities whose material and symbolic exclusion was central to the formation of Europe? How do those racialized and colonized by Europe challenge Europeans' amnesia about colonialism and racial capitalism? How do Muslim diasporas across Western Europe-and Muslim peoples in the Balkans-expose the Islamophobic foundations of European identity? How do queer women of color in Berlin or Paris challenge heteronormative ideas of belonging? How do Romani and anti-nationalist activists interrogate the nature of the state's colonial power? Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 and junior or senior standing. Four credit hours.
GS455s Intervention: The Ethics and Politics of Humanitarianism What does it mean to seek to relieve suffering on a global scale? How could such an impulse be political? Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze and understand humanitarian action in global perspective. We will investigate the principles and history of humanitarianism and consider their application on a global scale by a range of humanitarian actors, such as NGOs and states. We will investigate the politics and ethics of philanthropy, volunteerism, and humanitarian-military intervention and will discuss and debate the intersections and divergences between humanitarianism, human rights, and development. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112, an additional Anthropology course, and senior standing. Four credit hours. S. El-Shaarawi
[GS457] Insurgent Mobility Lab: Migrants, Activists, the Balkan Route Studies the dynamics of global migration—specifically, the tension between state and regional efforts to control migration and the efforts of migrants and activists to advocate for open borders and freedom of movement. Students join instructor's research team for an ongoing multi-sited project on the Balkan route that hundreds of thousands have traveled to seek a better life in Northern Europe. Students learn about the causes and consequences of the European migrant crisis and the ways that migrants and activists worked together to build the Balkan route despite restrictive European policies. Involves reading the latest research, analyzing primary data, and creating original research products. Global lab. Previously listed as Global Studies 497 (Fall 2017). Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 or other relevant experience, and permission of instructor. Four credit hours. S, I.
GS483f Honors in Global Studies A year-long research project for senior majors, resulting in a written thesis to be publicly presented and defended. Prerequisite: A 3.50 grade point average and permission of the advisory committee. Two to four credit hours. Faculty
[GS483J] Honors in Global Studies Noncredit.
GS491f, 492s Independent Study An independent study project devoted to a topic chosen by the student with the approval of an advisor. One to four credit hours. Faculty