Global Studies, International Studies


Courses of Study

GS111f    Human Rights in Global Perspective

Human Rights in Global Perspective Offered by the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby, an examination of photography to illuminate human rights abuses in the civil war in Syria. Co-instructed by Syrian photojournalist and 2018 Oak Fellow, Bassam Khabieh, and Professor Gail Carlson. We will explore many topics, including the history and context of the Syrian conflict, ethical storytelling, the impact of war on children, community resiliency, and the use of photography to foster greater awareness of human rights violations. Students will also consider critically their own responsibility to engage in human rights activism and will create their own photographic documentation. May be taken for credit a total of three times. Nongraded. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. One credit hour. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. One credit hour. Carlson

GS211s    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. Central to this course will be student participation in the selection of a front-line artist-activist as next year's Oak Human Rights Fellow on the theme "Film/Photography and Human Rights" Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Three credit hours. W2. Razsa
[GS214]    Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America Listed as Economics 214. Four credit hours. I.
[GS224]    Multimedia Storytelling in a Transnational World This humanities lab teaches audio and video recording methods, research practice, documentary filmmaking ethics, and multimedia and interactive storytelling conventions and platforms. Special emphasis is placed on learning to understand and collaborate across a variety of socioeconomic and cultural differences. Students will produce audio, video, and text contributions to an online interactive documentary that tells stories of the state's varied immigrant communities. Requires significant travel and student initiative. Part of the two-course cluster, Integrated Studies 224, "Global Maine." Four credit hours.
GS245f    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. The Presence of the Past humanities theme course. Four credit hours. S, W2. Yoder
[GS251]    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. Previously listed as Global Studies 297 (Fall 2016). Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. S, I.
[GS252]    Language in Culture and Society Listed as Anthropology 252. Four credit hours.
GS253f    Goods, Gifts, and Globalizing Consumers Explores the global cultural diversity and social embeddedness of economic practice. Students gain analytical tools to critically examine global capitalism, consumption/consumerism, markets and their myriad social dimensions through a focus on transactions, exchange, social obligation, class distinction, and labor activities. In-depth case studies apply these insights to debates on topics such as debt, economic inequality, class, and the limits of commodification. Readings, films, and other materials highlight the rich diversity of anthropological perspectives on economic practice, from ethnographies of Wall Street to Malaysian factory work to middle-class formation in Nepal. Previously listed as Anthropology 253. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. W2. Halvorson
[GS255]    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.
[GS273]    Economics of Globalization Listed as Economics 273. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. W2.
GS297j    Contemporary Immigration in the US: Research, Policy, and Society Designed to help students develop awareness of issues such as undocumented immigration, immigrant detention and deportation, family separation, and the complex road to naturalization. In each of these topics students will critically analyze policies and through their writing and discussion, engage in debates about proposed solutions. Through in-class writing assignments students will present their analyses and arguments with a clear thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion. This exercise will serve to strengthen students' ability to do this in graded writing assignments and in the write-up portion of their interview project and statistical profile. This comprehensive approach to immigration will develop students' analytical and critical skills on a topic well debated in contemporary politics. Given that the majority of immigrants in the U.S. are Latinxs, and that the Latinx population is expected to double by the year 2050, this course will primarily focus on issues pertaining to Latin American immigration. Three credit hours. Instructor
GS316s    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. Halvorson
[GS352]    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.
GS397f    Topics in Latin American Economic Policy Latin America faces deep fiscal and social deficits. As governments in the region are unable to generate expenditures for housing, education, equity, environment, infrastructure, and health to adequately meet social needs, this course interrogates how private sector initiatives might address the gaps left by fiscal constraints. After identifying the characteristics of social deficits, we will engage the literature on corporate social responsibility and public-private partnerships to identify hybrid forms to create social value in Latin America. Prerequisite: Economics 214, or other Latin American coursework with permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. S, I. Franko
[GS451]    Justice and Injustice in Global Europe Europe, as in centuries past, is formed by transnational flows of capital, migration, aid, and activism, as well as global and regional political and economic integration. We seek to understand contemporary Europe in light of these flows, with a particular focus on questions of inequality, exclusion, and violence. Includes close studies of Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, France, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Topics include gender relations, state formation, migrant rights, financial crisis, humanitarian assistance, and radical protest, with careful analysis of the arguments made, methods deployed, and evidence presented by scholars of various disciplinary backgrounds. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 and 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. Halvorson
GS457f    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. Fulfills anthropology's culture area requirement. 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. Razsa
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