Global Studies (GLS)

Courses and Descriptions

GLS 180 Understanding Global Relations 3 Credits

Offers an introduction to Global and Multinational Studies by exposing the student to basic concepts necessary to understand the dynamics underlying the emerging worldwide society of diverse nations. The student will become acquainted with the mechanisms by which contacts are built across nations, and the factors that shape the conception of and relations with “the other.".

GLS 200 The Social Construction of Global Society 3 Credits

This course discusses the emergence of an “imagined global community” in the final years of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st. The course will examine the forces that contribute to these changes, including the global dissemination of values, the changes in communication technologies, the globalization of the economy, and the spread of international non-governmental institutions and lobbying forces.

GLS 201 Politics of the Global Economy 3 Credits

An examination of global political-economic institutions and governmental policies in a period of global structural change and economic crisis. Emphasis will be placed upon the attempts by advanced and newly industrializing governments to attract and to regulate transnational industrial and financial enterprise.

GLS 295 Emerging Issues in Global Studies 3 Credits

The process of globalization defines a condition of rapid political, social, and economic change. As such, subjects for study become relevant at an alarming speed in the current international environment. This course will give students the opportunity to study a current critical issue or subject, chosen according to its relevance or the special expertise of a visiting or current professor. Topics may include political, economic, or social crises that exist currently, how to deal with specific global problems such as global warming, humanitarian crises, or wars, but may also concentrate on the background of relevant areas such as Iraq or the European Union.

GLS 309 Will China Be Next Superpower? 3 Credits

This course has two focal points: one is the rise and fall of great powers in the history of world transformation; the other is China's whereabouts in this transition. The former deals with a group of International Relations theories, which focuses on systematic transformation. Students are expected to learn extant theoretical knowledge on how and why a great power rises and falls. The latter is our empirical referent. Students are led to study China's contemporary history, geopolitics, political economy, and international relations as to make a learned connection between theoretical wisdowm and practical data on China. This course will provide students with a better understanding of China in general and its superpower status in the making in world politics in particular, offer students a chance to reveiw the sources and consequences of different national approaches to greatness, and help students find his or her own analytical framework for understanding international political events that may have transforming effects in Northeast Asia as well as on the world stage. This course is cross-listed as POL 309. Students may not get credit for both GLS 309 and POL 309.

GLS 310 Ethnographic Film 3 Credits

Explores the manner in which different civilizations are depicted through the medium of documentary film. Discusses the manner in which film may contribute to ethnographic understanding of a given people, and the limitations of the genre that may misrepresent the subject matter. Special attention is given to the role of the filmmaker and his/her position as participant, observer, and recorder of the events shown on the film. The films will be analyzed in terms of how they reflect, and potentially affect, a civilization’s international image and global standing. These factors will then be considered in terms of their effects upon the place and actions of the civilization in global politics.

GLS 318 Global Political Film 3 Credits

Political films are a powerful form of political communication. This power derives from the ability of the filmmaker to control the characters, plot, dialogue, setting, and other aspects of the context in which the political message is delivered. It is difficult to conceive of any other form of political communication in which the individual or individuals presenting the message have so much control. Even the most programmed of political events or “photo opportunities” provide instances where outside factors or events may intervene. Further, audiences who watch a film are willing to suspend disbelief for the period of viewing; as such, the filmmaker has a willing participant in the narrative he or she develops. Since political communication is the primary means by which political reality is constructed, and since films provide a very persuasive visual and auditory means of creative narratives, they are important subjects for study and analysis. Nearly all scholars recognize the importance of film as a means of affecting, and reflecting, the political climate of a society, especially during specific historical eras. President Woodrow Wilson, upon first seeing Birth of a Nation, said it was like “watching history written in lightning”; by contrast, James Baldwin referred to the film as “an elaborate justification for mass murder.” Both recognized the persuasive powers of film and its potential propaganda value.

GLS 325 Global Perspectives on Health and Illness 3 Credits

Explores the different international perspectives on health and illness. Themes include how men, women, and children in respective civilizations are treated and viewed within their communities or nations, as they become ill. Particular attention is given to the contrast between various types of traditional healing and Western medical practices, and their interactions. Discussions will also compare the usefulness of national versus international health agencies in dealing with global health problems.

GLS 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

This course allows students with permission of the instructor to conduct an independent research project in Global Studies in a relevant area of interest to the student and faculty member.

GLS 491 Intership in Global Studies 1-4 Credits

Students work under supervision, either in the United States or abroad, in an environment which provides experiential learning in institutions that operate in a global environment, including those in government, business, and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). Domestic internships might also include work in agencies that deal with global problems such as an international environmental group or a refugee resettlement center. A minimum of 52 hours of field work per credit is required, with regular reports and a concluding critique analyzing the experience. No more than six credits allowed toward graduation.