International Studies

Pedro dos Santos (program director)

The international studies program develops international and intercultural awareness and understanding through multidisciplinary course work. International issues are inherently interdisciplinary, and international studies majors specialize in understanding how the various methods of inquiry and fields of disciplinary knowledge combine to address issues in the international arena. The international studies major is structured to give equal weight to three essential elements in this interdisciplinary understanding: foundations, global perspectives and regional focus. During the core coursework, students completing the major identify an individual theme, which they develop and refine as a focus for study in later courses and study abroad.

Required for a major: Eleven courses, study abroad, foreign language, and a senior project, which is required even for those students completing a second major. The courses are divided into three groups:

  1. Foundation courses: ANTH 101, ECON 130, and POLS 132; IS 230 and 485
  2. Global Perspectives (three courses)
  3. Regional Focus (three courses)

Of the six global perspectives and regional focus courses required for the major, students may count no more than two 100-level on-campus courses and must take at least two courses numbered 300 or above. No more than two courses counting toward another major or minor, excluding foundation courses, may be applied to the IS major. Writing requirement completed with IS 485.

Requirements for a minor: Study abroad and seven courses that consist of: two of the three foundation courses (ANTH 101, ECON 130, POLS 132); IS 230 and 485; 3 additional courses selected from one of the following plans:

  • Plan 1 (Global Perspectives): three courses from this category.
  • Plan 2 (Regional Focus): students select a geographical region and take three courses in that area.

At least two of the three courses within the selected plan must be at the 200 level or above. No more than two courses from other majors or minors, excluding foundation courses, can count toward the IS minor.

IS Plan of Study: The major and the minor are built around an international theme that students identify during the IS 230 course. While taking the foundation courses and IS 230, each student identifies an area of study and topic of specific interest. Working with the director, the student develops a plan of study that guides course selection and reflects intentional connections between courses.

Students minoring in an areas studies program (such as Asian Studies, Russian Studies, Nordic Studies), must secure approval of the International Studies board to minor in International Studies Plan 2, with a focus on the same region.

Study Abroad: For majors, at least a full semester of study abroad in their selected geographical region of study. The content of the study abroad courses should be taught from the perspective of the host country or region. Students are advised to take at least one course focused on the region's contemporary situation. At a minimum, students must have their major approved and complete the three foundation courses and IS 230 prior to studying abroad. For the minor, students are required to take a minimum of one course abroad during a January Term, semester, or summer and are encouraged to select a course and region (if on plan 2) that fulfill one of the minor requirements listed above.

Foreign Language: For majors, the minimum language requirement is one course beyond the Luther College requirement. If a student elects to take a language of the host country, the student is expected to take at least one semester of that language while studying abroad. If English is the principal language of the host country, a student must either take a different language spoken in the host country or an additional semester of language at Luther. There is no language requirement for the minor.

Global Perspectives Courses: Approved courses taught on-campus are listed below. Additional courses, including special topics courses of appropriate content, may be approved by the international studies director. Study abroad courses may also fulfill this requirement. A student will take no more than two courses from one department.

ANTH 103, 104, 203, 205, 208, 305; ART 121; COMS 350 (COMS 130 prerequisite may be waived with instructor permission); DAN 351; ECON 262, 362; EPL 450; FCUL 142; HIST 126; LING 131, 241; MGT 360; MUS 245, 248; POLS 242, 335, 363; REL 250; SOC 453, 468; THE 351, 352, and PAID 450 courses upon approval.

Regional Focus Courses: Majors select a geographical region and take one course from each of the three categories in that region: 1) history, social science or science; 2) language; and 3) culture: religion, literature, and fine arts. Minors with a regional focus will take no more than two courses from one category. Approved courses taught on campus are listed below. Additional courses, including special topics courses of appropriate content, may be approved by the international studies director. Study abroad courses may also fulfill this requirement.

  1. Sub-Saharan Africa
    History: HIST 171, 172, 337, 371
    Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
    Culture: ENG 147, 240; FREN 464; REL 256, 257
  2. South and East Asia
    History: HIST 161, 162, 361, 362; POLS 339
    Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
    Culture: FCUL 242, REL 256, 261, 262, 362
  3. Latin America and Caribbean
    History: HIST 271, 239
    Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
    Culture: ENG 240; SPAN 346, 460, 470
  4. Middle East and Northern Africa
    History: HIST 163, POLS 237
    Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
    Culture: REL 251, 256, 257
  5. Europe
    History: CLAS 360; HIST 149, 150, 242, 250, 348, 351, 352, 354, 355; IS 135
    Language: Any language spoken in the study abroad host country, preferably taken while studying abroad
    Culture: AFRS 221/ANTH 221; ART 149, 251, 252, 290, 362, 364; CLAS 239 (Underwater Arch), 239 (Classical Arch); ENG 260, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368; FCUL 339 (Russia & Scandinavia); FREN 342, 346, 347, 348; GER 342, 455, 460; REL 227, 242; RUS 241/FCUL 241, 243, 341, 451/452; SPAN 450, 470

International Studies Courses

IS 135 Exploring Britain

  • 4 hours

A year-long course in which Nottingham students travel to a variety of historical and cultural sites. Trips include approximately six weekend field trips to sites that may include London, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Lake District, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Course work will also include research, reading, presentations, and discussion pertaining to each trip.

IS 230 Introduction to International Studies

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Intercultural
  • Prerequisites: At least two of the following: ANTH 101, ECON 130, POLS 132

An introduction to the field of International Studies, focusing on global and geographical literacy and using multiple disciplinary approaches to analyze such issues as war and peace, environmental sustainability, economic development, post-colonialism, world religions, and cultural identity.

IS 450 Global Citizenship

  • 4 hours

This course is designed for students who have lived or spent a semester or more studying abroad. It will enable students to reflect on how their immersion in a foreign culture has affected their values and vocation. By combining practical experiences with scholarly and artistic works, students will a)reflect on the role of culture, b)think about the articulation and application of values in the public sphere, c)explore the relation among politics, economics, culture, and society, and d)develop their own ethical perspectives as "global citizens." There will be a heavy emphasis on writing, group work, and oral presentations.

IS 485 International Studies Seminar

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: IS 230 and junior standing

An advanced-level research and discussion course focusing on global issues as a culmination of the International Studies major or minor. Students apply multiple disciplinary perspectives to projects related to their individual IS programs and to the global themes identified in their IS major or minor plan of study.

IS 490 Senior Project

  • 1 hour

A year-long independent research project. Applications are completed on the "Honors Program" form available at the registrar's office, requiring the signatures of a faculty supervisor, the department head, the honors program director, and the registrar. Interdisciplinary projects require the signatures of two faculty supervisors. The project must be completed by the due date for senior projects. The completed project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the faculty supervisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a faculty member from outside the major department. All projects must be presented publicly. Only projects awarded an "A- or A" qualify for "department honors" designation. The honors project fulfills the all-college senior project requirement.