Level 416-445 Course Descriptions
LAIS 416: Film Studies (Professor: Jennifer Schneider)
This course introduces students to the basics of film history, form, and criticism. Students will be exposed to a variety of film forms, including documentary, narrative, and formalist films, and will be encouraged to discuss and write about these forms using critical film language and their knowledge of film history. Students may also have the opportunity to produce their own film projects. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 417: Narrating the Nation
The novel, nationalism, and the modern nation-state share the same eighteenth- and nineteenth-century roots. Relationships between the works of novelists, local nationalisms, and state politics have however always been volatile. These tensions have assumed particularly dramatic expressive and political forms in postcolonial Latin America, South Asia and Africa. This course examines the inspirations, stakes, and ramifications of celebrated novelists’ explorations of the conflicted and fragmentary character their own and/or neighboring nation-states. Beyond their intrinsic literary values, these texts illuminate distinctive religious, ritual, and popular cultural practices that have shaped collective imaginings of the nation, as well as oscillations in nationalist sentiment across specific regions and historical junctures. Studies in relevant visual media and music will further our comparative inquiry into the relationships between artistic narrative and critical perspectives on “the nation.” Alongside the focal creative texts, the course will address major historians’ and social theorists’ accounts of the origins, spread, and varied careers of nationalist thought and practice across our modern world. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 421: Environmental Philosophy (Professor: Sandy Woodson)
A critical examination of environmental ethics and the philosophical theories on which they depend. Topics may include preservation/conservation, animal welfare, deep ecology, the land ethic, eco-feminism, environmental justice, sustainability, or non-western approaches. This class may also include analyses of select, contemporary environmental issues. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 430: Corporate Social Responsibility (Professor: Carrie Sonneborn)
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is based on the notion of sustainable development - development in this generation that does not prejudice possibilities for future generations. A growing movement in business, CSR recognises that corporations must address the concerns of stakeholders in wider society, not just shareholders, and address how their operations affect individuals, the economy, society and the biosphere. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 435: Latin American Development (Professor: Dr. Sylvia Gaylord)
A senior seminar designed to explore the political economy of current and recent past development strategies, models, efforts, and issues in Latin America, one of the most dynamic regions of the world today. Development is understood to be a nonlinear, complex set of processes involving political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors whose ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for individuals. The role of both the state and the market in development processes will be examined. Topics to be covered will vary as changing realities dictate but will be drawn from such subjects as inequality of income distribution; the role of education and health care; region-markets; the impact of globalization; institution-building; corporate-community-state interfaces; neoliberalism; privatization; democracy; and public policy formulation as it relates to development goals. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
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LAIS 436: Hemispheric Integration in the Americas (Professor: Dr. Laura Pangf or Dr. Sylvia Gaylord)
This international political economy seminar is designed to accompany the endeavor now under way in the Americas to create a free trade area for the entire Western Hemisphere. Integrating this hemisphere, however, is not just restricted to the mechanics of facilitating trade but also engages a host of other economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental issues, which will also be treated in this course. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 437: Asian Development (Professor: Dr. Elizabeth Davis)
This is a seminar course on the recent economic, social, political and cultural transformation of the Asia Pacific region. The course deals with Asian development since World War II, contemporary security issues that both divide and unite the globalization processes that encourage Asia Pacific to forge a single trading bloc. This course will examine Asian development examples with the view to teach the student to recognize and analyze similarities and differences in political-economic systems as well as the roots of different institutional practices. Prerequisite: LAIS 100; Co-requisite: SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 439: Middle East Development
This international political economy seminar analyzes economic, political and social dynamics that affect the progress and direction of states, markets, and peoples of the region. It examines the development of the Middle East from agrarian to post-industrial societies; economic, political and cultural transformations since World War II; contemporary security issues that both divide and unite the region; and the effects of globalization processes on economies and societies in the Middle East. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 441: African Development
This course provides a broad overview of the political economy of Africa. Its goal is to give students an understanding of the possibilities of African development and the impediments that currently block its economic growth. Despite substantial natural resources, mineral reserves, and human capital, most African countries remain mired in poverty. The struggles that have arisen on the continent have fostered thinking about the curse of natural resources where countries with oil or diamonds are beset with political instability and warfare. Readings give first an introduction to the continent followed by a focus on the specific issues that confront African development today. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 442: Natural Resources and War in Africa (Professor: Dr. John Heilbrunn)
Africa possesses abundant natural resources yet suffers civil wars and international conflicts based on access to resource revenues. The course examines the distinctive history of Africa, the impact of the resource curse, mismanagement of government and corruption, and specific cases of unrest and war in Africa. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 443: European Union
This course investigates the history, evolution and current condition of the European Union. The creation of the EU overcame centuries of European warfare and helped to establish an abiding peace, making it one of history’s great success stories. Yet, Europeans today are uncertain about their continent’s future – what its borders are, how closely it should be united and for what purposes. Roughly the first two thirds of the course will examine the origins and historical evolution of the European Union, including the ideas and interests that initiated the project in the 1950s, the crises and stagnation of the 1960s and ‘70s, and the “relaunching” of the Union in the 1980s and ‘90s. The last third will take up such central contemporary issues as liberal market reforms vs. “social Europe,” the “democratic deficit,” and Europe’s role in the world. Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3.
LAIS 444: The Social Question In Europe
Between 1850 and 1960 the "proletariat" - the industrial working class threatened the stability of bourgeois Europe. What were their grievances, and how were they resolved? Similarly, today large, unassimilated immigrant populations pose growing challenges to European societies. What are the main tensions, and how might they be addressed? Prerequisite: LAIS 100 and SYGN 200. Semester hours: 3
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