Challenges Paradigms and Methodologies
International Studies complements and challenges paradigms and methodologies of traditional majors as well as existing interdisciplinary programs. For the liberal arts student, international studies will help them situate their interests within broad historical and geographical terms. A major in International Studies provides students from all programmatic backgrounds with the tools they need to situate themselves as informed citizens in a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world.
Our broad mission is threefold:
- To produce educated citizens who can understand and work within the context of these processes,
- To create an intellectual environment which can sustain innovative, cutting-edge, curriculum development and research, and
- To make the boundaries between Denison and “the world” far more permeable than they are currently through increased off-campus opportunities for Denison students and faculty (that are closely tied to curricular priorities) and through the presence of international scholars, artists, and students on our campus.
What is the International Studies Program?
International Studies is interdisciplinary. It encourages students to view the world from various perspectives and to be broadly concerned with social, political, economic, and cultural processes, as well as linkages, interdependencies, and power relations that connect individuals, communities, groups, states and regions across the globe. Shared dilemmas and challenges tie the world’s citizens together. If we are to participate fully in this interdependent world, we must develop cultural empathy and understanding of human rights and gender issues, ethnic and religious diaspora, environmental degradation, historic and political impacts and other evolving global concerns. This field has intellectual roots in social sciences, particularly Political Science, Economics and the sub-field of Sociology focused on World Systems Theory. Recent changing global realities and scholarly challenges are reshaping the field to make it more broadly intersectional, less imperialistic or colonial, and hence more relevant to all liberal arts students. International Studies is concerned with notions of connectedness and linkages — the variety of ways in which we are influenced by and have the power to influence others — and related comparative concerns.
The major builds on a long history of excellence in international education at Denison: active faculty research in area studies and international political economy, curriculum taught by faculty from multiple departments and a requirement for all majors to study off-campus. The International Studies Program provides an opportunity to weave these threads together in ways that will illuminate interconnectedness in both global and intellectual terms, create bold curriculum innovations, and contribute to a higher intellectual profile for Denison.
Our approach to international studies is unique and is highlighted by an active co-curricular program that emphasizes multidimensional connections. Events organized and co-sponsored by the International Studies Program explore topics that range from presentations on contemporary world trade and the social dimensions of global production processes and marketing to the implications of commodification and the social meanings attached to objects. These events are meant to complement course offerings not only in international studies, but also throughout the social sciences, humanities, and arts. Events, such as the annual Human Rights Film Festival and Global Studies Seminars, are collaborative affairs, bringing together students from a variety of disciplines and highlighting the work of visiting scholars, as well as Denison faculty and students.