The Program Behind the Book
International Studies at Miami University is truly an extraordinary educational experience. Staffed by faculty who are all half time in their respective disciplinary departments, it offers a strong, focused program of instruction in which students take a broad range of classes in anthropology, economics, geography, history and political science, organized around a topical or regional focus. It has a demanding foreign language requirement, and requires all majors to spend a semester studying abroad. The program is given coherence through a broad introductory course and a tightly focused senior capstone course.
Since its inception, the program struggled with building coherence in its introductory course. Serving nearly three hundred majors and more than five hundred non-majors, the course required faculty to teach outside their own regional specializations and to introduce the central elements of disciplinary perspectives that were not their own. The struggle to find strong readings that reflected the program’s diversity of perspectives, led to the creation of the textbook, International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues.
How to Teach an Interdisciplinary Course
In 2005, the book’s author team presented aspects of the first edition of International Studies at a panel on interdisciplinary teaching at the International Studies Association meetings in San Diego. The idea of an interdisciplinary introduction to international studies was received enthusiastically, but during the question and answer period it became clear that many instructors were concerned with an important related question: how does one teach an interdisciplinary course?
This website is our answer to that question. It collects together course materials shared among a wide variety of faculty members who teach using the International Studies textbook. There is enough material here to organize several different international studies courses; instructors can pick and choose those assignments, class exercises, discussion questions and other materials that best fit their personal pedagogical styles.
About the Course Materials
This material was compiled and edited by Lisa Suter and Mark Allen Peterson, with generous funding from Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Through the generosity of Westview Press these materials are made available here without password protection; while the materials are designed to work with the International Studies textbook, you are free to download this material and make use of it to suit your courses. All materials are protected by copyright, but are free to any person for classroom use. We hope this site will continue to grow as teachers at schools beyond Miami develop their own teaching materials and contribute them to this site. If you have lessons or assignments that have worked well with this text, or suggestions for modifying some of the existing materials, please contact Mark Allen Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.