Fall 2011

World Studies Colloquium

Course Description

The World Studies Colloquium is a seminar series that will introduce you to the World Studies Program and other international opportunities. Each week you will be introduced to a different aspect of the program. For example, you will meet Marlboro students recently returned from their adventures abroad, faculty Fellows, and recent WSP graduates. Faculty from across the curriculum will lead discussions on their engagement with the World Studies Program and introduce you to required WSP courses and internship. You will also visit the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro and learn first-hand about their campus and their program around the world. All of this should help you start thinking about your own international studies at Marlboro and abroad.

All students are welcome; required for new WSP students.

Instructor: Todd Smith

Credits: 1 (pass/fail grading)

Day & time: Wednesday, 4:00

Location: World Studies Lounge, Gander

Course goals

  • Introduce students to the World Studies Program and other international opportunities and resources - at Marlboro, and in the Brattleboro area
  • To convey the value of a program of study that integrates an international experience in to the Plan of Concentration
  • To promote the development of a global perspective

Structure & types of activities

The course consists of weekly meetings. A number of sessions will help you get to know faculty who have international interests and hear about their research. For example, faculty members Felicity Ratte and Lynette Rummel will share their experiences traveling in Africa and the Middle East during the “Arab Spring.”

WSP students recently returned from their internship abroad will share their experiences with you: Zach Chilcote was in China, and Andrew Tanabe was in Japan.

You will also meet the faculty members who teach other courses in the World Studies Program. They will give a brief overview of the course, and how they apply concepts from the course in their own work. For example, Seth Harter teaches Designing Fieldwork, Meg Mott teaches Topics in human understanding, and Lynette Rummel will teach Origins of the contemporary world.

 Perspectives on international work and study will also be offered by Marlboro’s own teaching Fellows: William Gaust, Mohamed Jalal, Jean-Martin Albert.

We will also meet the language faculty at Marlboro, Rosario de Swanson and Grant Li, to hear about their programs and their thoughts on language study at Marlboro.

We will make a visit to The School for International Training (SIT), in Brattleboro, to learn about their resource center, library, and farm. This is also good preparation for the course “Finding an internship.”

If additional opportunities crop-up on short notice we will incorporate them into the Colloquium, e.g., international visitors, lectures, movies.


Attendance is mandatory, and participation is necessary to successfully complete the course. If a student misses more than two sessions they will not pass the course. There will also be a writing assignment: a book review. Not a book report, but a review. This course is pass/fail. To pass you must attend the class sessions, participate in the class sessions, and write a book review.

Book review assignment

The purpose of a book review is to offer your critical evaluation of the book. As in your other academic papers, your review should make an argument, i.e., you should have a “claim.” In your review you will offer your commentary on the book as you develop your claim. Many reviews begin with a summary of the book – a brief overview of characters and settings. Your analysis should come next. What was the author trying to do? How effectively did the author convey his or her experiences, ideas, feelings? How successful was the author in this attempt? How did the author’s writing style lend itself to this goal? In particular your review must include some reflection on life in another culture: for example, what did the author make you feel about his/her experience? Use specific examples to support your argument. Finally, feel free to offer your opinion of whether other readers would enjoy this book. Do you think it has a particular audience – students, travelers – or is it really a book that has universal appeal?

Your book review must be at least 3 pages, double-spaced.

Your review is due Wednesday, November 30th, at 5:00.

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM