GLS 4550 Fall 2014 - Global Studies

GLS 4550-101 Capstone
Fall 2014
This is the required senior capstone course for a major in Global Studies. Students must
complete a major project that makes use of and integrates the material from the Global
Studies core in relation to a significant issue in Global Studies. Students may either write a
thesis or conduct a project, which will be supervised by a member of the Global Studies
faculty and advised as needed by another Appalachian State University faculty member in a
field appropriate to the topic selected by the student. Prerequisites: GLS 4000 and senior
Instructor: Prof. Alexandra Hellenbrand
Course Time: MW 3:30-4:45
Course Location: LLA 124
Office: LLA 129
Office hours: MTR 12-3 and by appointment
Tel. 828-262-7225
I. Texts:
Required: Christa Wolf. Medea
Recommended: Sherry Mueller and Mark Overman. Working World: Careers in
International Education, Exchange, and Development. Georgetown University Press,
II. Course Objectives: Students will complete a major project in GLS 4510 that makes
use of and integrates the material from the Global Studies core in relation to a significant
issue in Global Studies.
A. Students will investigate and analyze at least one global question, theme, or issue
in global studies.
B. Students will be able to construct a well-reasoned global studies argument about
a contemporary problem.
C. Students will demonstrate critical thinking.
D. Students will demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge with respect to the
complexity and interdependence of global issues.
E. Students will demonstrate essential skills of interdisciplinary research, considering
global issues from diverse points of view.
II. Evaluation and Expectations: Student grades will be based upon performance in the
following areas, weighted as indicated:
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Fall 2014 p. 2
2 Reading responses
Reflection paper
University grading scale
90- 92%
87- 89%83- 86%
80- 82%
77- 79%
73- 76%
70- 72%
67- 69%
60- 66%
below 60
A. Class Preparation and Participation: This means that you have done the homework
for class and you are ready to discuss it. This includes preparation of reading(s) for the
class that you are ready to interpret and/or add your own observations about it. This
also includes any drafts or written project work that you are to bring for peer editing or
conference work or a writing workshop. Finally, class participation includes attendance.
Only two unexcused absences will be allowed. Each subsequent unexcused absence will
reduce your final grade by 10%.
B. Reading Responses: The reading responses are designed to encourage you to think
critically about the readings we do. An assignment, when it is given, will summarize
briefly the assigned reading and offer an informed interpretation of the reading. The
journals will be a basis for class discussion. We will use some readings that have to do
with Global Studies generally as an area. We are also going to use the novel by Christa
Wolf book as a kind of “case study” for all of us to participate in. This novel might seem
to be an unusual choice for our class. Written in 1996, it was East German author
Christa Wolf’s second work published after Germany’s reunification of 1990. Retelling the
Greek myth of Medea and Jason and the Golden Fleece, Wolf attempts to reframe the
issues confronting the post-Cold War world from a variety of perspectives: social,
cultural, historical, political, religious, transnational. The myth, almost but not quite
timeless and place-less, becomes a background from which we can extrapolate common
topics for discussions that can relate to your focus areas (Development and
Globalization, PCHR, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, etc.).
This is the beauty of Global Studies.
C. Prospectus: The major portion of your grade, and you work in this class, is your thesis
or project. This is a huge undertaking, so it is important to set it up well. The
prospectus is part of the set up, which is why it will be due on September 8. The
complete prospectus will have 3 parts. It will include:
1. Part I Research Question: What question do you hope to address/answer in
your research?
2. Part II Abstract: You have a brief description of the general theme or topic
about which you are interested in writing. Please indicate both a
geographical/country focus, as well as a substantive one. Also discuss how you
believe you will address your research question as it relates to more specific
aspects of this general theme or topic.
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Fall 2014 p. 3
3. Part III Sources: After a brief discussion of what kinds of sources you intend
to rely upon, offer a preliminary bibliography of 5-7 sources. You will need to
write 1-2 sentences about each source, explaining how it will be useful to you in
addressing your research question.
You will also want to identify a faculty member whom you know works on issues related to
your thesis topic. I am going to ask you to consult with these faculty as you put together
your prospectus. If you have not already taken courses with a professor whose expertise
meshes with your area of interest, keep in mind that all departments maintain websites that
include lists of faculty members and their research interests. I will help you make contacts
with professors with whom you would like to speak if you feel you do not know them well
enough yet. We will expect you to talk with a faculty member about your research question
between 9/10 and 10/1.
D. Reflection paper (4-5p): You will write a reflection paper that describes and
illustrates the role of foreign language, study abroad, and intercultural competence in
building knowledge of global studies and global issues. The paper should do the
1. Describe and illustrate the role of foreign language in building knowledge of global
studies and global issues.
2. Describe and illustrate the role of study abroad in building knowledge of global studies
and global issues.
3. Describe and illustrate the role of intercultural competence in building knowledge of
global studies and global issues.
E. Thesis: Your primary assignment this semester is to develop and work on a project
that will form the basis for a 25-30 page thesis. You may design your project differently
such that your produce might not be a 25-30 page paper (you could, for example, wish
to work on a creative project like a documentary). Whatever form your research project
takes, however, it is a research project and you will need to write about it and document
it as such. If you have questions about your idea/project, do not hesitate to come and
talk with me.
Thesis “pieces”: During the semester, we will literally be working together to
“piece” together your thesis/project. At various times, you will be asked to bring
those pieces to class so that we can share them, discuss them, work together on
them. These may include outlines, abstracts, drafts, annotated bibliographies,
etc. (they will be related to your prospectus, see below)
Presentation: You will give a 20 minute conference-type presentation on your
research at the end of the semester. The presentations will occur in the last week of
classes. We would like to run this like a conference and invite other Global Studies
students and faculty. Don’t worry if this makes you nervous; we will make certain that
you are (and feel) very well prepared before you take your turn at the podium!
Academic Integrity Code. As a community of learners at Appalachian State University, we must create an
atmosphere of honesty, fairness, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of each
other. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of an Appalachian degree.
Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form and will oppose any instance of academic
dishonesty. This course will follow the provisions of the Academic Integrity Code, which can be found on the Office
of Student Conduct Web Site:
GLS 4550
Fall 2014 p. 4
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. Appalachian State University is committed to making
reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Those seeking
accommodations based on a substantially limiting disability must contact and register with The Office of Disability
Services (ODS) at or 828-262-3056. Once registration is complete, individuals will
meet with ODS staff to discuss eligibility and appropriate accommodations.
Statement on Student Engagement with Courses. The following statement has been approved by the Faculty
Senate and the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee:
In its mission statement, Appalachian State University aims at “providing undergraduate students a rigorous liberal
education that emphasizes transferable skills and preparation for professional careers” as well as “maintaining a
faculty whose members serve as excellent teachers and scholarly mentors for their students.” Such rigor means
that the foremost activity of Appalachian students is an intense engagement with their courses. In practical terms,
students should expect to spend two to three hours of studying for every hour of class time. Hence, a fifteen hour
academic load might reasonably require between 30 and 45 hours per week of out-of-class work.
Course Schedule: This schedule is subject to revision based on student needs.
Introduction: what is Global Studies?
Checksheet exercise
Foundations for a prospectus. What’s language got to do with it?!
Preliminary prospectus due
Labor Day Holiday
Said, Introduction, from Orientalism
Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”
Prospectus due
Sen (“How to judge globalism”) and Watson (“McDonald’s in Hong Kong”)
Guest speaker: Mark Nunes
Manuel Castells, excerpts from Networks of Outrage and Hope
Discuss projects and Medea in terms of power networks, counter-power, collective and
autonomous action
Guest speaker: Reading TBA
Nibert, “Hamburger Culture”/”Domesecration”
Reflection paper due
Oct. 1
Thesis outline due
Check sheet due
Report to the class on meeting(s) with faculty
First reading response due
16-17 Fall Break
GLS 4550
Nov. 3
Fall 2014 p. 5
First draft due (15-20 pages)
Second draft due (20-25 pages)
Second reading response due
Guest speaker: Reading TBA
Peer edit portfolio
Presentations on portfolio
Practice project presentations
Practice project presentations
NO CLASS: Thanksgiving break
Gen Ed Goal 1: Thinking critically and creatively
_____ A. Recognize, differentiate, and effectively employ appropriate and increasingly
sophisticated strategies to collect and interpret information
_____ B. Successfully integrate disparate concepts and information when interpreting,
solving problems, evaluating, creating, and making decisions
_____ C. Examine and evaluate how their own personal, historical, and cultural perspectives
affect the discovery and generation of knowledge
_____ D. Construct persuasive arguments in increasingly complex context
Gen Ed Goal 2: Communicating Effectively
_____ A. Articulate and comprehend effectively, using verbal or nonverbal communication
suitable to topic, purpose, and audience
_____ B. Use writing effectively to discover and develop ideas and to articulate positions in
contexts of increasing complexity
_____ C. Make rhetorical decisions appropriate to topic, purpose, and audience while
correctly using the conventions of standard written English
_____ D. Determine the scope of information needed in specific research contexts and
successfully identify, locate, evaluate, use, and communicate information from various
_____ E. Read actively and analytically at the college level and synthesize and apply
information and ideas from their reading across disciplines
_____ G. Select and use hardware, software applications, databases, and other
technologies effectively for both inquiry and communication
Gen Ed Goal 4: Understanding Responsibilities of Community Membership
_____ C. Collaborate effectively with others in shared processes of inquiry and problem
_____ D. Apply principles of responsible community membership within and beyond the
campus community
GLS 4550
Fall 2014 p. 6
Gen Ed General Goals: (from Gen Ed – Vertical Model for Writing Skills)
_____ A. Writes at advanced level in the major field and uses language of field effectively
_____ B. Demonstrates rhetorical knowledge of major writing models in the major field
_____ C. Reflects upon semester’s writing within the context of academic writing in the field
and one’s own writing in the conversation of the field
_____ D. Student utilized and developed oral communication skills