International Outlook

International Outlook


Academic Team:
Jane Cramer (
First-Year Experience Seminar Instructor
Ezra Briskin (
FIG Assistant

9 credits
UGST 109 First-Year Experience Seminar - 1 credit
CRN: 16266, T: 4:00pm-4:50pm, LIL 245
PS 205 Introduction to International Relations - 4 credits
 CRN: 16262, MWF: 1:00pm-1:50PM, CLS 250, +DIS: CRN:16295, R: 12:00pm-12:50pm, HED 144
JCOM 201 Making Sense of Media - 4 credits
CRN: 16747, TR: 2:00pm-3:50pm, LIL 282


About the FIG:

Want to study abroad? Want to be a good global citizen and learn to think about how to solve big global problems like climate change, nuclear arms races, human rights violations, and democracy-threatening disinformation? Want to learn about how the media shapes society and how it can work to strengthen democracy and solve other problems?   

This FIG brings together the study of international relations with the study of the media and its role in society. In this FIG class we especially explore how media, including social media, affects international relations in profound and rapidly changing ways. We will attend lectures, eat international food, begin to develop informed outlooks as citizens of the world, and explore together how to study abroad and be informed and active global citizens. 

PS 205 Introduction to International Relations - CoreEd or major satisfying course

From the Trojan and Peloponnesian Wars in ancient Greece through the wars among Native American tribes to recent conflicts in Iraq and Bosnia, nations have gone to war. The question is why? Several explanations have been offered, and the course discusses a variety of such explanations. For instance, some argue that wars are more likely when nations are equally powerful, whereas others think that an imbalance of power leads to war. Other explanations find the main causes in the characteristics of the states making up the system, arguing that it matters whether states are democratic, capitalist, domestically unstable, and so on. Finally, some believe that the characteristics of leaders are what matters the most, or that the fundamental cause of war is found in our human nature. The course also deals with conflict and cooperation in other areas of international politics. Thus, it discusses economic issues such as the gap between rich and poor countries, the political underpinnings of international economic relations, and the likely success of international attempts to tackle international environmental problems

JCOM 201 Making Sense of Media - CoreEd or major satisfying course

Nearly every facet of human life today—work, play, study, relationships, and more—involves media. This course examines how this came to be, why it matters that media are so thoroughly infused in our lives individually and collectively, and how we can become more thoughtful and engaged media consumers and creators. Making sense of media means grappling with the social, cultural, economic, interpersonal, and political implications of this current moment: one in which people have increasingly expansive and near-instantaneous access to an abundance of information—social media, entertainment, games, news, and more—in a way that is unprecedented in the history of communication technologies. Media consumption has been transformed, but so has media production: People can create and disseminate their own content, receive and share files, and closely monitor the activities of friends and others. At the same time, networked communication platforms have forged new relationships between institutions and individuals and between social movements, states, and corporations. Over the course of the term, we will explore some key transformations in media over the past century, paying close attention to the interplay of meaning and power and the way media contributes to both shaping our identities and facilitating self-expression. We will also explore the rise and development of media professions, and examine some of the central tensions in the media world today: How can we tell whom or what to trust via media? What does verification look like in a world of fakes and misinformation? And how can we avoid being fooled by the use of numbers, data, and visualizations? In all, this course will equip students with a foundation in media literacy for the 21st century.

Meet your FIG Assistant and Instructor!