Fall 2019 - IS 451 D100

Seminar on Core Texts in International Studies (4)

Class Number: 7924

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1505, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    90 units. International Studies major or honours students.



An interdisciplinary course which aims to bring together different disciplinary perspectives on international affairs through the study of influential texts which, between them, involve study of core themes to the program: development, governance and civil society, war and peace, human rights and questions of culture and ethnicity.


As a capstone requirement for the major in International Studies, this interdisciplinary course is based upon the view that close study of a small number of texts is a rewarding approach to learning. There is no accepted canon as such of “core texts” in this field.  Rather, our selection of influential works ranges over vital themes in the International Studies program: development, governance & civil society, war & peace, human rights & migration. Accordingly, the readings are intended to illuminate key ideas in how we understand historical experiences that relate to nationalism, public religion, social change, ecology, and the dynamics of identity — framed in the context of modernity in its varied expressions. 


Students are expected in this interactive seminar to engage with core concepts through independent study as well as in-class group work. Effective writing and articulation of ideas, as well as teamwork, are critical to good performance. Each session will include a lecture to contextualize the readings. Web-based resources and documentaries will supplement our texts and discussions. 


  • Class Presentation and Participation 30%
  • Analytical Reports (x3) 30%
  • Final Essay 40%


Active participation in class is expected throughout, with attendance in all sessions.  Weekly readings will be assigned for class presentation, on the basis of groups formed at the outset.  Three response reports on assigned readings are required.  Late submissions will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day.

Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Appiah, Anthony K. The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen. Norton, 2010.
ISBN: 9780393340525

Dauvergne, Peter. Environmentalism of the Rich. MIT Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9780262535144

Hamid, Mohsin. Exit West: A Novel. Riverhead, 2017.
ISBN: 9780735212176

Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford, 2007.
ISBN: 9780199283279

Taylor, Charles. Modern Social Imaginaries. Duke University Press, 2004.
ISBN: 9780822332930

Temelkuran, Ece. How to Lose a Country. HarperCollins-4th Estate, London, 2019.
ISBN: 9780008296353

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html