(Div. II)

Chair, Professor WILLIAM R. DARROW

Advisory Committee: Professors: CAPRIO, CASSIDAY, CRANE, DARROW, D. GOLLIN, KUBLER, MAHON, MUTONGI, A. V. SWAMY. Associate Professors: BANTA, BERNHARDSSON. Visiting Professor: KISAMBA-MUGERWA.

In this era of cultural, technological and economic globalization and also of pressing international crises including environmental degradation, poverty and underdevelopment, terrorism and pandemics, knowledge of the world beyond the United States is an essential part of the liberal education that is the goal of the Williams experience. Both within and outside the classroom the College provides a rich array of opportunities to pursue that goal. The International Studies Program is designed to increase awareness of those opportunities and to provide a centralizing mechanism to encourage gaining such knowledge with perspectives that are cross disciplinary and comparative.

The program administers a number of tracks that provide students with the opportunity to pursue study of one area of the world or theme as a way of complementing the work they have done in their majors. Students will be expected to take courses in at least two departments to fulfill the requirements of a track. In addition to completing International Studies 101, they will be expected to do five courses in a track including an approved senior exercise. Students may not count a course toward more than one track in the program. They may pursue two tracks but will need to meet the course requirements for each track with a full complement of courses.


Tracks are of two kinds. The first type focuses either on a particular region of the world or a contact zone where several cultural traditions encounter each other. The second type is organized thematically and will explore a cultural, political, economic or technological issue globally. Each track will be administered by faculty teaching in that track in consultation with the steering committee. Each track may set an additional requirement of a level of language competency for its concentrators. Each track may also require one of the elective courses to be comparative, i.e. course that might not cover material directly dealing with their area, but would enrich the student's experience with tools for comparative inquiry. At present the program consists of the following tracks:

Area Tracks Thematic Tracks

African Studies Borders, Exile and Diaspora Studies
East Asian Studies Economic Development Studies
Latin American Studies Global Health
Middle Eastern Studies
Russian and Eurasian Studies
South and Southeast Asia Studies

To complete a track, students must take a section of International Studies 101, complete five additional approved courses within the track, attend the weekly International Studies colloquium and complete a senior exercise. Credit for work done on study abroad will likely provide one or more of the electives for many concentrators.

International Studies 101

All students wishing to pursue the program should take a section of International Studies 101 early in their careers. These courses will usually be team taught. The topics and regions covered will vary and be selective, but all will be designed to place cultural, political, economic and technological issues in conversation with one another to illustrate the necessity of having a broad range of disciplinary tools available to pursue an individual track. On occasion students may petition to substitute a course equivalent in scope to International Studies 101 to meet this requirement.

Study Abroad and Internships

Study abroad and/or overseas internships are an essential component of International Studies. The program in coordination with the Study Abroad Advisor and the Office of Career Counseling will advise students on opportunities in these areas. One or more courses completed on an approved study abroad program can be counted toward the five elective courses requirement.


Concentrators will be expected to attend fifteen sessions of the International Studies colloquia in their senior year, and are urged to do so throughout their careers at Williams. We hope that it will become a regular event for all concentrators. The colloquium meets weekly at the Center for Foreign Languages and Cultures and is designed to feature faculty, students, CDE fellows and outside speakers addressing issues of wide interest to those in International Studies.

Senior Exercise

All concentrators must also complete a senior exercise. This will be a substantial piece of writing (20-25 pages) that would allow a student to draw together both their disciplinary skills and expertise in a particular area. It might be work done either in the context of a senior capstone course in a relevant department or in the context of a shared seminar sponsored by the International Studies program. In both cases it would culminate in a public presentation by each concentrator of his/her work in class or in the context of the International Studies Colloquium.


A candidate for honors in International Studies must maintain at least a B+ average in the concentration and be admitted to candidacy by the program faculty. An honors candidate must complete her/his project in a semester (and Winter Study). An honors candidate will prepare a forty page thesis or its equivalent while enrolled in the senior thesis course, 491 or 492 (and Winter Study). This course will be in addition to the courses required to fulfill the concentration.

A student wishing to become a candidate for honors in International Studies should secure a faculty sponsor and inform the program chair in writing before spring registration of her/his junior year.


African Studies

East Asian Studies

Latin American Studies

Middle Eastern Studies

Russian and Eurasian Studies

South and Southeast Asia Studies:


Borders, Exile and Diaspora Studies:

Economic Development Studies

Global Health