Interdisciplinary Studies Course Offerings

Contact: David E. Marion

PARIS IN THE TWENTIES. This course is a study of the literature written in (or about) the great artistic center, Paris, during the flamboyant and creative years from the end of the Great War to the Crash (1918-1929). The primary focus is modern literature and its cultural background, but attention also is given to other modern arts such as painting and music, and to politics, society, and the way of life in post-war Paris. Readings include works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Cowley, and others who lived and worked in Paris in the nineteen-twenties. Prerequisite: none. Offered: May Term.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE. This course examines the many achievements of African-Americans in the arts, music, politics, diplomacy, and the military. Students should gain an appreciation of the essential role that African-Americans have played in shaping the history, politics, and culture of the United States. Offered: on sufficient demand.

UNITED STATES MILITARY AND AMERICAN SOCIETY: IDEALS, INSTITUTIONS, AND ISSUES. A seminar primarily for sophomores enrolled in the Military Leadership track of the James Madison Public Service Certificate Program, but open to any interested student, the course combines lecture/conference instruction with student oral and written reports based on research assignments on such topics as the constitutional ideals undergirding our national military establishment; the relationship between the military and key national institutions, law enforcement agencies, and the media; and historical and contemporary legal, social, political, and cultural issues that both support and complicate the military's place in American society. Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester.

SEMINAR IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES. A topical capstone experience for students in the Environmental Studies Minor, designed to integrate the various courses taken by the students (or by other students who have completed an appropriate subset of the designated courses required in the Minor but not officially enrolled in the program) and to allow reflection on and engagement with significant issues that arise in the study of the environment. Students are expected to apply the concepts and materials of related courses to meta-themes discussed in the seminar. Topics may include issues in ecology, the economics of environmentalism, and bioethics, as well as other scientific, social science, and humanistic concerns. Prerequisite: at least four courses required for the Environmental Studies Minor. Offered: spring semester.

LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC SERVICE IN CONSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT. Beginning with an examination of the major historical developments that have shaped the place and role of administrative-class officials in the United States, this course provides students with a general introduction to significant legal and political dimensions of public-sector employment. Consideration is given to the general subject of public-service ethics, including such topics as conflict of interest regulations, and to the complexities of intergovernmental and inter-branch relations. The first segment of the course focuses on historical, ethical, and political themes, while the second part is devoted to management-related matters and legal issues. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of the instructor. Offered: spring semester.


377 (Constitutional History/Culture) reviews the political thought of leading founders such as Washington, Madison, and Jefferson with the goal of understanding the "cultural" as well as the "governmental" dimensions of the American constitutional order. Attention also is given to the "reformist" thinking of Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt.
(Budgeting) examines theories and practices associated with governmental budgeting with special attention given to object classification, performance, program, and zero-base budgeting.
(Organizational Science) examines various management theories that have been developed and applied within public-sector organizations. Assignments cover the work of Frederick Taylor, Herbert Maslow, Herbert Simon, and the New Public Administration Movement, among others.
(Administrative Law) introduces students to some of the major concepts and principles in the field of administrative law (e.g., sovereign immunity, "privilege" and "delegations" doctrines). Assigned readings include case material from judicial and administrative agencies, as well as commentaries by practitioners and theorists. Students enrolled in these "lab" courses are expected to attend presentations/workshops by speakers both on and off campus. Prerequisite: enrollment in the James Madison Public Service Certificate Program. Offered: one each semester.

PUBLIC SERVICE INTERNSHIP RESEARCH PROJECT. The internship, required of students in the Public Service Program, is to be combined with a research project. The internship and research project are closely supervised by a faculty member. Internships are arranged to complement the course work in the Public Service Program. Credit is awarded only following a public defense of the completed research project. The defense follows the pattern established for honors papers. Prerequisite: Interdisciplinary Studies 375. Offered: fall semester.

LEADERSHIP AND ETHICS. An advanced seminar focused on learning and developing requisite skills and qualifications for successfully meeting senior leadership challenges in various fields of endeavor (i.e., politics and government, including the military; organized religion; non-profit agencies; academe; scientific research and development; the corporate world; the entertainment arena, etc.). Major emphasis on identifying and understanding varying leadership styles and using case studies (actual and posited) for working out and solving problems and issues of leadership. Prerequisite: desirable, but not required, that students have completed the Student Leadership Development Program ("Society of ’91") and be serving currently in a student leadership position at the College.

SEMINAR IN INTER-AMERICAN RELATIONS. This is an interdisciplinary capstone course for the Latin American Studies minor which addresses current or historical hemispheric issues from a Latin American perspective. The main purpose of the course is to prepare a team to represent a specific Latin American country at the Washington Model Organization of American States although participation in the MOAS is not mandatory, nor guaranteed. Students using this course to fulfill the requirements for the Latin American Studies minor must take it during their junior or senior year, and may take it up to two times in fulfillment of the minor. If a student chooses not to participate in the MOAS, he will instead produce a twenty page research paper, or its equivalent, in which he demonstrates an interdisciplinary grasp of a particular problem, issue, or phenomenon approached from a Latin American perspective. He will select his topic in consultation with the faculty member who is teaching the capstone and who, in turn, helps guide the student's research. This course is open to all students; however, permission of the instructor is required for enrollment. Offered: spring semester.

This course provides a basic overview of the nature and purpose of U.S. foreign intelligence institutions and activities in support of foreign policy and national security. Central themes include the critical need for sound and timely intelligence in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy; the historical evolution of U.S. intelligence from colonial times to the present; moral and legal constraints imposed upon intelligence in an open, democratic society; and guidelines for preparing for a professional career in intelligence, with emphasis on the value of a broadly based, liberal education. Extensive use is made of the case-study approach for illustrative purposes. Each student is required to prepare and present an intelligence analysis focusing on a selected area of potential threat to U.S. foreign-policy interests. Students are chosen on the basis of class rank and at the discretion of the instructor.