Contact: Rebecca L. Jayne


INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 101. (3) INTRODUCTION TO LEADERSHIP. This course provides an introduction to leadership through a study of history, theory, and current events. Through case and biographical studies students will explore historical leaders and examine how their lessons in leadership may or may not be applicable to current leadership issues. This study will help students gain an understanding of the leadership process required to meet personal, professional, and civic challenges today. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 210. (1) INTRODUCTION TO RACE AND ETHNICITY STUDIES. This interdisciplinary one-hour course introduces students to foundational theories and concepts for understanding the role of race and ethnicity as a category of analysis in a variety of disciplinary contexts, including but not limited to history, literature, religion, psychology, culture, political science, science and technology, and economics. The course will be taught by professors from across departments, each bringing a different set of analytical tools to the study of race and ethnicity. The course is required for students who plan to complete the Race and Ethnicity Studies minor but is open to all students. Offered: spring semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 250. (1) CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT IN STUDY ABROAD (EL-OFF). This course is designed to enhance the study abroad experience by encouraging students to deepen their understanding of the culture in which they will be living during their time abroad. There will be activities to be completed prior to travel, while in the host country, and after students return. This course counts for a Compass (EL-OFF) experiential learning credit, which means that the College wants students to learn as much as they can by reflecting on what it means to be immersed in another culture, rather than being an observant tourist. Students will set goals for themselves which they will evaluate periodically to make decisions about what has helped or hindered their progress in achieving those goals.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 255. (1) SUMMER RESEARCH SKILLS (EL-ON). This course is designed to help summer research students think about how to engage in independent scholarly work by exploring, reflecting on, and formulating responses to questions about general and discipline-specific research skills. Students will learn to identify resources and contexts in their research field, situate their projects within a larger scholarly conversation, and present their work to others outside their field. They will also consider ways in which their work has connections to other disciplines, as well as whether it has potential to contribute to helping others.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 275. (3) 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.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 320. (3) PHILANTHROPY IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. Through the lenses of philosophy, classics, religion, history, and economics, students learn how western ideas about philanthropy have changed over time and how philanthropy is practiced today in an effort to improve the living conditions of people locally, nationally, and globally. The class includes a service learning component with a local non-profit organization. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102 and junior or senior standing.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 372. (3) 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.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 375. (3) 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: fall semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 377-380. (1 each) PUBLIC SERVICE SEMINARS. 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. 378 (Budgeting) examines theories and practices associated with governmental budgeting with special attention given to object classification, performance, program, and zero-base budgeting. 379 (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. 380 (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.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 395. (3) 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. Prerequisite: Interdisciplinary Studies 375. Offered: fall semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 410. (1) RACE AND ETHNICITY MINOR CAPSTONE. This one-hour course is a capstone experience for students in the Race and Ethnicity Studies Minor and is designed to integrate the various courses taken by the students and to allow reflection on and engagement with significant issues that arise in the study of race and ethnicity. During the semester, students use the knowledge and analytical tools acquired through the study of race and ethnicity to further develop projects based in their academic majors. The projects culminate in a public forum that presents the application of concepts and materials grounded in the study of race and ethnicity to a variety of disciplines. This class enrolls only seniors who have declared a Race and Ethnicity Studies minor. Offered: spring semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 440. (3) 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. Offered: each semester.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 450-453. (3 each) 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.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES 465. (3) AN OVERVIEW OF U.S. NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. 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. Offered: each semester.

updated 7/28/22