International & Intercultural Studies
The International and Intercultural Studies major is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to deepen and broaden a student's understanding of global and local commonalities, differences, and power relations. Through course work at Pitzer, language acquisition, and an intensive experience away from the campus, the major seeks to make students aware of what binds them to, and separates them from, other peoples and other places.
In this field, students see how dominant and non-dominant groups interact and explore contentions that knowledge is socially constructed in character and that widely accepted claims to objectivity derive from local knowledge systems. Students are exposed to interdisciplinary methods in classroom study, experiential learning at an external studies site, language training, and a senior capstone seminar. As an outcome of study in IIS, students develop skills at respecting different cultures, at engaging with issues of social and political movements, and at recognizing the complex ethics and politics of building social relationships across differences.
Major Advisers: Joe Parker, Lako Tongun, Sharon Snowiss, Brinda Sarathy
Requirements of the Major
A. Core Courses
Majors must complete the Introduction to International and Intercultural Studies (IIS 10), Power and Social Change (IIS 50), and Interdisciplinary Knowing and Social Justice (IIS 60), normally during their first two years before participating in an approved Study Abroad program. Majors must also complete one of the courses on the global impact of the United States listed below, normally before taking the Senior Seminar (IIS 190). This major requires at least one course introducing an intersectional analysis of three or more of the following vectors of oppression: race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and citizenship/nationality. The IIS Senior Seminar (IIS 190) is required of all majors (except as noted below). A senior thesis or senior project is an option for all students, but required of all honors candidates (see below).
- • IIS 10 Introduction to International and Intercultural Studies.
- • IIS 50 Power and Social Change
- • IIS 60 Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Global Justice
- • One course on the global impact of the U.S. selected from among these courses: Hist 11/Anth 11; Hist 156; Post 131; Soc 71.
- • One course on intersectional analysis, selected from these courses:
Eng 162AF, Eng 164AF, EA 86, Chlt 60, Chlt 61CH, Chlt 115, Chlt 118, Chlt 154, IIS 75, IIS 80, IIS 167, Soc 71, Soc 124 AF, Soc 145CH, Soc 155 CH
- • IIS 190 Senior Seminar
The total number of courses required is: 6 core courses (7 for students who are honors candidates); 3 regional emphasis courses; the study abroad semester; and language coursework. The latter two may include courses counting for the regional emphasis, and the study abroad semester often includes language coursework.
To satisfy the language requirement, any of the following methods may be used:
- • Two years of college or university-level classroom language instruction.
- • Proficiency by immersion, normally completed in a Pitzer Study Abroad
- • program or other language-intensive study abroad program approved by the field group. (See adviser or Office of International Programs for list of approved programs.)
- • Demonstration of competence at the equivalent level of two years of college or university-level classroom instruction by successfully completing an oral or written examination administered by a qualified language instructor.
C. Study Abroad
Students are expected to participate in a semester-long program of study abroad relevant to their chosen regional emphasis. Students should consult both with the Director of International Programs to choose an appropriate program and with their advisers to select courses that will prepare them for this experience. It is required that students planning to study in a particular study abroad program take IIS 60 and a regional course designed to prepare them for study in that region. The regional course may fulfill one of the regional emphasis courses described below. Students returning from study abroad programs are recommended to take Post 194b. Study Abroad Colloquium [1/2 course].
D. Advanced Course Work
Regional Emphasis. Students will choose one particular region for emphasis from among the following list of regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, the Third World, or Global Studies. Normally, students choose a regional emphasis that includes their Study Abroad location. Three courses are required as a minimum for study of their selected region, normally with one introductory course and two other courses at the advanced level (generally numbered above 100). Students are required to take one appropriate course before the Study Abroad semester, chosen in consultation with their advisor. Students are also required to take IIS 60 as part of their preparation for Study Abroad.
Combined Major Requirements
Students wishing to complete a combined major in IIS and another major will need to complete all requirements for the regular major, except : a. They may take either IIS 10 or IIS 190 and b. They make take either a course on the global impacts of the U.S. (see above list) or a course on intersectional analysis (see list above).
The course reduction for combined majors totals two courses.
Honors: Students with a cumulative and major GPA of 3.5 or higher may be considered for honors in International and Intercultural Studies. Honors candidates must write and successfully defend a senior thesis, generally while enrolled in IIS 199, Senior Thesis. The determination of honors is based on excellence in course work in the major and the quality of the senior thesis.
For a list of courses, see the current course catalog.