Course Innovation Awards

SGS course innovation awards support the development of new courses that focus on substantive topics of regional or global interest for the following academic year. The goal is to spur the design of courses that can appeal to large numbers of students or reach students early in their academic trajectory.

2022-23 Course Innovation Awards:

GLOBAL 194: Understanding China's Rise

Andrew Walder

This course is an overview China's national trajectory since the 1980s, and will place its historic economic advance in comparative perspective. We will examine the factors that made this advance possible, explore the ways that China's political and economic institutions are different from other major economies, and consider challenges that now appear to threaten China's continuing economic advance.

GLOBAL 200: Utopia, Dystopia, and Technology in Science Fiction: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Ban Wang

This course explores how science fiction (sf) narratives from East and West imagine the future of humanity and human-nature relations. The blind faith in technoscientific power has aggravated class disparity, eroded the social fabric, and undermined the humanist legacy of the Enlightenment. Technological fetishism has given rise to apocalyptic futures of dystopia marked by destructive AI, the digital jungle of existential struggle, environmental degradation, climate disasters, class disparity, and posthuman barbarism. On the other hand, sf narratives keep hopes alive by projecting utopias, exposing the pitfalls of technological progress and keeping faith with human sovereignty in renewing social ecology in balance with natural conditions.

POLISCI 34Q: Nationalism

Vasiliki Fouka

​​Nationalist platforms have been on the rise for years across the globe. The success of nationalist parties and candidates is often accompanied by backlash against outgroups, from immigrants to religious and ethnic minorities. Nationalism often leads people to act against their material interest, from voting against economic policies that would improve their standing, to undertaking extreme actions like self-sacrifice. Why is nationalism such a dominant force in today’s world? And why is it such a powerful driver of human behavior? In this course, we will explore this question through a broad interdisciplinary lens, drawing lessons from the social sciences and history. We will ask what national identity is, where it comes from and why it has such appeal for humans. We will go back to the roots of nationalism in early modern Europe in order to understand the historical origin of national identities. And we will try to identify the forces that drive the rise in right-wing nationalism today, by exploring a number of country cases across the world.