International Studies | Nations, States & Boundaries
I206 | 8201 | Kalentzidou, O.

Course Description and Objectives

As an introduction to the Nations, States and Boundaries
concentration in International Studies, I206 provides a framework
for students as they pursue further coursework in the major. The
course will provide a theoretical understanding of the concepts of
nationalism, identity and boundary definition as they relate to the
development of modern states. Particular emphasis will be placed on
dynamic interactions between ethnicity and individual and national
identities. Among the topics to be covered are the effects of
colonialism, transnationalism and globalization on the contemporary
configuration of group identities and national boundaries; symbolic
manifestations of ethnic identities; how minorities, refugees,
migrants and ethnic others negotiate their place within a globalized
world; the challenges that face the modern state and stateless
Topics will be developed through readings, class discussions,
student presentations, films, guest lectures and fun surprises.
There will be ample opportunity for class discussion of materials
presented in the readings.

Among the course objects are for students to:
•	attain an understanding of the cultural and historical
context of nationalist movements around the world.
•	become engaged in debates concerning global citizenship,
identity and political activism.
•	apply relevant concepts, methods, and theories learned
within class to their own research questions.
•	become familiar with resources (and sources and methods for
locating them) for future study and careers related to conflict
resolution, policy making, and International Studies.
•	continue to refine skills for studying, critical reading and
thinking, research, and writing.

Course Requirements
1. Class participation: I believe it is in your best interest to
come to class and participate in all the group presentations, class
discussions, film viewings and guest speakers’ lectures. For every
unexcused absence, the student’s final grade will drop by 2%.
Excused absences include illness with a doctor’s note, religious
reasons (, and university-
sanctioned activities with appropriate documentation.

2. Response papers: there are 4 response papers, 2 pages long,
double-spaced each. In these papers you will provide a critical
analysis to readings, museum exhibit, lecture or a film. The grade
on a particular response paper will drop 2% for every day it is late.

3. Group Briefings: The class of 30 students will be divided into 10
groups. Each group will select a geographical region in which they
are interested.  Further information on world regions will be given
in the second week of class. Your group assignment consists of
presenting current events about your assigned region drawing on the
weekly readings from the syllabus. You need to read newspapers (on-
line and hard copy) and scholarly articles for your presentation.
The briefings (5 groups each week) will take place on the weeks
marked with an * on the course syllabus. Base points will be
assigned to all members of a group, with adjustments to take account
of each member’s relative participation as indicated by student and
instructor evaluations.
I encourage you to visit the website that David Oldenkamp
(, the International Studies Librarian, has
created to facilitate your research and presentation. The site can
be found at:

4. Final Take Home Exam: the exam will consist of short essay
questions based on readings and class materials assigned over the
course of the semester. Additional information about content,
preparation and structure will be given in class.

Student Evaluations
There are 100 points possible in the course. They are apportioned as

Class participation		15 points
Response papers		20 points
Group Briefings			50 points
Final Take Home Exam 	15 points

The grade distribution will be as follows:
99-100% A+		78-79% C+	<59%	F
93-98% A		73-77% C
90-92% A-		70-72% C-
88-89% B+		68-69% D+
83-87% B		63-67% D
80-82% B-		60-62% D-

Other important Matters

The best way to contact me is via email. Please allow up to two days
for an email response. I do not respond to requests during the
weekend. A meeting in person can be almost always arranged within
one or two days if you cannot make it to office hours. It is
inappropriate to contact me to know what you missed during unexcused

If you require assistance or academic accommodation for a
disability, please contact me after class, during office hours or by
individual appointment. You must have established your eligibility
support services through the Office of Disabled Student Services in
096 Franklin Hall, 855-7578.

Do not leave class early or come to class late without prior

I reserve the right to change the syllabus and course content.

Please turn off any wireless devices in class. If you want to use a
laptop to take notes, please keep all programs closed except the one
you are using to take notes. In other words, no email or games in

Plagiarism constitutes using others’ ideas, words or images without
properly giving credit to those sources. If you turn in any work
with your name affixed to it, I assume that work is your own and
that all sources are indicated and documented in the text (with
quotations and/or citations). I will respond to acts of academic
misconduct according to university policy concerning plagiarism;
sanctions for plagiarism can include a grade of F for the course and
must include a report to the Dean of Students Office.

IU’s code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct can be
found at ( Student-
instructor relations are dictated by the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA).