Global History/Int'l Relations Course Discussion July/Aug 1997

Query From: Allison Hepler <> 30 July 1997

I am going to be team-teaching a 6 credit course w/ a political science prof next spring. It will fulfill 2 intro-level course requirements in global history II and international relations. I am working on the history side and looking for appropriate texts, films, and teaching strategies. Has anyone done something like this? So far I am thinking of Johnson-Odim's and Strobel's collection of essays and "Woman at Point Zero." Are there any good collections of primary documents? I am also pretty new to team-teaching so advice on that end is also good. Thanks. Allison Hepler

[Clarification of course]

The course is designed to be an interdisciplinary history/political science course (intro level) that is oriented around gender in the 20th century, 6 credits, 30 students and they get 6 credits toward social science core requirement (3 credits each in global history II and int'l relations). My part would focus on global women's history in the 20th century and that its intersections with int'l relations would be in areas like the political and economic power, family planning and health, gender roles, the whole globalizing process going on.

This is a new idea here at UMF. I'd like to find out if has been done elsewhere and if so, how successfully. What worked?


From Vera M. Britto 31 July 1997

I have an online collection of recent international interviews with (mostly) women working with globalization/int'l development issues. It's at: List includes politicians, NGO people, activists, environmentalists, students, UN people, etc.

I also organized a "Women in Development" film series which is also detailed on my site, with complete listings for films. And I have a nice syllabus for an int'l development course, organized by another prof if you are interested. Feedback always welcome.

From Doug Cremer 31 July 1997

In response to Allison Hepler's request..., I recently finished teaching two team-taught interdisciplinary courses: the first a psychology-history seminar on the AIDS epidemic, the second an architecture-philosophy seminar on ethics in architecture. I was responsible for the history/philosophy parts of each seminar, but the overall course was a joint design and production with my colleagues. If there was any advice I would give from this experience it would be on two points:

The first is that both professors ought to be involved in ALL class sessions. Although one of us was primarily responsible for the material on any given day, the other functioned as critic, debater, solicitor, and general gadfly to stimulate the class discussion. It was done in a way so that the students were encouraged to join in, rather than passively watch two professors spar(although that did happen more than occasionally). If you can arrange the load with your chairs, this method of team-teaching is far preferable to tag-team approaches. This way, the students really get to see the benefits of bringing different disciplines to bear on a similar problem (and you learn an awful lot as well).

The second reinforces the first. The class must be designed to maximize student participation. We made groups of students responsible for becoming the experts on certain readings or parts of the course, and also for presenting the material to the class.

The last weeks of the course were devoted to student group or individual presentations of their research projects. We used e-mail journals to provoke further reflection and discussion, which often carried over into the classroom. The syllabus for the ethics and architecture seminar, as well as student e-mail digests are available on the following web site: if you want to take a look at the course design.

From Joan R. Gunderson 31 July 1997

You would want to explore the studies of Carrie Chapman Catt, especially her involvement with the Women's Peace Party in WWI, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Committee on the Cause and Cure for War. The biographies of her should lead you to the monographs on these organizations as well. This would give your team course some historical depth which might otherwise be lacking. There is a growing body of literature on feminist analysis of international policy (Nuclear Phallacies comes to mind), but I can't check titles easily since my books are all in storage...

As for team teaching the course I would look for ways to keep it from being a tag team lecture series. Try occasions where you both analyze the same reading, where students are asked to provide the historical context for a "policy" reading, or where students must apply theory to a historical example. The real trick is to get assignments that push students to use all the ways of thinking that an interdisciplinary course provides.

P.S....I forgot to mention the resources available through the Upper Midwest History Center. They have a whole curriculum (designed for high school through adults) with multiple books on Women and Development. Most of the materials are written by Marjorie Binham or Susan Gross. The center is located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

From Lyn Reese 02 Aug 1997

You're going to get tons of responses to this, but here are a few that may be overlooked. All have primary source material in them:

  1. Joni Seager's new _The State of Women in the World Atlas_; there are visual ways to compare recent topics over the last decades.
  2. Radha Kumar's _The History of Doing: An Account of Movements for Women's Rights and Feminism in India, 1880-1990_.
  3. Marlene Le Gates' _Making Waves: A History of Feminism in Western Society_;
  4. The OAH book _Restoring Women to History: Teaching Packets for Integrating Women's History into Courses on Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, & the Middle East. I hope this is still available.

Also, you might look at my women's world history web page for reviews and links to other resources: