The International Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program within the College of Letters & Science. New students interested in declaring the IS Major should meet with the IS Peer advisor and attend one of our workshops.

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Course Announcement: Spring 2018
CA 470: Contemporary Political Discourse
The Rhetoric of Modern Democratic Revolutions 

4028 Vilas Hall
T/Th – 1:00PM – 2:15 PM

This course will explore the ideas and rhetoric of the democratic mass movements that have played a defining role in the making of our modern world, examining the imagery, speeches and symbolic actions shared by democratic revolutions on five continents over the span of a century. Taking a comparative approach, it will trace links from Gandhi’s influence on Martin Luther King, Jr., to the impact of the US Civil Rights Movement on the ‘people power’ revolutions of the past three decades, ending with the recent uprisings in the Arab world and new social movements at home. In pursuit of this inquiry, the course will examine a range of political discourse, from the soaring speeches of key leaders to pivotal acts of defiance. Class discussions will study their mobilizing impact in each movement as well as the power of iconic moments to inspire similar actions elsewhere in the world. The course will also allow students to study the role of different media in transforming public and counter-public within and outside democratic movements. Finally, it will help students begin to look critically at the role of different forms of rhetoric in driving or derailing popular movements to help make sense of successes, failures, and transformations that otherwise defy easy assessment. 

C&I 366: Internationalizing Educational Knowledge

468 Teacher Education Building
Mondays 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Internationalizing educational knowledge means both internationalizing our thinking and the ways we perceive the world, and internationalizing the field of education. The course will introduce students to various educational systems around the world, focusing on similarities and dissimilarities in what is taught. The course discussions will center on curriculum across cultures, and its relation to political systems to build an understanding of diversity in societies and schools. The topics will include local and indigenous knowledge; the role of international agencies in comparing nation’s school systems; cultural borders of societies in modern curriculum reforms; technologies of schooling; social exclusions and inequalities in elementary and secondary schools; and the constructions of “the global” in comparative studies. International and local speakers with multiple perspectives will be invited to explore issues of education as well as international opportunities for its study. The class is organized as a seminar to play with conceptual “tools” of analysis to cultivate critical thinking.
*For further information, contact Prof. Thomas Popkewitz (thomas.popkewitz@wisc.edu).

Russ Feingold to Teach IS 601 On Campus Fall 2018

Russ Feingold, the former state and U.S. senator will teach on campus in Fall 2018 as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in International Studies. He will teach a capstone seminar for International Studies majors entitled IS 601: “Negotiating Peace in the African Great Lakes Region.” Students will be able to enroll the course when registration is open in spring.

“I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater to teach, having benefitted so greatly from the education I received at UW–Madison,” Feingold said.

Feingold speaks to UW-Madison’s Mandela Washington Fellows during a campus visit on July 14, 2017. (Photo credit: Meagan Doll)

Feingold will spend the Fall 2018 semester in residence in the UW–Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer. Distinguished Visiting Lecturers provide a practitioner’s perspective on current affairs by teaching special topics courses, hosting public events, engaging with faculty, and sharing in the intellectual life of the university.

To read more, click here.

New Scholarship: Student Conference Travel and Undergraduate Research Award

We are excited to announce our new travel scholarship for students who are participating in conference and research activities. Award funds can be used to cover expenses related to conference travel, registration, and meals associated with the professional activity.  This award can also be used to support an undergraduate research project that is done under the supervision of an IS Major faculty member employed by UW-Madison. Deadline for Fall semester is November 30th and Spring semester is April 15th.

 For more information and application, visit here !

Dr. Stephen Young, earns the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Stephen was one of 12 faculty members selected for this prestigious honor!!!

Dr. Stephen Young

Stephen Young has always stressed that thinking and acting as a global citizen means paying attention to how our own campus and local community are shaped by the myriad ways in which we are connected to other places around the world. In order to allow students to discover these connections for themselves, Young – in collaboration with another faculty member – designed a walking tour through the old industrial section of Madison in which directions, audio narration and historic images are delivered in real time via a mobile map. Young also applied for funds through the Global Studies program to buy a sufficient number of devices that students could check out from the library. During the walk, students took their own photos and then used these images to create a photo essay about Madison as a distillation of global processes. The walking tour has now taken place three times, receiving rave reviews from students.

We’re always accepting submissions to put on our walls!

What we’re looking for:
– any student photos taken during study abroad, internship abroad, IS-related student groups, or international events in and around Madison

If you’re looking to submit, you can send us your materials at  ismadvisor@ismajor.wisc.edu Remember to include your name, the place that your submission came from, and, if preferred, a small caption or some context for the material submitted. Please inform us if you would like your submission returned to you at any point, and make sure we have the contact information to do so.

Send us a postcard! 

Postcard_FarAre you studying abroad? We would love to get a postcard from you! Postcards can be dropped off in our office or mailed to:
International Studies Major
333 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Interested in Declaring the International Studies Major???

Students that are interested in declaring the International Studies major need to attend an

Student peer advisor Josh Jackson helps with registration (Photo credit: Jeff Miller)

Student peer advisor Josh Jackson helps with registration (Photo credit: Jeff Miller)

Intro to IS Major Workshop.  Workshops are offered 12 times per semester, you can see the full schedule here.  After attending a workshop, students are welcome to use Declare Me, walk-in advising, and scheduled appointments to declare the IS Major.


International Studies Major alumna, Jenna Bushnell recognized for her work

Jenna Bushnell

IS Major alumna, Jenna Bushnell

The Morgridge Center for Public Service has recognized Jenna Bushnell for her work with the Peace Corps.

A 2014 graduate, Bushnell serves as a public affairs specialist in the Peace Corps’s Washington, DC office.

“It’s my job to tell the wonderful stories of Peace Corps volunteers and let Americans know how they can make a difference by serving others,” says Bushnell.

For more information and the full story please visit the Morgridge Center for Public Service.

Senior IS Major, Ruth Lied interned in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lied, a UW–Madison senior majoring in International Studies and French, is interested in a career in diplomacy. Her time at the U.S. embassy provided invaluable insight into which positions she might want to pursue and how to navigate the application process.

Senior IS Major, Ruth Lied

She assisted with many embassy tasks. For the public affairs department, she photographed the U.S. ambassador during outreach visits. For the executive office, she managed documents. For the political department, she took notes during official meetings with the foreign ministry.

“Being able to shadow officers during their daily meetings and tasks helped me better understand how an embassy functions,” she says. “I was able to get advice from current professionals and build my network of contacts.”

For more information and the full story, please visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison News.

Career Events

Fall is a great time to develop your resume with an internship.  Please check the weekly IS Major e-newsletter and like our Facebook page for updates about internship and job postings.   Also, please check our events website for upcoming information.

Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery)

Lijiang, China (Photo Credit: Dreux Montgomery)

Also, L&S Career Services can help you build and improve on your skills and learn about the following areas: mock interviewing, networking with alumni, job searching strategies, and  tailoring resumes or cover letters.

For more information  please visit their website.