Ugrad Research Engagement Program – New Openings Posted

Do you want to learn more about research? Develop a better relationship with a faculty member (think letters of reference!)? Or learn a new skill? Consider applying for our Undergraduate Research Engagement Program (UREP). UREP is a way for you to earn credits and practical experience all at once.

Students selected as UREP fellows work one-on-one with faculty and advanced graduate students on various research projects. Past fellows have gone on to present their research at national conferences, get published, and more.

Check out the listings today. (And look again if you’ve checked before. We recently added several new openings!)

New Gen Ed: Transnational Approaches to Queer and Sexuality Studies

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies is announcing a new gen ed course:

Transnational Approaches to Queer and Sexuality Studies 4 credits, SB G #18383
Monday, Wednesday 11:15-12:05 p.m.
Discussion sections Friday 10:10 and 11:15
Professor Svati Shah

This interdisciplinary course will help students to understand what the term “sexuality studies” means, by providing a foundation in the key concepts, historical and social contexts, topics, and politics that inform the fields of sexuality studies, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, and queer studies. Course instruction will be carried out through readings, lectures, films, and discussions, as well as individual and group assignments. Over the course of the semester, students will develop and use critical thinking skills to discern how “sexuality” becomes consolidated as a distinct category of analysis in the late nineteenth century, and what it means to speak about sexuality and transgender politics and categories today. Topics include queer theories and politics, trans theories and politics, LGBTQ social movements within and outside of the U.S., relationships with feminist reproductive justice movements, heterosexuality, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS and health discourses. The range of materials covered will prioritize developing analyses that examine the interplay between sexuality and class, gender, race, ethnicity, and neoliberalism.
Check out the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies website for more great courses: /courseinfo.htm

New Online Int’l Relations and Business Classes

We are pleased to offer three new Political Science courses online —  two of which can also count towards the Five College International Relations Certificate! 

Click here for a full list of our Political Science & Legal Studies Online Courses for winter 2015 and spring 2015!

  (This course can count toward the Five College International Relations Certificate – Requirement 2)

In general, the course is structured in three consecutive parts, each one building on the other. The first part of the course situates the debate on private sector power in global governance by outlining the different perspectives on the policy-making environment in which private sector actors operate. The course then reviews different theoretical approaches to analyzing how private sector influence over global public policy-making operates, and what challenges we face in understanding these dynamics. The remainder of the course reviews scholarship on lobbying dynamics in a wide variety of different areas in global governance, such as international trade, pharmaceuticals and health care, financial regulation, intellectual property rights  and global environmental politics.

(This course can count towards the Five College International Relations Certificate)

Ambassador Armen Baibourtian is a visiting professor coming to UMass from the realm of the United Nations diplomacy and international development. He was the Senior Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia from 2008 to 2013. He twice served as the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister  between 1997 and 2000 and from 2004 until 2008 with portfolios in International Organizations, America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Legal Issues.


An exploration of the intersection of business and government. The instructor, David E. Floreen, is Senior Vice Presidentof Government Affairs and  Trust Services for the Massachusetts Bankers Association  where he is responsible for coordinating state government affairs. He is actively  involved in expanding financial literacy awareness in schools and colleges, and directs Mass Bankers PAC.

Former U.S Representative Torkildsen Teaching Class on Political Leadership

Did you know that Peter Torkildsen ’80 once served as the representative of Massachusetts’ sixth district, and is the last Republican to represent Massachusetts in the U.S House of Representatives?

Lucky for us, he is teaching PolSci 292P (Class number: 19064) on Political Leadership! And what’s more, there are still seats open! So get on Spire and register! The class meets once a week from 1:00-3:30 P.M on Tuesdays.



Inspiring classes …

One of the most prestigious universities in the world…

Flexibility to travel in England, Ireland, France and beyond…

8 liberal arts credits (4 of them honors)…


This is what it means to study abroad in Oxford!

The UMass Oxford Summer Seminar will hold DROP-IN information sessions about the 2015 summer program to talk about classes (literature, politics and history), and SCHOLARSHIPS.


Wednesday (with a Tuesday schedule), November 12, 2:30-3:30 pm

Thursday, November 13, 2:30-3:30

Tuesday November 18, 2:30-3:30 pm

Thursday, November 20, 2:30-3:30


Also come visit our table at the International Opportunities Expo

Student Union Ballroom

Wednesday November 19, 2-5


(You do NOT have to attend a session to apply; the application portal is open at:

Hope to see you soon,

Anne Broadbridge, Director, Oxford Summer seminar,

EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue – Exploring Social/Cultural Differences and Commonalities

Looking for a unique course next semester? Dr. Ximena Zuniga is offering EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue – Exploring Social/Cultural Differences and Commonalities in Spring 2015. The course meets Thursdays, Jan 29-April 16 from 4-6:30 PM, plus a Saturday retreat Feb 15 from 9-5pm.

In this course, you will explore topics like diversity on campus, interracial dating, hook-up culture, stereotypes in the media, bullying, sexism on campus, transgender oppression, multiraciality, reverse discrimination, sexual assault, color blindness, racism on campus, police brutality, and creating change.

Placement forms are available at and you can direct questions to

Time to enroll in winter online courses!

Want to get ahead by taking an online course during winter session? Winter courses are up on SPIRE and enrollment opened October 15!
Here’s how to enroll for winter:
  1. Log into SPIRE.
  2. Click the Main Menu dropdown.
  3. Click Enrollment.
  4. Click Summer/Winter Enroll Appt.
  5. Scroll, scroll, scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  6. Click the green button that says [Request CPE Enrollment Appointment].

Now, when you go back to your enrollment page, you’ll see Winter 2015 and you can search for classes and enroll immediately!

Open Course in Environmental Monitoring Technologies

Looking for a course that will challenge and engage you, while developing new technologies that can help in better monitoring and understanding the environment? This course is for you! “NRC497M / PPA497MS. Applications in “Do-It-Together” Environmental Monitoring Technologies:A Flipped, Service Learning, “Makerspace” Course” is taught by Professor Charlie Schweik, and the syllabus can be found here. The course will contain a variety of service learning and group learning opportunities, including mentoring Amherst middle schoolers and developing brand new technology.  According to Professor Schweik, “Examples might be (1) trying to develop a GPS-collar and datalogger to track an animal; (2) the use of balloon or kites and cameras and GIS to search for invasive plants (do-it-yourself remote sensing); (3) the development of a device that logs the temperature or some other environmental parameter in a building; or anything you might like to implement!” Please contact with any questions. Happy first week of school!

New Summer On-line Law-Related Course for Legal Studies Majors

ENGLISH  132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature, and Culture     (Instructor: Amanda Waugh, CPE Summer Session 2)

In what ways can literature depict, challenge, modify, and nuance our conceptions of what is just and fair? What are the conditions by which we judge an outcome or situation to be fair? This course will explore these questions through a survey of contemporary literature that foreground issues of justice, fairness, and representations of “law.” The texts we’ll be reading together use, in various ways, a child narrator. Throughout the class, we’ll be exploring the effectiveness of this perspective for exploring issues of justice and fairness, rightness and wrongness. We will pay attention to various gender, racial, and cultural contexts that challenge justice and consider for whom and for what purpose is “justice” served. The scenes of justice under consideration will range from the American legal system to the town of Ayemenem in India, and to rural Zimbabwe.

Satisfies AL, G for Gen Eds and LRLA 100+ for Legal Studies major.

Questions can be sent to

Coming Soon to Spire – New Fall ’14 Pol Sci courses

We know that many of you will be off-line after finals, and so we wanted to catch you now to let you know that we will be posting three new political science classes for the fall semester very soon:

  • POLISCI 220 Public Administration: Focus on political control of public agencies, including how and why agencies are created, the ways in which they shape public policies, how elected officials and other actors control agency discretion, and the ways in which agencies might be reformed. Covers a wide range of policy issues including social welfare, public health, and the environment.
  • POLISCI 308 Public Opinion: Exploration of public opinion on a variety of political topics to develop an understanding about how the public thinks about issues and why they think the way they do. Examines how peoples’ opinions influence their behavior, and whether or not political leaders follow the “will of the public” or manipulate public opinion to achieve their own aims.
  • POLISCI 328 Research Methods for political and social scientists: This course is designed to familiarize undergraduate political and social science majors with the basics of undertaking research in the social sciences. It will cover aspects of research design, and an introduction to various methodological approaches to political science research.

Keep checking Spire over the next few weeks for specific times and days! Each will be taught by our new faculty members — we’ve hired three new, tenure-track political science faculty and one new director of legal studies! The Department just keeps growing!