Resources for Teaching Comparative Cultures and Politics in James Madison College

Comparative Cultures and Politics “addresses one of the major challenges facing public and international affairs specialists in the 21st century: the need to understand the complex relationship between international affairs and culture.”  This is accomplished by “approaching culture and politics through systematic interdisciplinary study across the social sciences and humanities.” (



Teaching resources in anthropology and archaeology can be found at


Gender and Development

Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies are at


Globalization, Culture, and Politics

A global organization with programs to alleviate suffering and build productive communities worldwide. This site provides resources for the classroom.

Global Envision: The Confluence of Global Markets and Poverty Alleviation (MercyCorps).
A website promoting awareness of the global fight against poverty.   Provides college level resources for teachers.  See especially the list of countries and topics, such as climate and environment, hiv/aids, and microfinance, that lead to blog postings with current news on that issue or within that country. Resources for students list opportunities for humanitarian aide.

The Globalist (The Globalist Research Center).
Daily online magazine on the global economy, politics and culture. Browse by topic or region. Another free resource for educators.

The Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Project at Harvard University––Part of Project Zero.
This project develops frameworks and practical tools to understand interdisciplinary student learning and guide quality interdisciplinary education, which then serves as a means to nurture global competence or global consciousness.


Media Studies

Teaching resources in media studies are found at the following site:


Additional Resources for Teaching Comparative Cultures and Politics

Comparative Politics (American Political Science Association).
Links to professional journals and publications in comparative politics.

Teaching Political Science (American Political Science Association).
This site offers resources such as civic education and best practices in political science assessment, plus links to other web resources related to political science education. APSA’s  Journal of Political Science Education requires subscription.

A Glossary of Political Economy Terms (Dr. Paul M. Johnson, Auburn University).
Online edition of this comprehensive text with full and complete discussion of each term, including links to related glossary entries.

United Nations.
Portal for information, resources, services of the UN.

UNESCO: Building peace in the minds of men and women.
This United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, based in Paris, offers international data on such topics as education, literacy, culture, and communication; publications; videos, a photobank, film and radio collection; and many other resources for teaching.

Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) Homepage
Portal for information and resources on integrative studies.

The AIS Site for the Scholarship of (Interdisciplinary) Teaching and Learning.
This site provides links to material and resources, including examples, of SoTL in general and the Scholarship of interdisciplinary teaching and learning in particular. Provides annotated links to websites, publications, good SoTL sites at American colleges and universities, and much more.

American Sociological Association.
Teaching/Learning Section has a variety of teaching resources, including a link to TRAILS:  Teaching Resources and Innovations Library of Sociology, a section on Teaching & Learning in Sociology, and a section on Teaching Ethics.


Syllabi and Course Materials

Syllabi for courses taught by JMC faculty in all four programs at James Madison College can be found at

The following sites also offer syllabi and materials in areas related to teaching comparative cultures and politics:

Syllabi and Reference Materials for Teaching from the Comparative and Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Offers links to syllabi in comparative, historical and mixed areas, plus links to many teaching aids and other reference materials.

Useless Tilly (et al.): Teaching Comparative-Historical Sociology Wisely (2007)” by Mathieu Deflem.  Trajectories, Newsletter of the ASA Comparative & Historical Sociology section, 19(1): 14-17.
Reflections and suggestions for teaching a comparative-historical sociology course.

Syllabi Bank of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS).
Offers sample interdisciplinary syllabi and other course materials.  All course peer reviewed by a selection committee of AIS.

Teaching Political Science (American Political Science Association).
This site has open resources such as civic education and best practices in political science assessment, plus links to other web resources related to political science education. APSA’s Journal of Political Science Education requires subscription.

MIT OpenCourseWare: Political Science (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Scan through the list of political science courses taught at MIT for free syllabi, course materials, and other teaching resources that may be useful for teaching comparative cultures and politics. See also MITOpenCourseware in related areas.


Teaching Strategies

Cooperative/Collaborative/Team Learning.
A site with resources designed to support faculty who use this pedagogy in their teaching. Includes practical methods, assessment, and examples of successful use.

Active Learning in International Affairs, ALIAS, (a section of the International Studies Association, ISA).
A guest login permits access to a Web Archive with lesson plans, class activities, syllabi, assignments, and web links of interest to international affairs educators interested in using active learning in their courses.


Language Studies

Information and resources for the teaching and learning of Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages can be found at the following site:

Resources for teaching and learning French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and the Classics are at the following site:

Both the above sites include links to MSU resources in language learning.


Associations and Journals in Comparative Cultures and Politics and Related Areas

International Journal of Cultural Studies.
Subscription required.  Abstracts available online.  Full text PDFs available for purchase.

American Political Science Association Conference Papers.
This site contains archived conference papers from the APSA Teaching and Learning conferences.

International Studies Perspectives.
Articles on pedagogy focus on innovative teaching methods and “high quality pedagogical analysis” in international studies.

See also General Online Syllabi and Teaching Materials for All Areas in James Madison College for other online resources that offer syllabi and course materials in the Social Sciences, Cultural Studies, and Political Science. 

For further teaching ideas, see the James Madison site Teaching Strategies for James Madison College Faculty.


Comparative Cultures and Politics at MSU