Seniors and juniors who previously has not participated in the honors program may qualify as a candidate for Departmental Honors in International Studies based on the student's grade-point average. Students with at least 74 semester hours credit who have a grade point average of 3.20 or better on all college work attempted, who have completed at least 30 semester hours of work with a 3.20 or better grade point average at UNCW, and who are recommended by the director of International Studies are eligible to enroll in INT 499, six-credit Departmental Honors thesis.
The Departmental Honors thesis culminates in
independent study under the supervision of a faculty member in International Studies. This independent study must be completed in two three-credit hour
semesters or three two-credit hour semesters. The results of the honors thesis is presented orally before an examining committee.
For more information, see: Completing Departmental Honors
- Erin Gallagher (Spring 2014) “The Land of Childhood,” “The Dark Mantle of Night”: Historical Imaginaries of Africa in the Western Gaze as Seen through the Iconongraphy of Modern-Day Aid (Supervisor: Dr. Florentina Andreescu)
Abstract: In this thesis, I explore how Africa is included in the Western imaginary, specifically through historical images and modern aid iconography. I examine early visual representations, such as those of Saartje Baartman, to current day "poverty pornography" depictions which saturate marketing campaigns of NGOs and international aid institutions. I argue that these representations rely on three rhetorical commonplaces: The Body, The Child and The Woman, and The Victim. The deployment of these commonplaces creates a perception of Africa as an objectified, infantile, and feminine victim of a traumatic past and a troubled present. These commonplaces reinforce preexisting core-periphery power relations and undermine aid itself. I analyze these pervasive commonplaces through a relational constructivist lens, using insights from the literature on abjection, trauma, phantasy and imagined communities to uncover how it is that these images create and re-create imaginaries, where they come from, how they are used politically, and how they affect Africa, the West, and aid.
- Shelby Grace Johnson (Spring 2015), Child Soldiers: Failures of the Global North. (Supervisor: Dr. Herb Berg)
Abstract: In the last two decades, there has been increased attention on the use of child soldiers. Many large governmental entities, like the United Nations, International Criminal Court and United States, have made laws regarding them, and the media has spotlighted the plight of the modern day child soldier. Two of the most publicized groups, for their use of children as combatants, are Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF). This paper first provides a comprehensive background of the LRA and RUF. These backgrounds include their history, their use of child soldiers, and where they are now. Next there is an analysis of the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the Global North’s laws and programs for child soldiers. Finally, this paper offers suggestions for short term improvements to these existing laws and programs.
- Gongtao (Tom) Sun (Spring 2014), China’s Minority Policy (1933-2013): A Core-Periphery Analysis. (Supervisor: Dr. Paige Tan)
Abstract: The possibility of China’s collapse as a result of internal pressure has been an impending concern of the Chinese Communist Party since the Tiananmen protests of 1989. Revolution has appeared as a motif throughout China’s history, but until the crisis, the Chinese Communist Party was confident in its ability to maintain control. Subsequently Tiananmen has been cited as the ebb of Chinese Communist rule. At the turn of the millennium, predictions of China’s imminent collapse made headway, citing the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a cognate system, as a cogent example. The Soviet Union’s fragmentation along the lines of former autonomous republics brought the role of ethnic-nationalism in the former state’s demise into question. In order to maintain unity against ethnic-nationalism, which facilitates and precipitates state collapse, and prevent separation along ethno-territorial lines, it is imperative for China, having witnessed the demise of other one-party systems, to reign in its minority issue. The recent conclusion of Hu Jintao’s presidential term on March 13, 2013 allows for an updated retrospective analysis of the Chinese Communist Party’s policy towards ethnic-minorities. This project analyzes the minority issue using a core-periphery framework. Its objective is to address the prospect of separation or explain how the result might occur. Its primary assertion is that separation is a function of ethnic nationalism, core weakness, and external pull. As a subsidiary, it explains how an interaction between shearing variables, such ethnic nationalism and external pull, and compacting variables, which includes a vast array of consensual and coercive mechanisms, occurs within the core-periphery system. A case study, which focused on one nationality subset, was used to validate the assertion. The Uighur of Xinjiang Province were selected because incidents such as the Kunming stabbing, which occurred on March 2, 2014, serve as consistent reminders of their cause for separation.