First Week Courses Information

General Course:

Critical Theories and Internatonal Political Sociology
Prof. R B J Walker

The course of Prof. Walker will address International Relations and the challenge of interdisciplinarity, discussing sociology, politics and international as contested objects. In addition, he will discuss the places of science and criticism in the production of knowledge in International Relations, as well as question privilege, Eurocentrism and hegemony as research topics for an International Political Sociology.

RBJ Walker, professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, Canada, and in the IRI/PUC-RIO.

Thematic Courses:

Affective Nationalism: from the War on Terror to the Politics of Populism
Prof. Angharad Closs Stephens

Prof. Stephens’ course will focus on current debates around affect and politics and ask how these might enhance our knowledge and understandings of nations and nationalism. Drawing on literatures in Geography that understand space as relational and lively, as well as critical approaches to International Relations that raise questions about the politics of sovereign determinations, these lectures will bring Geography and IR together to examine key moments in contemporary global politics – from the War on Terror to contemporary examples of Populism. At a time when nationalism is under intense public and scholarly debate, we will pursue a new critical lexicon for addressing the tones and intensities of national feelings, as they arise in everyday spaces – from the home, to the street, to social media timelines. The aim is to offer fresh frameworks for approaching nationalism as well as broader questions of identity, populism and citizenship

Angharad Closs Stephens is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Swansea University.


Post Colonial Precarities
Prof. Michael J. Shapiro

Prof. Shapiro’s course focuses on genres of precarity with an emphasis on how artistic texts – e.g., films and stories – raise awareness of post colonial domination and the historical legacies of global inequality. From Sam Okoth Opondo & Michael J. Shapiro “Cinematic Encounters and Frontiers of Precarity”: In the opening pages of The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Fatal Journeys (2016) report on the “identification and tracing of dead and missing migrants, ” we encounter the story of Giuseppe Giardino, a gravedigger on the island of Lampedusa who provides a chilling summation of the condition of precarity, disposability, and the thresholds of detectability characteristic of today’s migratory condition. Speaking about his involvement in the burying of migrants who drowned at sea, Giardino points to the crucifixes marking the graves where numerous unidentified migrants are buried and commiserates with those whose “families don’t even know they’re dead and lying here in Lampedusa… Heeding the insights from the evidence of violence and death emerging from these forensic analyses, and acknowledging, as Pugleise does, that a spectral slow violence, a violence that exists below the threshold of attention and visibility, is intricately intertwined with the spectacular deaths rendered recognizable through forensic and other forms of expert necrography, this course seeks to perform a different aesthetic necrography. One that, owing to the world made visible or sensible through the cinematic apparatus and with attentiveness to the politics of genre, apprehends genres of expression, forms of life, and “attritional violence” that are dispersed across space and time but can be crystalized or brought into focus in ways that do not only reveal the violence of the state and predatory criminal entities , but also engages the forms of counting that they privilege, and the very genres of man that they are predicated upon.

Michael J. Shapiro is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His work is often described as “postdisciplinary”, drawing from such diverse fields as political philosophy, critical theory, cultural studies, etc.

Please, click here for more information about application, fees, guest professors, and planned activities. For help with application and other enquiries, contact us on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: