Stony Brook University, Federated Learning Communities Program



                                                                           (Spring 2003)

                                                                       Wednesday 6-9 p.m.


                                                      Location: SBS-N436 (only 1/22 and 1/29)

                      CELT-Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Melville Library E 1337 (starting 2/05)


                     Instructor: Professor Hermann Kurthen (, phone: 632-7717)

                                        Office Hours: Wednesday 4-6 p.m. & by appointment at SBS-S443


                                                    TA: Nectaria Krokidis (

                                    TA Office Hours: Monday 2-3 p.m. & Tuesday 1-2 p.m. at SBS-S443


The Federated Learning Community (FLC) is a program which focuses on an issue of major societal importance and leads to

an academic minor. The program enables students to register for a cluster of courses arranged around a specific issue.

The program seminar focuses and integrates the material of the federated classes in a small community setting of about

30-40 students. Students may earn a minor in Globalization (GLS) by completing 24 credits in a sequence of their own choice,

 including two program seminars FLC 301/302, plus any six of other federated courses with a grade of C or better.

The prospective topic for Fall 2003 is Global Identities, Cultures, and Institutions.


FLC 302/SOC 394 Program Seminar (3 credits) Hermann Kurthen W 6-9 pm
BUS 110 (01) Business in the 21st Century Bob Ettl/Mark Palermo M 12:30-2 pm & M 3:20-4:40 pm
POL 311-F Intro International Law Bill Burke M 7-10 pm
ECO 358 Economy of India Debapriya Sen MWF 8:20-9:15 am
POL 336 U.S. Foreign Policy Helmut Norpoth MWF 9:25-10:20 am
HIS 396-K Wealth & Inequality in Mod. Corpor.Am. Chris Sellers  MWF 10:30-11:25 am
LAC 200-J Latin American and Caribbean Society Paul Gootenberg MW 11:35-12:55 pm
SOC 309 Social Conflicts and Movements Javier Auyero MW 3:20-4:40 pm
THR 277 The Media Industry Norman Prusslin T 7-10 pm
HIS 392 Europe and the 3rd World Since 1945 Young-sun Hong TTH 9:50-11:10 am
SOC 348 Global Sociology Jim Rule TTH 12:50-2:10 pm




A goal of the FLC is to engage students in a holistic way that touches their personal lives as well as their academic  

interests and allows them to gain a hands-on experience combining theory and practice, including a variety of

student projects. The objective is to practice skills, such as writing (class questions, briefing handout, mid-term

essay, conference report); group or individual research projects and oral presentations, website design, collaboration

with and peer mentoring of high school students, preparing a student conference, visiting the U.N. headquarters,

participating or organizing public events (rallies, surveys, letter writing), and meetings with scholars.


In the FLC program seminar the SBU undergraduate students will

- collaborate in small groups which are organized around topics covered in the program course.

- Participate in a graded short quiz based on the required reading of a given day. No make up if late or absent.

   Lowest score will be dropped.

- A short, task-oriented open-book mid-term essay covering readings/discussions of the first part of the semester.

- During the semester groups or individuals will engage in one student project related to the class topic, such as

   researching an organization, setting up a web page, conducting a survey/interviews, writing an article for a

   student paper, etc. The projects have to be agreed upon by the instructor no later than March 5. If not agreed

   upon in time a penalty will apply. All student projects need to be finished and presented at the student conference on May 7.

- Students (individually or as a group) are required to select and research a country or international organization/NGO

   related to the topic of global economics, development, or political governance. A theoretically and empirically

   informed 2-3 page hardcopy conference outline has to be submitted for the mock-conference on April 30.

- The topics of the reports have to be agreed upon by the instructor no later than March 12. If not agreed

   upon in time or submitted a penalty will apply.

- The outline will serve as the backbone of the hardcopy final term paper of about 15 pages (groups) or

   7 pages (individuals) due in its final form on Wednesday, May 14, 2002 at 5 p.m. at the instructor's office.

-  No late submissions will be accepted.


A typical class will start with a quiz based on the reading, followed by a short lecture or presentation by a guest

speaker from a federated course and a class discussion. After a snack break, we will further explore a session topic

by splitting up in smaller discussion groups, listening to an instructor briefing, or watching a video.

Class participation and attendance as well as the quiz, mid-term essay, and conference presentation/term

paper are very important parts of the FLC seminar and will be appropriately evaluated and graded (see below).




Individual class participation and class attendance before AND after snack break
A short quiz at the beginning of most classes
One mid-term essay based on all required readings completed before the exam
One individual or student group project agreed upon by the instructor by March 5
The student project has to be finished and presented at the student conference on May 7
A conference briefing presentation turned into a printed final term paper.The topic needs to be agreed upon by the instructor no later than March 12
A hardcopy briefing has to be submitted for the student conference on April 30
The final term paper is due in its final form on May 14