International Studies Research Lab 2019

Friday August 2nd marked the end of the 2019 International Studies Research Lab! 

Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the ISRL promotes the internationalization of education by providing a unique opportunity for community colleges nationwide. The ISRL was created as a joint initiative with support from the Center for Global Studies (CGS), the International and Area Studies Library (IASL), the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC), the European Union Center (EUC), and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS). An annual event, the ISRL brings together faculty, librarians, and administrators from community colleges around the U.S. interested in developing global studies curricula and instruction in less commonly taught languages, expanding library collections, or establishing international education programs at their home institutions. We prioritize projects for minority-serving institutions, as we identify these institutions specifically to be in need of global and international resources and support.

The International and Area Studies Library (IASL) serves as the home base for ISRL participants, as it offers extensive services that facilitate access to a wide range of materials relating to globalization, language, and global and regional studies. While on campus, our participants receive courtesy borrowing privileges for our entire library collection, not only those materials found at the IASL, and also have the opportunity to set up individual consultation sessions with the Global Studies Librarian and/or other international reference specialists. These specialists provide individualized support and guidance on developing and evolving curricula, library collections, and international education programs. 

With the acknowledgment of the University as a National Resources Center, together with the recognition of the University’s exemplar, extensive, diverse, and ever-growing library collections, the ISRL attracts self-motivated scholars from community colleges who, without the help of ISRL, may not have the resources and/or support to create materials with a global or international focus. While many participants choose to diversify their collections, curricula, and language and education programs in relation to one specific country or region, many choose to cultivate a more generalized global perspective. But regardless of approach, all participants develop materials that interact with international, intercultural, and global dimensions. 

Near the end of the lab, participants are invited to a collaborative workshop where they can present and discuss their projects and network with their peers. Participants are invited to share their work and establish collaborations in a day-long workshop. Individuals specializing in community college engagement are guest speakers every year, offering to participants insight into the process of internationalizing curriculum, programs, and library collections in their community college environments. This year’s workshop took place on Friday July 26th and showcased several guest speakers including Dr. Timothy Wedig, Associate Director, LAS Global Studies (UIUC), and keynote speaker Sashti (Raj) Rajgopal, Founding Director of the International Studies Consortium of Georgia. 

Participants’ final projects are deposited into the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) at the University of Illinois. IDEALS collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students. Topics deposited from the ISRL are very diverse in nature and originate with many different perspectives and disciplines in mind. Some of the topics and themes from the 2019 ISRL include research on the conflict in Palestine, Iranian history from 1906 to the Abdication of Reza Khan, the past and future of the Turkish-American Alliance, developing global studies certificates, and local immigration activism. Past materials that have been added to the ISRL web resources site in IDEALS have been downloaded for use over 6,000 times, with the top three most-downloaded entries relating to developing themes on global studies in English classes, cross-cultural psychology, and writing about Chinese culture. The ISRL strongly encourages and values the depositing of lab materials into IDEALS so that individuals around the world can have open access to, and freedom to download, resources relating to the internationalization of education.

We wanted to take this moment to thank all of our participants for this year’s International Studies Research Lab, and look forward to more individuals taking part next summer!

For more information on the ISRL, you can visit here. However, please keep in mind that the current showcased information is for this year’s lab. New information will be made available on our website as plans progress for next year’s lab.

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