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Lynch Syllabus

Turns out that there is probably all sorts of fun stuff on the web at Williams, you just have to spend some time looking for it. Marc Lynch is an assistant professor of political science. Alas, he has only been at Williams since 1998 so, presumably, no one in our class has been in his class. But, judging from his website, he might make for an interesting teacher.

And you have to like a Williams professor who goes out of his way to engage the students. Of course, I disagree with his analysis of the situation, but I have to respect someone who makes his positions clear.

Also, his review of Green Eggs and Ham is hillarious — although you may have needed to spend several years in graduate school to fully appreciate it.

Glancing through his syllabi, I might express some concerns about the balance of the readings. Consider the readings for one week for Political Science 202: Introduction to International Affairs.

Dec 2/3 Environmental issues, AIDS, and other hidden disasters 2.33 Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Environmental scarcity, violence, and limits to ingenuity” 2.34 Robert Repetto and Jonathan Lash, “Planetary Roulette” 2.35 PW Singer, “AIDS and International Security”

There is nothing per se wrong worth these reading. But I would think that something by the optimists — those who argue that the past 100 years have witnessed significant progress on almost all measures of human well-being and that the next 100 years are most likely to see more of the same — would have a place. I also seem to recall that the reading for the equivalent class 15 years ago featured a couple of well-chosen books, along with supplementary articles. This syllabus has almost all articles (this is what a graduate school syllabus looks like) and no books. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could link to that syllabus from 1985?

Where is the class historian? If we could get some of this material scanned in, I am sure that I could find a place for it.

Presumably, Rodney or Jocelyn could provide more educated comments.