International and Area Studies Senior Integrated Projects

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This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed in International and Area Studies. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to a SIP.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 29
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    The "Immigration Crisis" as a Security Threat : Biopolitical Sovereignty and the State of Exception at the US/Mexico Border
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2020-11-01) Schieber, Faruq; Stefatos, Katerina
    Immigration has for much of the last two decades been at the forefront of political discourse in the United States. The policy created or lack thereof in response to this issue has become a defining characteristic of multiple presidencies and it seems as though it’s an issue that only grows more complicated with time. Although the issues surrounding both legal and ‘illegal’ migration over the US/Mexico border have been around for a long time, 2019 became an especially defining year relative to the experiences of migrants under new Trump Administration policies. In 2019 the flow of migrants across the US/Mexico border became, for a time, the subject of serious controversy and national interest in the United States. Further, the discourse around immigration shifted from that of political concern to panic over the newly identified immigration crisis in the name of national sovereignty. Concurrently, disturbing reports and images flooded the national news media describing the detention and separation of families, framed within liberal ideals and the human rights discourse. Congressional representatives and would-be presidential candidates descended on the US/Mexico border zone demanding the termination of the Trump administration’s child/family separation policy in what seemed to be a moment of national shame. Images of children being torn from their families’ arms and placed in cages were rapidly followed by reports that the US government had “lost track” of many of the children it had separated and detained. The coverage of these events painted a picture that US immigration policy had somehow taken a turn for the worse and this might have been true but at the same time that narrative implied that immigration policy in the United States had not already been building toward exactly the uses of state power that we witnessed in 2019. Moreover, I argue that the language used to describe the effects of US policy at the US/Mexico border, specifically the framework of crisis has only justified the extreme actions taken by the US government and effectively solidified a state of exception at the US/Mexico border. There are several important questions that arise from the issue presented here but it is important to first establish that these questions will be examined through the framework of a state of exception, the concept developed in Giorgio Agamben’s 2005 book of the same name. Agamben develops the state of exception as a circumstance in which the state (government) operates in such a fashion that it is actually violating the rights of non-citizens and possibly citizens living in the state. However, this violation is usually justified by an outside threat to the sanctity of the state and its constituent elements and thus it is deemed necessary (and legal) that these rights be violated.
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    Maendeleo ya Wanawake: The Politicization and Co-Optation of a Women's Development Organization
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 1995) Stands, Elizabeth; Smith, Kathleen White, 1945-2023; Gorton, Marina E.
    On December 31, 1994, I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, to begin a three month internship with Kenya's largest women's development agency, Maendeleo ya Wanawake. I sought to view first-hand the power of women's mobilization to create structures for their benefit. My goals for the internship included gaining an understanding of the ideology of women's progress from the viewpoint of women involved in the process, noting the actualization of such ideology within organizational structures, and seeing the implementation of programs and policies aimed . at furthering women's aspirations. The most powerful understanding I gained during my time with Maendeleo was an awareness of the numerous difficulties involved in balancing ideology and reality and the complexities surrounding women and their work for greater recognition. On the one hand, women have had to fight against the collapse of their specific needs within a rhetoric of "the good of society." On the other hand, women have seen themselves partnered to almost every "relevant" issue from "women and children" and "women and energy" to "women and the environment", as if the discussion of one is inherent to the other, and as if they had a greater responsibility to these issues which involve everyone, women and men. Women's efforts to improve personal and community environments, in connection with the corresponding increase in their visibility, have led to the politicization of women's issues and the co-optation of women's establishments. The history and present struggles within Maendeleo ya Wanawake provide examples of outside intrusion into an organization created for and by women, and the ramifications of such intrusion.
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    International Adoption: Building Families Across Cultural Lines
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 1996) Bailey, Catherina N.; Smith, Kathleen White, 1945-2023
    Adoption is a long and involved process. Before receiving a child, parents must wade through months of paperwork, bureaucratic red tape and waiting lists. Not all adopted children in America were born within the borders of the United States. These children come from Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, or Latin America. International adoption carries with it different difficulties beyond the paperwork and bureaucratic regulations of all adoptions. In addition to satisfying the laws of state and federal government, potential adopters must also work with the laws and regulations of the country from where they are adopting. The paperwork will be both in English and the language of the country, and traveling to pick up the child is often required. Once the child arrives home with his or her new parents there can be problems of language, climate adjustments, health issues and culture shock. Once these hardships have passed, most find themselves the proud parents of a young boy or girl. International adoption is a different process than domestic, but the end result is the same- a child to love and raise.
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    A People in Flight: Displacement of Russian Jews and Third Wave Immigration to the United States
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 1996) Calderwood, Adrienne; Bisha, Robin
    The group of Jewish immigrants discussed in this SIP has been designated as the third wave of Russian immigrants, a term which I will use to differentiate between the three distinct groups of Russian immigrants that have made their way to the United States since the latter part of the nineteenth century. The first wave refers to the influx of Russian Jews to the United States sparked by the Revolution of 1917. The second wave arrived after the Second World War, approximately from 1945 to the early 1950s. And the third wave refers to the large numbers of Jews that were able to leave after 1970. The third wave is unique for several reasons, which I will discuss further later. The sections will explore the migratory history of Jews in Russia; the specific history of the emigration of the third wave; the particular struggles of the third wave, including those struggles of their ambiguous collective identity, of their own self-identity, and the challenge of finding a niche in the American job market.
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    An American in London: My Experiences in British Parliament
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 1996) Baldwin, Lorna A.; Barclay, David E., 1948-; Banks, Tony
    The following SIP is divided into three sections; a research paper, an annotated bibliography, and excerpts from my daily journal. While interning in Parliament, I conducted research on the topic of Great Britain's situation in the European Union, past, present and future. The first section of my SIP deals with this topic, focusing mainly on the Labour Party as it relates to Europe. Section two is an annotated bibliography of the sources used on this paper. The third section of my SIP is a personal account of my time in London in a journal format. Taken all together, these three sections form a broader view of British government and culture, not necessarily as separate entities.
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