Course Catalog

We are currently showing you 27 courses.

Course Title Department

Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

Department: American Civilization
This course examines the histories of radical social movement organizations and individuals from the Black, Latinx, Asian, and Native American communities. We will explore their greatest achievements along with their deepest pitfalls, and ponder the teachings these experiences can provide for us today. Students will heavily utilize primary sources--film, theater, paintings,...
American Civilization

It's a Material World and I am a (Cultural) Material Girl: Thinking with Things

Department: Anthropology
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. What's with all this stuff?! Computers, phones, clothes, books, toys, buildings... from the objects we use each day...
Anthropology

Black Lives Matter Less: How Structural Racism Affects the Health of Black Lives and Communities

Department: Biology
Black people in the US have shorter life expectancies, live with more physical and mental illness, and have more disability than White people. This course will help students connect health inequities to systematic racism in our society and its institutions, with a particular focus on the criminal justice and law enforcement system.Using a public health lens, this...
Biology

Literature, Culture, and American Identities

Department: English
This course is designed to expose students to the diversity of contemporary American literature while developing interpretative skills for the close reading and written analysis of texts. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with major concepts in literary and cultural studies such as globalization, democracy, diaspora, genre, and representation. Through...
English

Narratives of Revolution and (post)Colonialism: Race, Gender, and Human Rights

Department: English
The objective of this course is to have students develop their critical-thinking skills orally and in written form and to engage with questions of race, gender, and human rights through readings and screenings of postcolonial narratives. Students will partake in discussions of colonialism in Africa, and engage with a diverse canonical corpus comprised of film, theory, and...
English

Who Are You To Judge? Modernist Fiction and Judgment

Department: English
Who is allowed to judge? Who is capable of it? Can the individual who judges separate herself from the judged? And by what law, category, and ethical right does judgement take place? This course will examine in what ways judgement, both juridical and social, becomes a problem in the twentieth century. By looking at questions of race, class, ethics, and philosophy, we will...
English

Writing from the Margins: Ethnic Literature and the American Dream

Department: English
This course aims to highlight the importance of ethnic literature to the American literary canon. We will do so by investigating what ethnic writers and texts have to say about the shared ideals—such as freedom, democracy, and equality—that constitute the “American dream.” The course seeks to demonstrate that ethnic literature provides prescient critiques of how...
English

The Struggle (against) Civil Rights: From the Civil War to Now

Department: History
The history of race in America is often told as a linear story of progress, beginning with the emancipation of slaves during the Civil War, continuing with the expansion of civil rights in the twentieth century, and culminating with the election (and re-election) of Barack Obama. After his two-term presidency, when many imagined, briefly, that we had entered a post-racial...
History

Representing the 'Forever Wars': Culture and Global Debates Since 9/11

Department: Media Studies
This course takes as its starting point the fact that cultural production - in the form of literature, film and art - both teaches and contests the past and present. Therefore, producers of culture are often involved in major social and political debates using various cultural media to create and challenge narratives that governments, politicians, corporations and ordinary...
Media Studies

The *@#%* Media: Pulling Back the Curtain on Fake News

Department: Media Studies
We are going to focus on how the media covers three hot button issues. Our topics include the Donald Trump campaign and Presidency, the Black Lives Matter movement, and what happens when athletes speak up on topics outside the lines of sports. Together we will get closer to the media and determine whether there is a universal truth to reporting.Everywhere we turn—from...
Media Studies

Jazz and Hip Hop

Department: Music
This course is an exploration of Jazz & Hip Hop music and cultures, delving into their origins, impacts and similarities through a survey of their historical development, political significance, and social influence. We will explore how hip-hop has made bridges cross-culturally among not only Black communities nationally and internationally, but also among Latino and Asian...
Music

Contemporary Moral Issues

Department: Philosophy
Is abortion morally permissible? How about torture? Capital punishment? Is eating meat morally wrong? Are we morally required to help those in poverty? How do we take steps to rectify racial injustice (affirmative action, reparations, etc.)? Is pornography morally objectionable?

People have strong, conflicting beliefs about how to answer these questions. Often, these beliefs...
Philosophy

Contemporary Moral Issues: Bioethics and the Ethics of Technology

Department: Philosophy
This class surveys a range of ethical issues ranging from classic debates on abortion and euthanasia to those arising from emerging technologies, such as Big Data. In doing so, the course also aims to sharpen students' skills at critical thinking, analysis, and argumentation. In particular, students will learn how to dissect and analyze arguments with visual maps; they will...
Philosophy

How to Live: Ethical Perspectives from Buddhism, Islam, and Native Americans

Department: Philosophy
How should we live? How should we relate to others, our world, and ourselves? Of course we have all heard many answers to these questions. In fact, it sometimes seems as if we've heard it all before. This course offers some answers that may be new to us. It will introduce us to the ethical perspectives of Buddhism, Islam, and Native Americans. By going beyond the fragments...
Philosophy

Brothers in Arms: War, States, and Human Rights

Department: Political Science
Wars have scarred our world. They shape and define the political units we live in, they affect our economic lives, from the content of our shopping cart to the price of gas, and they infiltrate into our very social networks, defining friends and foes. For some, wars claim even greater prices. For others, wars are not only beneficial, but crucial for survival. In this course...
Political Science

Creating Change Through Public Policy

Department: Political Science
How do major, transformative changes in public policy take place? Why do some big public policy reforms succeed while others fail or languish for decades? Major public policy changes often begin in the orderly world of analysis - but end in the messy world of partisan politics. To succeed, a new initiative has to coincide with a political climate and a leadership capacity...
Political Science

Debating Democracy: Reform and Revolution

Department: Political Science
Can social and political reform ensure that all are free to participate in a democratic society? Or is revolution sometimes needed? What is revolution, anyway? And what is reform? How has this distinction been developed in the history of democratic political thought, for example in relation to the distinction between representative and direct democracy? What is needed today?

We...
Political Science

Democracy Matters

Department: Political Science
Why don’t Americans vote, and why don’t American youth know better? Voter apathy is a longstanding characteristic of U.S. democracy. With barely 60% of all eligible voters casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election, the United States ranks near the bottom among its peers (28th out of the 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)...
Political Science

Ethics and Law in Democracy

Department: Political Science
This course will take a deep look at some of the issues facing our democracy from the perspectives of the law, ethics, and political philosophy. Though the lens of classic and contemporary texts in moral and political philosophy, judicial opinion, and current events we will examine questions like: Should a nation sell the right to immigrate? What is the proper role of money...
Political Science

Taking Life to Save Life: War, Media and Humanitarianism

Department: Political Science
War. The bloody history of the 20th century is littered with them. The muddy trenches of World War II, the jungles of Vietnam and the deserts of Iraq are by now familiar images. But for those of us growing up in the 21st century, war in our time appears more chaotic and difficult to understand. Who is the enemy? Where is the enemy? Do battles have frontlines anymore, and...
Political Science

Terrorism in the United States

Department: Political Science
Nearly fifteen years after 9/11, terrorism continues to be a pressing security concern and a ubiquitous topic of conversation. It shapes domestic and foreign policy on an impressive array of issues, it is frequently mentioned in political debates, and it often appears in sensational newspaper headlines. In nearly all of these instances, though, the topic of discussion is...
Political Science

What Are Prisons For? Rethinking Social Norms and Deviance

Department: Political Science
Why do prisons exist? As recently as the 1970s, respected criminologists predicted the demise of the prison. Yet in the last few decades, the United States has been home to the largest expansion of prisons in modern history. Far from remaining institutions “out there,” prisons affect everyday lives in complex ways. Things we buy are made by prisoners. City and state...
Political Science

The Emerging Science and Psychology of Marijuana

Department: Psychology
This course provides students access to cutting-edge biological and psychological research methods through a focus on marijuana. While marijuana is one of the most widely used psychoactive substances, and its use dates back thousands of years, scientists are only now just starting to scratch the surface in our understanding of how marijuana use impacts human health and...
Psychology

Believing in Business: Religion and Capitalism From Slavery to Silicon Valley

Department: Religious Studies
Recognizing that business organizations and capitalist principles shape the United States and the wider world in powerful ways, this course asks how and why this has occurred. To answer these questions, students will examine ideas, practices, people, and institutions typically understood as religious. Although we often think about religion as something that occurs primarily...
Religious Studies

Gender, Race and Class in Medical Research and Practice

Department: Sociology
This course looks at the ways in which historic ideologies about gender, race and class have influenced the practice of medicine. Thinking sociologically about the intersections of these and the practice of medicine, we will explore how medical research has justified, for example, involuntary medical experimentation on the basis of these views, and the ways in which medical...
Sociology

Social Impact of Natural and Manmade Disasters

Department: Sociology
This interdisciplinary course focuses on natural and human-initiated disasters and their impact on human life. We will explore how social dynamics such as culture, inequality and social structure influence vulnerability and shape how people face, respond, recover, or fail to recover from disasters, and examine as well how the media impacts the development of empathy or apathy...
Sociology

Unpacking Race in the U.S.: Theory, Concepts and Lived Experience

Department: Sociology
We often learn about race from "sound bites" in the media or experiences with family and friends which can be limited in scope. This course will provide an opportunity to thoughtfully analyze the social construction of race. We will take a historical look at how race is categorized and institutionalized in the U.S. and learn key concepts used to maintain racial...
Sociology