Courses

Human rights have become a central and widely recognized standard for assessing a just and good society, judging good government, protecting vulnerable groups both at home and abroad and identifying standards for upholding human dignity. The human rights minor provides an academic space for addressing these concerns and for asking difficult moral and political questions. The courses listed in the minor provide a framework for analysis, and the internship opportunities link the classroom with practical experience through projects reflecting on the theory and practice of human rights. The minor incorporates a variety of disciplines, including literature, history, philosophy, political science, religion, sociology/anthropology, and women's studies. 

ANT-245  MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY AND POWER IN CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE  (4)
This course reviews marriage around the world such as polygyny, monogamy, polyandry, and homosexual and heterosexual unions and discusses the consequences for emotional bonds, power, sexuality, children, and financial arrangements.
(Cross-listed with WS-245)

ANT-340  WORLDS OF CULTURE: GLOBAL ETHNOGRAPHY  (4)
A sample of ethnographies offering detailed anthropological studies of a range of geographic regions and cultural themes. The course probes other cultures’ ways of knowing and how they deal with religion, ecology, economics, kinship, gender, health, language, and globalization.
Prerequisite: ANT-101

ENG-218  TOPICS IN ETHNIC AMERICAN LITERATURES  (4)
The study of works by members of ethnically defined groups (for example, Asian-American literature or Native-American literature). Approved topics listed below.

     ENG-218A: COMPARATIVE ETHNIC AMERICAN LITERATURE
Whether as a “melting pot,” a “salad bowl,” or a “mosaic,” we know that America is composed of multicultural, multiethnic, and multilinguistic traditions. This course engages a comparative understanding of racialized communities in American literature, including literary productions by authors of African American, American Indian, Chicano/a, Asian American, and Hispanic American traditions. Through comparative analyses, we will regard how textual productions by Americans of different backgrounds understand and negotiate their participation in the development of American cultures.

      ENG-218B: AMERICAN INDIAN LITERATURE
Literature by American Indian writers in cultural and political contexts. The course focuses on writers from the 1970s to the present but includes traditional narratives and nineteenth and early twentieth century authors. What does it mean to be an American writer? What cultural assumptions do we bring to our reading of literature? Readings include such figures as Zitkala Sa, Mourning Dove, James Welch, Simon Ortiz, Leslie Marmon Silko, Vine Deloria, Adrian C. Louis, Thomas King, Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, and Louise Erdrich.

ENG-352  STUDIES IN POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE  (4)
Study of literature written in nations that were formerly European colonies (for example, the literature of South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Canada). Approved topics listed below.
Counts toward post-1800 requirement
(Cross-listed with AS-352)

      ENG-352A: LITERATURE OF SOUTH ASIA, MIDDLE EAST, AND AFRICA
Using a historical introduction to provide a background for the debates involving the postcolonial condition and the struggle for personal, cultural, and/or national autonomy in formerly colonized areas or states, we shall proceed to an overview of the field of postcolonial literary theory to establish the context for our study before looking at postcolonial literature and films from former British colonies (and areas formerly under British control) in South-Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Occasionally, translations from works in the indigenous languages may be introduced to highlight contrasts and correspondences with work originally composed in English, or give a more inclusive view of the range and nature of responses to the colonial experience in these areas. Texts to be selected from works by, among others, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Sara Suleri, Bapsi Sidhwa, Mohsin Hamid, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ghassan Kanafani, Furugh Farrukhzad, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, Sami-ul-Qasim, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Tayyib Salih, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Bessie Head.

HIS-230   THE VIETNAM WARS  (4)
An examination of the origins, expansion, and consequences of the Vietnam War from Vietnamese and American perspectives. Topics include French colonialism, the rise of nationalism in Vietnam, the responses to imperialism, American foreign policy and the “wars” at home.

HIS-318   THE HOLOCAUST  (4)
Victims and perpetrators of German genocide, with emphasis on anti-Semitism, origins of the Final Solution, Nazi ideology, survivors’ memories and historiographical controversies.

HIS-335   BLACK PROTEST THOUGHT IN AMERICA FROM SLAVERY TO THE PRESENT  (4)
Political, social and ideological currents which influenced and shaped the black struggle for freedom, citizenship and equality.
(Cross-listed with AS-335 and REL-340)

HIS-342   A HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS  (4)
An examination of beliefs, practices and social structures among native North American groups from the seventeenth century to the present. Themes include: cultural diversity; European-American imperialism; environmental impacts; the politics and processes of “removal”; identity and citizenship; reservation life; and resistance.                                                                       

PHI-101   INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS  (4)
How ought we to live? What makes an act right, or a person virtuous? Is morality relative to culture? These are some of the questions we will confront in our critical examination of some major moral theories. Introductory level.

PHI-106   BIOETHICS  (4)
Recent moral issues in medicine, such as euthanasia, abortion, experimentation on human and other animal subjects, justice in providing health care and in the allocation of scarce resources.

PHI-109   ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS  (4)
An exploration of moral issues arising from relations among human beings, non-human animals, and the environment. Specific topics may include the value and moral standing of individuals, species, and ecosystems; biodiversity, development, and sustainability; and environmental justice and environmental racism.

PHI-112   CONTEMPORARY MORAL PROBLEMS  (4)
An introduction to applied ethics through a variety of issues. Topics may include ethical treatment of animals, abortion, poverty, euthanasia or the death penalty. Ethical theories will also be introduced.

PHI-145   PHILOSOPHY OF RACE  (4)
What is race? An examination of the evolution of the concept of race in the United States (focusing particularly on science and law) and contemporary philosophical treatments of race as a social construction with moral and political implications. Topics include: ethnicity vs. race; the intersection of race with gender, class, sexuality, disability and nationality; white privilege; and a current policy issue such as affirmative action.
(Cross-listed with AS-145)

PHI-212   MORAL PHILOSOPHY  (4)
An introduction to some of the West’s most significant and influential ethical theories through original texts. Works of Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, and Mill will be discussed.

POL-203   CONSTITUTIONAL LAW  (4)
Examination of the rights of individuals in the American constitutional framework. Includes issues of civil liberties and civil rights for women and minorities such as due process and equal protection. Emphasis on legal reasoning and the development of law.
Prerequisite: sophomore standing

POL-360   RIGHTS AT WORK  (4)
Examination of workplace issues and laws that govern the employment relationship. Special attention is given to race and sex discrimination, harassment and the legal processes for protecting employee rights.
Prerequisite: one 100-level course, POL-201 strongly recommended

REL-263   RELIGION, ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE  (4)
In this course we will investigate how a variety of religious ethics and social justice theories and practices address past and current social, cultural and political issues . We will learn about the ethical dimensions of individual and systemic practices in the context of religion, along with ethical reflection, decision making, and activism. Special focus will be on feminist and womanist approaches to ethics and women religious leaders. No prerequisite.
(Cross-listed with WS-263)                                                                      

REL-385   RELIGION, EDUCATION, AND ACTIVISM  (4)
In this course we will explore, through historical and current justice issues, the educational theories and practices of religious organizations, and grassroots movements for social change. Students will also engage and gain competence in the practice of human rights education through a variety of models of liberatory educational practices, including popular education, theatre for social change, community-based living, participatory action research, and movement building. Counts toward the Human Rights Minors
Prerequisite: one course in either Religious Studies or Education
(Cross-listed with EDU-385)

SOC-230  RACE, CLASS AND GENDER  (4)
Survey of the history, basic theories and recent research integrating these key concepts for modern society. Systematic examination of the effects of these variables on different groups in society.
Prerequisite: SOC-101 or ANT-101
(Cross-listed with WS-231 and AS-230)

SOC-301  COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS  (4)
Examination of organized efforts at social change through discussion of traditional and contemporary perspective relative to collective action and American social movements such as, but not limited to, civil rights and feminist movements.
Prerequisite: SOC-101 or ANT-101

SOC-325  URBAN LIVES  (4)
An exploration of social change, particularly the ways societal processes and social structures influence human behavior in urban settings. Issues such as deindustrialization, urban poverty, environmental pollution and gentrification will be discussed.
Prerequisite: SOC-101 or ANT-101

WS-110   INTRODUCTION TO QUEER STUDIES  (4)
An examination of interdisciplinary work in the field of queer studies about the making of marginalized identities, communities, and practices variously referred to as: queer, dyke, gay, intersexed, lesbian, transgendered, faggot, transsexual, butch/femme, two-spirit, third sex, hijra, tomboi, homosexual, sissies, bisexual, and gender queer, as well the concurrent construction of normative and non-normative heterosexual identities.

WS-235   WOMEN AND THE LAW  (4)
Selected aspects of American constitutional and statutory law that have a particular impact on women. Likely topics include: legal guarantees of race and gender equality, employment discrimination (including sexual harassment), affirmative action, marriage, rape, domestic violence, reproductive rights, pornography and prostitution.

WS-263   TOPICS IN WOMEN’S STUDIES  (4)
A detailed, critical analysis of a specific topic in Women’s Studies. Previous topics have included: Theorizing the Female Body, Women in Families, Marginalized Women Redefining Feminism, and Audre Lorde: Challenging and Transforming Feminist Thought. Course may be repeated for credit when subject matter warrants.
Prerequisite: WS-100

WS-340   CONTEMPORARY FEMINIST THEORY  (4)
A cross-disciplinary study of feminist theorists representing a variety of approaches.
Prerequisite: 100 or any philosophy course
(Cross-listed with PHI-340)

WS-363   ADVANCED TOPICS ON WOMEN’S STUDIES  (4)
A detailed, critical analysis of a specific topic in Women’s Studies designed for students with significant background in Women’s Studies and/or advanced undergraduates.
Prerequisite: WS-340 or permission of instructor.