Filling in your schedule can be a challenge. Thankfully, Georgetown offers an abundance of classes addressing issues of social and economic justice. We’ve curated a list of many of those courses here to help undergraduate students finalize their schedules. If you think there’s a course we missed, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact us at email@example.com.
Race & Racism in American Culture – 28688 – AFAM 206 – 01
Prof. Robert J. Patterson | MW 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
The central concern of this course is to investigate how race and racism have shaped black people’s experiences living in the United States. We will examine how race and racism have been (re)presented in African American literature, film, music, political manifestos, historical texts, and other cultural media, exploring the various ways that African American cultural producers and critics have engaged with these ubiquitous phenomena. Our readings and discussions of primary and secondary texts will consider the production and mutation of race and racism across historical epochs—from slavery to the post-civil rights era. The course rejects the notion of post-racialism and considers how this discourse re-entrenches racism. Moreover, we will consider, how, if at all, conversations surrounding race might move forward, and whether racism is so intractable that efforts to eradicate it might prove futile. That is, while exploring structural, representational, and material aspects of race and racism, we will keep our eyes focused on developing solutions to these problems. Of course, our energetic examinations of race and racism will take into consideration how other identities (class and gender, for example) nuance our understandings of race and racism.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writer Activist – 34303 – AFAM 318 – 01
Prof. Angelyn L. Mitchell | MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
This course will center on the writings of one of the most important writers of the 21st century, Ta-Nehisi Coates. We will be especially engaged with his important and influential essays first in The Atlantic and later in his book, We Were Eight Years in Power and his book, Between the World and Me. As a public intellectual, Coates has used the power of his pen to advance a number of issues essential to African American life and experience, including reparations, slavery, representation, leadership, racism, politics, police murders, and mass incarceration. Literacy, in the African American tradition, is a tool of activism; how does Coates contribute to the tradition of activism? We will examine the substance and effectiveness of Coates’s writerly activism as we also learn from the public histories Coates examines. We will read Coates with a number of his interlocutors, including James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, and Angela Davis.
Black Equity, Black Equality – 34304 – AFAM 406 – 01
Prof. Robert J. Patterson | M 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
This seminar examines anti-black racism within the criminal justice system to consider whether racial equity within the criminal justice system is even possible. In particular, we will analyze and debate how anti-black racism governs laws, policies, policing, juror selection, prosecutorial discretion, and the rights of the accused. We will think about how the norms and discourses we take for granted may reinforce and embed racism, and we will consider how philosophies that underwrite the criminal justice system parallel those of other American social institutions, including education. We will pay close attention to how race and racism intersect with other identities and oppressions as we attempt to understand the historical and contemporary dimensions of these problems. We will explore how humanistic and social science methodologies and theories can help us to contest ideas of color-blindness and race-neutrality that ultimately retrench black inequality. Beyond thinking about the problem, this course will challenge its participants to develop solutions to some aspect of the criminal justice system and/or a related institution. Students will have the opportunity to develop racial-bias training for police departments, juror bias-training, and other solutions that alleviate racial inequity in the criminal justice system. The purpose of the course is to provide thought-leadership on some of the key issues in criminal justice that stymie racial economic empowerment and justice and to propose new models for engaging these topics. While criminal justice remains our primary focal point, employment, housing, and education inequality and reform necessarily factors into our discussion.
Cutting Class: Turn of the Century – 34399 – AMST 344 – 01
Prof. Hall R. Howard | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
AMST 344: Cutting Class: Turn of the Century AMST 344 explores changes in cultural and intellectual life in America after the Civil War through the early 20th Century, with special attention to higher education as a reflection of those changes. We’ll reach for a feeling of the time period from a number of perspectives, but zeroing in on class and cultural stratification of the time, and the hardening boundaries between elite and popular, between high and low. With new outlets for leisure, consumption, and education, individuals and groups increasingly identified with particular slices of culture, including an increasingly prevalent “middlebrow” median. We will work through the lens of curriculum, what colleges (and then universities) were doing in the areas of teaching and learning, to understand the broader cultural history better. This course privileges and analysis of higher education as one way to read cultural history; students will work toward developing their own lens as well, exploring expressions of class and culture through many other means. Texts may include works by Sinclair Lewis, Mark Twain, George Santayana, Irving Babbitt, WEB Dubois, HL Mencken, Matthew Arnold, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others.
Police in Contemporary World – 31040 – ANTH 279 – 01
Prof. Amrita Ibrahim | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
In the light of public protests against police brutality in the United States and abroad, there is renewed interest in questions of police reform and accountability. What is the policing function and its limits, if any? What is the role of the police in a democratic society? How do racial and class structures produce powerful inequalities between the powers of the police and the communities in which they are embedded? How are we to think about the police as a force of law and order at a time when so much of their own practices seem unlawful, or worse, unjust? We will study the police not just in the US, but around the world. We will study police as an institution, as a set of disciplinary practices, as an agent of state power and monopoly, and as a mode of surveillance. You will read texts that explore the relationship of ‘police’ to notions of authority, legitimacy, violence, private property, and security. By the end of the semester, you will learn how to think critically about policing as a social problem that includes more than our commonsense notions of ‘the police’.
Anthropology of Human Rights – 34406 – ANTH 282 – 01
Prof. Laurie King-Irani | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
While anthropology is committed to exploring the diversity of human experience ethnographically through local frames of meaning, human rights organizations, United Nations bodies, and international humanitarian law and conventions emphasize universal norms that transcend cultural differences and local particularities. To what extent can these two perspectives be reconciled? What can anthropology tell us about the potential and limitations of established human rights discourses? Can anthropology help us rethink our conception of what it is to be human? What it means to have rights? How do anthropologists grapple with the ethical questions implicit in doing research in places where human rights violations have impacted the communities, and where dangers might still be present? Should anthropologists be advocates as well as analysts? This course explores the history, social construction, and practice of human rights from an anthropological perspective.
African American : Ethnography & Film – 34907 – ANTH 284 – 01
Prof. Rogaia Abusharaf | M 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Twenty-five years ago, the formidable African-American anthropologist St. Clair Drake wrote his germinal essay “Anthropology and the Black Experiences, “in which he pointed out to the enduring problems that continue to figure centrally in American society vis-à-vis racial justice, exploitation and “subordination by the power-holding elites…[caught in a web] of structures supported by an ideology of white racism.” The legacy of Atlantic slavery and the tenacity of this ideology has been captured by black anthropologists’ epistemologies and debates of the diverse intersections of race, class and gender. They wrote against the grain of a powerful establishment that tried to challenge their voices and intellectual capabilities to theorize the black experience in America. This course will trace the predicament of representation, social justice and race through close readings of foundational texts such as those by St. Clair Drake and others who produced ethnographic knowledges on race in America, the civil rights struggle well into current issues such as voters’ registration. We will trace these topics drawing from the theories and critiques of the dominant representational discourses on black communities in America. The radical nature of these critiques animates our readings on race and society in America today.
The Ethnographic Imagination – 32226 – ANTH 320 – 01
Prof. Gwendolyn Mikeil | W 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
An overview of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and written about cultural systems in a number of world regions. Using ethnographic case studies, the course explores the nature of anthropological research, concentrating on various schools of thought and approaches to ethnography, including early functionalism and more contemporary ethnography that focuses on experimental writing, collaborative ethnography, and historical approaches to studying culture. The anthropologists we will be reading examine such issues as “race,” political organization, gender roles, identity politics, the city, and violence.
This course addresses the evolution of Washington, D.C.’s built environment from L’Enfant’s 1791 plan to the modern era. The city’s development will be studied via a broad chronological perspective as well as individual case studies. Along with iconic monuments and government structures, we will explore a selection of the city’s residential housing, park space, embassies, and commercial buildings. The development of areas such as Southwest, Anacostia, Capitol Hill, Sheridan Circle-Kalorama and Foggy Bottom will be addressed. Questions to be considered include: How has the cityscape changed over time and what have been the key transformation drivers? To what extent have international design and historical precedent influenced the capital’s development? How have politics and government regulations shaped Washington, D.C.’s evolution? In what ways have issues of race and class impacted the built environment? Students will gain familiarity with architectural styles and the art ornamenting the city’s buildings will also play a role in our study. Current strategies for sustainable structures and development will be noted.
Heroes and Villains – 20312 – BADM 101 – 03
Prof. Robert J. Bies | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This seminar will examine the constructs, heroes and villains, as central to understanding character and leadership in a global context. The roots of the individual, social, and institutional ideals and values of different global cultures have been exemplified in the images of their heroes and villains—and those images shape our judgments of “good” and “bad” leaders. We will examine why some business leaders are viewed in heroic terms (e.g., Steve Jobs) while others are vilified (e.g., Martha Stewart) even though they may be very successful and have the same leadership style. The seminar will examine leaders from different global regions (e.g., United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America) and from different contexts (e.g., business, political, social justice). In analyzing these leaders, we will focus on their character and traits, the circumstances they faced, the choices they made in the face of those circumstances, and the consequences of those choices. In addition, we will explore different criteria that people may use to evaluate the consequences of a leader’s actions. We will also focus on the Hero’s Journey, a powerful storytelling concept introduced by the mythologist, Joseph Campbell. The Hero’s Journey will be a central organizing framework for this seminar, as a “lens” to understand and analyze the circumstances and choices that lead people down the path of the hero or the villain—while recognizing there is often a narrow, sometimes blurred, line separating the two paths.
Agitators, Pastors, Organizers – 34229 – CATH 113 – 01
Prof. Drew Christiansen | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Catholic Social Teaching is often called “The Church’s Best Kept Secret.” A set of documents laying out official Catholic teaching on economic, political and social issues, they cover issues as diverse as environmental justices, human rights, war and peace, and global human development. CST however, is only the most visible part of a complex interaction of social movements, pastoral teaching and social-pastoral action by formal church organizations and religious movements. This course will examine the interaction of the Catholic hierarchy (the Pastors) with social movements (the Agitators) and pastoral outreach (the Organizers) in the formulation and implementation of Catholic social teaching in the U.S. and in the world Church.
Poverty & Inequality – 26987 – ECON 156 – 01
Prof. Martin Ravallion | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
The course will provide a thorough introduction to economic thinking on poverty in the world and the policies used to fight poverty, from early times to the present day, spanning both (present-day) developed and developing countries. Students will learn about many key ideas of economic and philosophical thought—through the lens of understanding poverty. And they will learn how those ideas are put into practice. While the course is offered by the Economics Department, no prior knowledge of economics will be assumed, and students can come from any academic field. While economics is important to understanding and fighting poverty, the course will also draw insights from many other fields, including philosophy, the social and political sciences, statistics, health, nutrition science and education.
Shakespeare and the Other – 32097 – ENGL 114 – 01
Prof. Mary Jane Barnett | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Shakespeare and the Other asks how it is that some of Shakespeare’s most memorable “others”—his stigmatized and unruly women, a money-lending Jew, a noble African, and a New World cannibal—speak themselves so powerfully from the stage of an essentially conservative society. It asks students to consider whether these voices are silenced or otherwise contained when the texts conclude. In addition, through a combination of close reading and performance review, we will observe to what extent and in what way the choices made by actors and directors change our understanding of these characters, their motives, and their social identities. These wonderful plays present human experience both in its most particular and its most enduring form—in Shakespeare’s plays, “all the world’s a stage, and the stage is world. Students will view several performances on the screen and at least one, possibly two, on the stage, depending on what’s available in Washington over the course of the semester.
Asian American Literature – 34666 – ENGL 206 – 01
Prof. Christine So | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
In this class we will read a representation of Asian American literary texts and consider the debates that have shaped the field of Asian American literary studies. What grounds the concept of Asian American identity, given that many Asian Americans identify as specific ethnic Americans? We will identify the major historical events that have shaped Asian American experiences, and discuss how Asian American authors have represented exclusion, internment, global capitalism, assimilation, alienation, and protest. In short we will investigate how authors have claimed and created Asian American identities in different times and places and using different forms, from novels and memoirs to graphic novels and films.
Native American Literature – 32103 – ENGL 209 – 01
Prof. Lisbeth S. Fuisz | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course introduces students to a range of twentieth-century texts – short stories, novels, memoirs, and scholarship – by canonical Native American writers such as Zitkala-Sâ, Louise Erdrich, D’Arcy McNickle, James Welch, and M. Scott Momaday. It also examines some key moments in twentieth-century Indigenous film and visual arts. Drawing on tribal traditions and worldviews, these writers and artists grapple with the rich, complicated histories that have emerged from the contact between Indigenous Nations and the U.S. With a focus on the concepts of rhetorical and visual sovereignty, we will explore how these representative writers and artists express individual and tribal identities, revise stereotypes and contest colonization. For example, we will analyze how these artists reframe stories of victimization as narratives of survivance and strength. While respecting the specific cultural context of each writer/artist and the demands of the genre of each text, this course will identify shared thematic concerns and literary and visual strategies. To help us better appreciate the cultural work these texts do, we will also read scholarship by Indigenous writers and work by non-native scholars on historical and cultural issues relevant to the texts such as forced removal, Indian boarding school programs, museumification, and repatriation. The course will also investigate recent controversies over the representation and appropriation of Indigenous images in popular culture.
Latinx Literature Now – 34683 – ENGL 476 – 01
Prof. Ricardo L. Ortiz | M 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm
What is the state, and what are the stakes, of US Latinx literature, culture and media as the second decade of the twenty-first century comes to a close? What can literature (and the cultural practices it informs) tell us, what can it reimagine, and reshape, and resist, about the age of the DREAM Act and DACA, of “build the wall” and “s___-hole countries,” of drug wars, turf wars, and trade wars, of Hamilton the musical and Maria the storm, of “Despacito,” Camila Cabello and Cardi B, of a Cuban America after Castro and an LGBTQ America after Pulse, of One Day at a Time and MS-13, of baseball without Big Papi, and of the school-to-prison pipeline? And, finally, how does the field of Latinx literary, cultural and media studies shape this chaos into critical analysis and into critical knowledge, and how (can it?/does it?) direct that analysis and that knowledge back out to that chaos to address, engage and counter its violence? Primary readings will likely include Muñoz, What You See in the Dark, Díaz, This is How You Lose Her, Torres, We the Animals, Hudes, Elliot Trilogy, Limón, Bright Dead Things, Corral, Slow Lightning, Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human, Miranda, Hamilton, Machado, Her Body and Other Parties, Cassara, The House of Impossible Beauties, and García, Here in Berlin. Other course material will include recent creative work from popular and media cultures and recent scholarly work from Latinx literary, cultural and media studies.
Film and Media Studies
Gaming & Justice – 34258 – FMST 398 – 01
Prof. Amanda D. Phillips | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of game design through the lens of control systems and strategies of resistance to the often problematic content and practices of the video game industry. The course is part seminar, part workshop that will give students an introduction to the rhetorical devices of video games and virtual spaces and experience in manipulating those devices to create a prototype for a digital game or other interactive experience. Approximately half of the class meetings will engage students in traditional seminar-style lecture and discussion format, with the other half dedicated to guiding student groups in building theoretically-informed projects that will make a persuasive argument about or intervention on a social justice issue of their choice. This will give students experience in connecting theory with praxis, creating collaborative scholarship, working in new modes of literacy, and extending the uses of technology beyond those for which they were originally intended.
Trade & Worker Rights – 30173 – GBUS 464 – 01
Prof. Jeffrey Wheeler | R 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The evolving world of work is central to trade and foreign policy. Labor standards have become deeply integrated into trade agreements and preference programs, often triggering epic battles about whether they favor American workers and business, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They have also served as pillars in foreign policy and foreign assistance aiming at promoting human rights, good governance and economic growth through the labor sector, sometimes effectively and sometimes with unintended consequences. In the private sector, labor rights principles are being more deeply integrated into supply chain management and applied for responsible business practices and impact investment in private equity. The class will also explore the growth of joint private and public sector initiatives, including the incorporation of corporate social responsibility (labor, OSH and conflict minerals) into environmental electronics procurement requirements. It will take an interdisciplinary approach, focusing primarily on developing countries but there will be latitude to address countries, regions and subtopics in the students’ interest. Guest speakers will be invited to address key topics.
Gender, Health & Development – 32364 – GLOH 414 – 01
Prof. Alayne M. Adams | W 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
This course provides a broad, policy-oriented, introduction to the role of gender in global health and development. In recent years, growing awareness has produced a large scholarly literature and broad support for gender mainstreaming in global health and development, e.g. in advocacy around the post-2015 development agenda. The premise is that the gendered organization of societies and economies has important implications for the health of people and in turn for the development prospects of nations. While much of the literature focuses on particular challenges faced by women and girls, the course will also ask important questions relating to the neglected distinction between sex as a biological category and gender as a social category. In this class we will think about ‘gender’ as a metaphor for hierarchical relations between different groups, not just between men and women.
Although women and girls are typically the most directly affected by gender discrimination, there are important disadvantages faced by men and boys as well. This is particularly relevant when one examines the intersections of gender with class, age, race, and ethnicity. In many parts of the world today, poor young men seem to be falling off the development ladder. Similarly, thinking about the health impact of the social and economic disadvantages of women, we will look at the myriad ways in which these inequalities translate into poor health outcomes for others (e.g. children) and slow down economic and social development in general.
Education/Politics/Policymakng – 30238 – GOVT 237 – 01
Prof. Douglas S. Reed | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course is designed to acquaint students with the central issues in educational politics in the United States and the dynamics and effects of educational policies. We will be exploring the organization of elementary and secondary education, the nature of the interest groups and constituencies in education, the major current approaches to education reform and the effects of those reforms on students, teachers and other stakeholders. The course is lecture based, but will involve both student presentations and collaborative projects, as well. We will begin with an overview of the structure and financing of public education and then proceed through the following topics: nature of policy analysis, linkages between education and life outcomes; determinants of educational achievement and attainment; educational governance, including elections, mayoral control, vouchers and charters; labor and personnel issues; the standards and accountability movement; No Child Left Behind and the federal role.
Racial Liberalism, Law & Justice – 34560 – GOVT 281 – 01
Prof. Terrence Johnson | MW 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
The course will examine the relationship between race and liberalism in the formation of the U.S. legal system, focusing in particular on the use of law both to reinforce and repudiate legal codes and institutional practices designed to subjugate African Americans. Framed by the category of “racial liberalism,” the racialization of personhood, rights and public duties, the course will explore through court cases, trial transcripts, first-person narratives, and political philosophy how efforts to promote a color-blind society often undermined liberal theories of justice and lead to the deepening of racial and economic inequality.
Ethics of Incarceration – 32384 – GOVT 385 – 01
Prof. Nolan D. Bennett | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
In this seminar we will study the ethical and political dimensions of public policy by focusing on the ideas, institutions and history of American incarceration. Students can expect to read broadly from political science and theory, philosophy, history, sociology, and from the testimonies of those living within, working for, or acting against the carceral state. Our goal for the course will be to develop critical skills in analyzing the policies of incarceration according to the concepts of justice we find in history, law, and society. As such, we will be less concerned with whether mass imprisonment is “just” or “unjust” but how it determines justice and what its many institutions and ideas reveal about the democracy in which we live and act. We will begin by looking at theories of freedom and punishment fundamental to the United States, before working through a series of case issues in incarceration that will take us from the city to the jail to the prison and back again. By the end of the course, we will have built through reading, writing, and discussion a set of theoretical goals for incarceration in policy and practice and a working list of ethical challenges and solutions to issues such as solitary confinement, mental health, prison labor and privatization, life sentences without parole, race and immigration, felon disenfranchisement, and so on. In the last part of our seminar, each student will pursue original research to investigate a specific concern in the ethics and public policy of incarceration.
History Focus: US working lives – 33869 – HIST 099 – 17-20
Prof. Joseph A. McCartin | MW 5:00 pm – 5:50 pm
The general aim of HIST 099 is to introduce students to various elements of historical work and thinking, within the context of looking at a particular historical period, event, or theme in some depth. Though lectures and discussion will focus on particular topics, there will also be class exercises, assignments, and readings that will allow instructors and students to explore how historians identify, define, and employ primary sources of all types, how historians analyze those sources, how they formulate questions, how they engage with the work of prior historians, and how they aim to reconstruct various elements of the human experience in particular times and places.
These sections are taught by Professor Joseph A. McCartin, Director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative, and will focus on the history of working people in the United States.
Sex, Love, and Race in American Culture – 34757 – HIST 280 – 01
Prof. Marcia Chatelain | MW 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
This course discusses the political and social implications of sex, race and personal relationships in U.S. political and social history. In this class, we examine how ‘emotional’ experiences such as falling in love, having sex, getting married, coming out of the closet, and other deeply personal events in a person’s life are shaped by political, legal and historical forces. This course will examine the history of marriage rights, claims to ethnic identity, multiracial identity, sex education, and debates about marriage in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Jazz/Civil Rights/American Society – 34765 – HIST 388 – 01
Prof. Maurice Jackson | TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Jazz and Human Rights will trace social conflict and social progress through the study of Jazz music. Starting with its antecedents, the Negro spirituals of the mid and late 19th Century, and the development of Blues music at the beginning of the 20th century, we will explore how through lyrics and music, the African American people have expressed their desires for freedom and equality. From Duke Ellington’s Black Brown and Beige to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, to Charles Mingus’ Fables of Faubus and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, the sweet syncopations, and heartfelt realities of Jazz as music of freedom will be explored. We will look at how the music differed in various cities and areas of the country. We will look at similarities and differences among jazz musicians, black and white musicians. In addition to class readings, we will weekly listen to music; view audio clips of live performances and hear what the musicians themselves have to say. And most importantly, we will have fun as we learn.
Race/racism in the White House – 34767 – HIST 391 – 01
Prof. Marcia Chatelain | T 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
This course examines the relationship between race and the American presidency, as well as American electoral politics by examining the racial ideologies of presidents from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and others. The course will not only look at the perspective of leaders, but also their critics and supporters.
Researching Inequality – 33114 – INAF 200 – 01
Prof. Lidia Ceriani | TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Inequality is at the forefront of the public debate in much of the world. It has become a growing concern for policymakers, particularly because of its implications for social and economic development, public finance, and governance. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with different concepts of economic inequality, spanning from income and wealth inequality, to inequality of opportunity, relative deprivation, and poverty. For each topic, the course will analyze the relevant theoretical framework, measurement issues, empirical evidence, and available policy instruments. At the end of the course, students will have acquired the skills to conduct basic distributional analyses using real household survey data and to critically discuss recent case studies from developed and developing countries. This course is particularly tailored for sophomores and juniors interested in data research, and is accessible for students who have had Microeconomic Principles and some background in Statistics.
Business & Politics in Africa – 34715 – INAF 491 – 01
Prof. Scott D. Taylor | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Many scholars and practitioners in the developing world once held that the private sector was peripheral, if not antithetical, to development goals, preferring instead statist or nationalist approaches. Today, a more nuanced approach to development accounts for the states need to rely on resources and information provided by a viable private sector in order to formulate and implement effective economic policies. While hardly a paragon of “mature capitalism,” the increased relevance of African private sectors – spurred in part by marked changes in democratic and economic institutions beginning in the 1990s – is today undeniable. We can now at least begin to talk about African private sectors on their own merits, rather than in terms of their parasitism vis-à-vis the public sector. Private sector activity in Africa is also deeply influenced by external actors and the culture of business is both more diverse and dynamic than appreciated. How have business politics and the politics of business changed in the last two decades? This course aims to address these essential questions by investigating how business in Africa has been historically misconstrued, as well as through examination of business prospects. This course will examine the changing role and perception of the private sector in African development, and the interactions of businesspeople and business organizations with the African state. Certainly, the private sector role in Africa has been both positive and negative. We will explore the various tradeoffs and the implications for development and democracy, drawing on numerous country and firm cases from around the continent.
Justice and Peace Studies
Intro to Justice & Peace – 11829 – JUPS 123
Prof. Elham Atashi | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Prof. Elham Atashi | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Prof. Randall J. Amster | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
This gateway course surveys the histories, theories, concepts, actors, and pedagogies that compose the growing transdisciplinary field of justice and peace studies. We will familiarize ourselves with current issues in the field, as well as the movements and structures that both contribute to and provide obstacles to the creation and sustainability of a more just and peaceful world. The course presents a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives on peace and social justice, including: poverty, hunger, and homelessness; racism, sexism, and homophobia; violence, oppression, slavery, and colonization; and complex issues of sustainable development and humanitarian aid. Through historical and contemporary analyses, the course addresses critical issues of militarism, inequality, and injustice, emphasizing the development of viable alternatives. Enrolled students will have the option of adding a community-based learning (CBL) component.
Nonviolence Theory & Practice – 11831 – JUPS 202 – 01
Prof. Randall J. Amster | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course is designed to introduce students to a perspective on nonviolence that integrates theory and practice, drawing upon a wide range of literature and examples. A central aim of the course is to develop a holistic view of nonviolence as a set of practices that range from the personal and local to the national and global. The course seeks to foster an experiential engagement with the tenets of nonviolence, through participation in workshops, activities, and projects in the community and region. The overarching objective is to develop a systematic analysis of nonviolence in order to cultivate effective approaches to addressing contemporary challenges in society through nonviolent means, as well as envisioning and animating a world built on the tenets of nonviolence.
Imagination & Creativity – 29230 – MGMT 277 – 01
Prof. Robert J. Bies | TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace that judges them against the standards of “more, better, faster.” If a business is not doing more, or doing it better, or doing it faster, the chance of it surviving in the competitive global marketplace will become remote. Those companies that not only survive, but also thrive, recognize that to do it “more, better, faster” requires imagination and creativity. The purpose of this course is to help you master the skills of imagination and creativity. Toward that end, we will identify common “blocks” to creativity and innovation in business. In addition, we will upgrade your imagination skills and identify strategies and techniques to enhance your personal and professional creativity. To achieve these objectives will not only require hard work and discipline, but also a renewed appreciation for foolishness and play.
Modernism & the Black Composer – 34721 – MUSC 244 – 01
TBA | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course will focus on the lives and music of a select number of African-American composers of classical music from the 20th and early 21st Centuries. The course will provide an historical assessment of period during which these composers lived and worked as well as socio-economic factors that influenced productivity. Other topics of interest pertain to the effects of racism and sexism on these composers, their concept of black music as it applied to their craft, as well as issues pertaining to publication and performance. The lectures will be punctuated with readings, films, recordings, and short field trips to Georgetown University Archives and Special Collections.
Oppression & Justice – 34597 – PHIL 115 – 01
Prof. Gerald David Taylor | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
This course explores philosophical conceptions of oppression, as it occurs explicitly and implicitly in policies, practices, and behaviors. The course may cover: oppression based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and/or mental illness, and it may address questions such as: the meaning of oppression, forms of oppression, bystander responsibility, and possibilities for liberation from oppression. Specific topics and readings will vary by semester and instructor. Consult the relevant semester’s syllabus for more information.
Crime and Punishment – 34603 – PHIL 140 – 01
Prof. Joshua A. Miller | MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
This course investigates moral and philosophical issues in the criminal law. What acts ought to be criminalized? How can criminal punishment be justified, and what does it prohibit? What roles should rehabilitation, forgiveness, redemption, and mercy play in the criminal justice system? What special problems does the death penalty raise? How can just sentences be determined? What is the significance of racial and other discrimination for the criminal justice system? What are the proper limits of self-defense? How do such concepts as responsibility, mens rea, duress, necessity, and consent, as well as the distinction between justification and excuse, enter into a proper understanding of crimes and defenses against crimes? Our class activities will include a visit to the maximum security prison in Jessup, Maryland.
Intro to Community Psychology – 32577 – PSYC 252 – 01
Prof. Jennifer Woolard | TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
This course introduces students to the science and practice of community psychology, which emphasizes understanding and changing larger social contexts. Community psychologists work on many of the social issues facing communities today such as juvenile violence, homelessness, child abuse, and welfare reform. They combine theory, research, and action to promote health and prevent problems in communities, groups, and individuals. We examine the field’s major orienting concepts: stress and coping, prevention, empowerment, and resilience. We evaluate the field’s guiding principles: knowledge within a value system, the role of context, importance of diversity, commitment to social change, and orientation toward strengths. Because the field of community psychology resulted from psychologists’ active questioning of the prevailing models of science and practice, students will be encouraged to question and debate their views.
Flourishing: College & Community – 29316 – SOCI 111 – 01
Profs. Sarah Stiles & Carol R. Day | MW 10:00 am – 10:50 am
A student culture of excellence and ambition can become counterproductive when it escalates to the extent students seriously compromise their health — mental, physical, and spiritual — in the name of grades and resume-building. National survey data show Georgetown students suffer more than their fair share of stress. This course aims to pre-empt the stress and negative sequelae, by providing incoming students with the knowledge, self-care skills, and support systems they can call on to maintain a successful and healthy lifestyle well into their post-graduate life. This three-credit multidisciplinary course focuses on flourishing in individuals and communities. Flourishing will be considered as a public health outcome within a framework of individual well-being in college and within a campus community. Evidence-based factors that contribute to flourishing and well-being in individuals and society form the basis of this social science and health science course.
Race & Ethnic Relations – 34463 – SOCI 144 – 01
Prof. Leslie R. Hinkson | MW 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course offers an introduction to classic and contemporary research on racial and ethnic relations in the United States within the sociological tradition, which emphasizes the social constructionist perspective of race and ethnicity and the structures that maintain racial and ethnic patterns of inequality and power. It also examines the central tensions underlying race and ethnic relations.
Sociology of the One Percent – 34464 – SOCI 154 – 01
Prof. Peter W. Cookson | MW 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Hardly a day passes when the 1 percent is not in the news arousing political and moral passions. Today, less than 1 percent of Americans own nearly 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. The wealthiest 400 Americans are worth roughly $1.37 trillion. This amazing concentration of wealth at the top has been accompanied by a falling middle class and a growing number of Americans living in poverty. All of us have strong feelings about social justice and fairness and it is easy to grasp at simple solutions to complex problems. In this course, however, we move beyond moral and political posturing by examining the sociology of the 1 percent in order to understand the long-term significance of this concentration of wealth, its effect on our commonweal, and our common destiny as a people.
Global Development & Social Justice – 32613 – SOCI 220 – 01
Prof. Becky Hsu | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Out of the uneasy mix of missionaries, conquistadors, colonists, and humanitarians who populate its prehistory, poverty alleviation (in conjunction with the exercise of power) has evolved in the past six decades to become the field of global development as we know it today. Its dominant institutions became nationally and formally organized after World War II awakened the American conscience in a new way to the suffering of people in far-flung parts of the world, while at the same time, powerful national interests shaped the development enterprise more broadly. The goals of poverty alleviation have been realized to some extent; standards of living have risen to unprecedented levels since the 1990s. However, there are also apprehensions that global development is failing in some important ways. Some critics within the industry wonder how much people are really benefiting. This course is organized in roughly three sections: First, we examine research on what development interventions look like on the ground. What do people do, and how do people respond? How effective are the programs and projects? What are the outcomes?
In the second section, we examine various explanations for why we are seeing particular outcomes, including those that focus on development’s historical roots, global political and economic structures, and organizational logics.
Finally, the last section will look at various answers to the question, “How, then, should we proceed with global development?” A core part of one’s answer to this question depends on the definition of well-being one assumes. We will examine what “development as freedom” implies, as well as other conceptions of the good life and the use of happiness indexes around the world.
Environmental / Food Justice Movements – 30506 – SOCI 274 – 01
Prof. Yuki Kato | M 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
This seminar draws on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives in examining the similarities and differences between the environmental justice movement (EJM) and the food justice movement (FJM). EJM has a slightly longer history in the United States than FJM, and the two movements share notable similarities but with some key differences in terms of in terms of how they define and aim to resolve the problems of environmental injustice or food injustice. We begin by situating the emergence of EJM and FJM in the context of broader environmental and alternative food movements, both domestically and globally, and explore how various theoretical frameworks of the movements analyze environmental and food issues through the lens of social justice and human inequality, specifically on categories of race, class, and more recently, gender. Over the course of the semester we will examine various real cases of environmental and food justice activism, including both successful and failed attempts, and discuss each case in relation to the theoretical frameworks introduced in the seminar through the assigned readings and the lecture.
Theater and Performance Studies
Black Theatre Ensemble – 29884 – TPST 099 – 01
Prof. Soyica Diggs Colbert | TBA
This zero-credit faculty-mentored practicum is intended for students who participate with Black Theatre Ensemble in artistic, leadership, or community engagement projects. Students may engage in a series of small projects or a single immersive one, and will participate at key junctures with others in the cohort, such as for coffeehouse programming, MLK Jr Performances, workshops led by the Professor Caroline Clay, season planning, and/or dialogues on race, representation, and social justice via performance. This curricular pilot ties into BTE’s co-curricular learning community, led by Lisette Booty and Caitlin Oauno.
Francis, Catholic Social Thought & Public Life – 34488 – THEO 085 – 01
Prof. John Carr | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Pope Francis, Catholic Social Thought and U.S. Public Life: Principles, Policies and Politics is a seminar of less than 20 students which will analyze and discuss the principal themes of Catholic Social Teaching and their relationship to the leadership of Pope Francis. The seminar then will explore their applications to key issues in American public life, for example, poverty and the economy, immigration and religious freedom, protection of human life and the environment, war and peace. The seminar will also examine and discuss links between faith and politics, religion and the Trump Administration and the uses and misuses of Catholic Social Thought in American politics and policy debates.
Latino Church Doing Justice – 13428 – THEO 096 – 01
Prof. Charles G. Gonzalez | WF 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
A study of and a reflection on major influences – cultural, socio-economic, racial, spiritual, theological – which shape the Latino Church in the United States today and which will affect its future identities and roles in this country.
The Church & The Poor – 13432 – THEO 122 – 01
Fr. Raymond Kemp | TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am
This course explores the rich and varied tradition of Christian responses, over the centuries, to the perennial challenge of poverty as both an evangelical virtue and a sinful social structure. Resources include sacred Scripture, patristic teaching, official pronouncements and spiritual works, as well as the activity of religious orders and Church-related groups seeking to eradicate the causes of poverty, as well as to alleviate its symptoms. Attention will also be paid to liberation theology and current Church involvement in the struggle for social justice and integral development at local, national, and international levels. This course is part of a disability studies cluster, which will include lectures and interactive workshops with leading disability scholars and activists.
Women’s and Gender Studies
Intro Women’s/Gender Studies – 18351 – WGST 140 – 01
Prof. You-me Park | TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies explores the broadly and critically defined “genealogies” of women’s and gender studies, investigating key concepts, theoretical debates, ideologies, and historical significance of the discipline of Women’s and Gender Studies. Drawing from multidisciplinary perspectives and materials, we attempt to construct a theoretical framework that will be helpful and challenging to our pursuit of a just world in which both women and men can celebrate themselves and each other.
Feminist Thought I – 18355 – WGST 200 – 01
Prof. Elizabeth A. Velez | M 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
This course will examine a variety of feminist theories–from eighteenth and nineteenth century writers such as Wollstonecraft and Mill through the radical feminist discourse of Ti-Grace Atkinson and Shulamith Firestone to contemporary writers and activists. The class will focus on central and recurring debates within feminist theory and practice: debates between essentialism and social constructionism; between liberal reformism and radical transformation; between the politics of sameness and the politics of difference. We will also examine how feminist theories have attempted to reckon with the challenges of poststructuralism and the critiques offered by women of color. The intersections of race/ethnicity and class with the category of gender will also offer a central analytic strand throughout the course.
Violence/Gender/Human Rights – 18359 – WGST 260 – 01
Prof. You-me Park | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Anyone entering the thickets of argument relating to violence, gender, and human rights today has to contend with the range and variety of meanings that these concepts have accrued in current usage. While there is broad consensus that there does exist a contemporary crisis around global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it, how the relationships between globalization and human rights violations, and between violence against women and redefinition of human rights, are to be interpreted, and what is to be done about it is matters of vigorous intellectual and political debate. This class aims to explore the gendered manifestations of violence in public and private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization, development, and human/civil/citizen rights. We will pay attention to banal violence (that is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis, and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphases will be given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care, homophobia, militarism, and globalization.
Mastering Hidden Curriculum – 35279 – UNXD 50
Profs. Soyica Diggs Colbert & Marcia Chatelain | R 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Profs. Ricardo L. Ortiz & Sabrina Wesley-Nero | R 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
This course will introduce and equip incoming first-generation college students with the skills and cultural capital to navigate Georgetown’s academic community and collegiate environment. The course deepens students’ writing, analytical, and public speaking skills by combining a multidisciplinary approach with a subject matter emphasis on exploring the first-generation college student identity. By the end of the course, students will gain knowledge of available GU support systems, tools for academic empowerment, and a greater understanding and awareness of their identity.