Let These Courses Be Your Springboard for the New Semester
For those of you seeking interesting courses to round out your schedule for the Spring Semester, you’re in luck. The following is a sampling of undergraduate courses that touch on labor and economic justice issues in line with the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s mission. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions.
Reading Motherhood – 29805 – ENGL 271 – 01
Prof. Pamela Fox and Prof. Elizabeth Velez | TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Motherhood is deemed one of the most ‘natural’ experiences binding women together across time and space. But as feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich famously argued in her landmark work Of Woman Born, it is also a social institution with its own history and ideology.
Our course examines this institution as a shifting, historically and culturally specific phenomenon given particularly potent life in cultural representations: that is, the literature, film, television, advertising, video, comics, etc. that surround us in everyday life. Analyzing foundational criticism and theory about motherhood alongside a variety of predominantly U.S. cultural texts — from I Love Lucy, Imitation of Life, and varieties of poetry to Roseanne, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and the recent documentary Google Baby — we explore how differing notions of motherhood are constructed, contested, negotiated.
One premise of the course is that motherhood cannot be universalized as an experience or as a right (not all women are urged or even permitted to mother); it is not innate or necessarily a biological relation. And while the syllabus focuses largely on the U.S., its structure will address how western and non-western political relations are increasingly embedded in global circuits of motherhood via transnational adoption, surrogacy, and reproductive technologies.
Methods of Lit / Cultural Studies – 24229 – ENGL 090 – 03
Prof. Pamela Fox | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course aims to give students a coherent understanding of various theoretical and critical tools used to interpret texts by introducing them to strategies of close reading and to larger discussions regarding textual analysis. Although the course will not encompass the entire history of literary and cultural criticism, it will examine a range of schools and methods. These schools and methods will be grounded historically and will be situated and contextualized within larger critical conversations that have developed over time. Specifically, we will explore a range of theoretical approaches to literature and culture in concert with reading several of the works of Shakespeare. While critical theory tends to draw ideas and perspectives from “non-literary” fields such as history, linguistics, psychology, and economics, many of theory’s innovators have developed their ideas through reading the plays and poetry of Shakespeare. We will not only consider the ways in which Shakespeare’s texts have influenced the formation of various theoretical perspectives, but we will also read from his work across different literary genres, and study literary criticism from different theoretical schools on these plays and poems.
Labor Economics – 29694 – ECON 481 – 01
Prof. Susan B Vroman | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
This course will examine the main theoretical and empirical issues regarding how labor markets work. The material will cover standard topics such as labor demand, the decision to work, human capital, discrimination, migration, unions, wage setting practices within a firm, and unemployment. The course will also examine how human capital and labor market outcomes interact with marriage, divorce, fertility, and crime. An emphasis will be placed on the dramatic changes in the wage and employment structure of the labor market over the last four decades. Empirical techniques will be covered to enable students to evaluate and conduct an empirical analysis.
Dept Sem: Marxism in 20th Century – 29674 – GOVT 440 – 01 Prof. Eusebio M Mujal-Leon | W 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
This course will analyze the works of some important (primarily European) 20th- century European Marxists and place their ideas within the political contexts in which they were active. Our discussion will have a dual perspective. We shall explore their efforts to account for the failure of revolutions to materialize along the lines predicted by Karl Marx and also consider the innovations and revisions they elaborated in adapting Marxist ideas and doctrine to the situations in their respective countries or areas of the world.
Politics of Inequality – 27793 – GOVT 240 – 01 Prof. Matt Carnes, SJ | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Inequality – economic, social, and political – has emerged as a major political concern around the globe in recent years. What is inequality, and what factors contribute to it? What are its impacts, and how concerned (or not) should we be about them? This course examines the politics of inequality in comparative perspective, examining evidence and cases from Latin America (historically the most unequal region in the world), Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States. Drawing mainly on the disciplines of political science and economics, students will analyze competing definitions of inequality, explore the political and social causes that give rise to it, examine policies designed to combat it, and trace out its implications for economic opportunity and political participation. . History
Hist Focus: Great Depression – 25897 – HIST 099 Prof. Joseph McCartin | TR 10:00 am – 10:50 am
This is a course that introduces students to the art of historical interpretation by looking at the Great Depression from many angles: social, economic, political, cultural. It provides an opportunity for students to use many different kinds of sources to understand the Depression: literature, film, oral history, government documents, newspapers, and more.
Freedom Struggles: African Diaspora – 29615 – HIST 297 Prof. Maurice Jackson | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course will examine the intellectual, social, political, religious and political history of the select African, Caribbean and African American Freedom Movements. Beginnings with the first written expressions of liberty by former enslaved Africans in the late 18th Century-we will travel the path of ideas and actions along several centuries. The class will begin by looking at the various origins of the concept of race and the ideas and ideologies that it has evoked. Special attention will be paid to the notions and concepts people of Africa and its Diaspora have used to combat theories and systems of racial inferiority to and develop their own philosophies for freedom and equality throughout the world. The ideas of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Maria Stewart, Martin Delaney, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. And their contemporaries will be studied. We will also look at ideas of African and Caribbean leaders whose works have had tremendous influences on African Americans. Among those will be C.L.R. James, (Trinidad) Amilcar Cabral (Guinea) Frantz Fanon (Martinique) Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) and others. Theories of Pan Africanism, Black Nationalism, Negritude, Marxism and Communism, and those of Black organizations from the Niagara movement to the Black Panther Party to the liberations movements in Africa will be explored.
African-American Life in Washington DC – 29638 – HIST 497 Prof. Maurice Jackson | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course will explore African American life and culture in the city from 1791 to the present. Washington, DC is “a city where the American dream and the American nightmare, pass each other daily, on the street and do not speak,” wrote an anonymous American some time back. She was speaking about the plight of African Americans who had not benefited from the American Dream, in this majority black city. In fact, it is only since the early 1970s that anyone black or white could vote for national or local office in the nation’s capital. In this class we will explore the city where Duke Ellington was born, and where Frederick Douglass died. We will look first at Washington DC, as a city of slaves, and then as a city of freedmen and women and home to the Freedman’s Bureau. Then we will look at how the city and its African American population developed over the 20th and into the 21st Century. We will explore issues or race, class, sex, the riots of 1919 and 1968, education, gentrification and political activity. We will study the migration of Blacks from the American South, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, (some who came to work and others to attend Howard University and other schools) all who brought something special to the make up of Washington, DC. The end results with be a research paper on a topic of your choosing.
Human Science . Environmental Justice – 24359 – HSCI-419
Prof. Rosemary Sokas | W 12:30 – 3:00 PM
The world we inhabit, including cities, transportation systems, food supply, energy production, and other aspects of modern life are the product of the work of human hands, as are the wastes and hazards produced. Disparate exposures to the hazards and unequal distribution of the benefits of modern life cause injustice that leads to health disparities. This course will explore how to critically explore hazards, develop collaborative solutions using community-based participatory research principles, and evaluate those solutions to promote environmental justice and reduce environmental and occupational health disparities.
The Catholic Peace Tradition – 29736 – INAF 434 – 01 Prof. Drew Christiansen, SJ | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course examines the historical development of Catholic thinking, spirituality, and practice of peace from the New Testament to the present through texts, biographies and the history of Catholic peace movements. The first half of the course will survey the history; the second half will be devoted to biography and spirituality. Contemporary authors will include Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, and Thomas Merton. Movements covered will include: Pacifism, Nonviolence, Just Policing, Just Peace, and World Community.
Justice and Peace Studies
Labor/Sexuality/Globalization – 13819 – JUPS 224 – 01 Prof. You-me Park | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course explores the junctures of globalized labor, national “development,” and the “postcolonial” world system by exploring the concepts of labor, sexuality, and bodies. When and how do we become “workers”? How do we imagine and represent sexualities and bodies in the contexts of national developments and policy making procedures? How do third world workers negotiate their agency from the positionality of the “subaltern”? We will read and discuss literary and cultural texts, fact-finding documents, and theoretical investigations so that the more rigorously historicized concepts of labor, sexuality, and globalization enhance our understanding of social justice, equality, and violence prevention.
Immigration & Social Justice – 30111 – JUPS 410 – 01 Prof. Diana M Guelespe | R 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
This course will examine the history, policies, and social forces that have shaped migration to the United States, focusing in particular on the post-1960s period. We will discuss global patterns of movement, migrants’ rights, and the sociopolitical and economic factors that contribute to the movement of people. We will review the history of U.S. immigration policy, responses to past and current waves of migration, and immigrant integration. Given the contentiousness of the issue of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., we will focus on understanding the social and legal construction of one’s immigration status, federal and local efforts to control unauthorized migration, and the immigration reform debate. The second half of the course will be spent exploring the life experiences of undocumented immigrants in the areas of education, health, housing, and employment. We will also discuss the DC-immigrant community, including the challenges they face and efforts to assist them by faith-based and community-based organizations. Class discussions will be based on guest speaker presentations, documentary films, and assigned readings, including books, research articles, reports, ethnographies, and testimonies.
Music as Labor – 28376 – MUSC 328 – 01 Prof. Benjamin J Harbert | TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Music is often understood as art, expressive culture, and organized sound. But when examined as a type of labor, we can ask a wide range of new questions about why music is important: What are reasons for divisions of labor in commercial music? Why is singing and listening to music while working effective? How does music reflect or resist arrangements of capital? The seminar will look for answers in a survey of work songs, the history of music unions, and through untangling the complex world of concert and recorded music (popular, folk, and classical). Critical readings on labor will provide strong ideas and language for understanding musical practice as a labor practice. We will also look for ways in which musical practice is a unique form of labor—bound to authenticity, cooperation, culture, and creativity. Attending the first class is mandatory.
Philosophy . Ethics: Oppression & Justice – 29753 – PHIL 115 – 01 Prof. Michael Randall Barnes | MW 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
The theme for this course will be an examination of three major concepts in moral philosophy: oppression, exploitation, and injustice. Although these terms are widely used and have powerful rhetorical force, they are often left under-defined. Therefore, in this course, we will aim to develop a clearer conception of what these terms mean. What are the features of oppressive social relationships? How do we determine who is oppressed and who is an oppressor? What duties might follow from these identifications, and do these duties fall on individuals or broader groups, such as the state? Throughout, we will be considering how injustice and social oppression relate to material inequality, and furthermore, to the possible exploitation of one group/individual by another. To get clearer on this issue, we must ask: what is exploitation, is it wrong, and if so, why? We will look at a variety of responses to these questions, drawing on both contemporary and historical writers, including Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, and Mill. The aim of this course will be to deepen our understanding of these key concepts, philosophical frameworks, and ethical questions through the study of high quality philosophy texts as well as short films. Evaluation will be done on the basis of three short (approx. 4-7 pages) papers, brief reading responses, and class participation.
Public Policy . Prog & Policies: US Labor Market – 29834 – PPOL 617 – 01 Prof. Harry Holzer | W 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
This course will review policies designed to affect employment outcomes in the U.S. Topics will include minimum wage and overtime laws, job training, career and technical education, community college, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, immigration policies, equal opportunity laws and Affirmative Action, and occupational safety and health regulation. . Sociology
Engaging Diff. Race Ethnicity – 30501 – SOCI 244 – 01 Prof. Leslie Hinkson | MW 9:30 am – 10:45 am
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. While the course’s focus is on the United States, we will devote some attention to intergroup relations beyond this country’s borders as a means of illuminating the definitions of and the roles that race and ethnicity play in shaping America’s identity and social fabric. As a requirement of this course, students will partake in A Different Dialogue as its lab component. This intergroup dialogue lab will allow students to extend their understanding of the course materials and draw connections to social identities such as their own race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and social class.
Law and Society – 28139 – SOCI 192 – 02 Prof. Sarah Stiles | TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course has three complementary parts. Students begin with an overview of the U.S. justice system. We pay special attention to the last 35 years and the impact of the War on Drugs on society, especially mass incarceration. This is followed by a section focusing on “Hot Topics” in the law. Students will read and brief landmark Supreme Court cases on such topics as, same sex marriage, gun ownership, climate change, campaign finance, and the criminalization of poverty. Students, in small groups, choose one topic they will be an expert in and create an informative website and accompanying short video informing fellow Millennials why they need to know about it and what they can do about it. Finally, students have the opportunity to make it real through mock trials. Playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students learn the mechanics of a trial and create legal strategies to best represent their clients. It all comes together when students enact the trials in courtrooms at Georgetown Law with legal professionals serving as judges.
Race, Society & Cinema – 30056 – SOCI 133 – 01 Prof. Sarah Stiles | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
This course takes a chronological look at the depiction of race and ethnicity in the U.S. film industry and its impact on society. The course focuses on 6 races/ethnicities, African American, Arab, Asian, Latino, Native American, and European American (white) and examines the power of storytelling to create a cultural identity. Beginning with the silent era and continuing to the modern day, students view classic as well as little known films and learn the context in which the films were produced, directed, and acted. Using a sociological lens, students will study and discuss the impact of stereotyping, stigma, politics, and market forces. . Theology
Creation, Liturgy, Work – 30829 – THEO 101 – 01 (new window) Prof. Erik van Versendaal | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
What role do human persons have in the natural world? Our contemporary ecological crisis forces us to ask about the place of human dwelling and labor in relation to the Earth. The first part of this course will enter into the problem by asking what the cosmos is, taking its bearings from a Judeo-Christian view of the world as created. We will look at how classical philosophers and theologians accounted for the goodness and beauty of the universe, its relation to the divine, and the role of human intelligence and freedom in cultivating the Earth and other creatures. Part 2 will explore the relationship between nature and worship, and consider whether liturgy is meant to inform our daily labor, or whether these are distinct spheres of life. Part 3 will enter into contemporary philosophical discussion of technology, and ask whether a Christian view of the world counters or exacerbates the abuses of nature. Here we will also seek to articulate an adequate view of the meaning and dignity of human making and work, and will take the poetry of the Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins as a guide in this attempt.
Struggle & Transcendence – 15427 – THEO 041 – 01 Fr. Raymond Kemp | TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am
The course will apply the theological method of Bernard Lonergan, S.J. to four phases of the African-American struggle in order to discern and describe the transcendent presence of God. We will examine how, when, and where God shows up in the experience of African-Americans. We will look at four periods: (1) Contemporary Black Culture, (2) The Civil Rights Movement, (3) Reconstruction and Turn of the Century, and (4) Slavery. We will understand the theological method of Lonergan and apply it to these four phases of the struggle in an effort to understand faith, and its impact on the struggle of African-Americans. Lonergan’s notions of cognition, history, dialect, doctrine, conversion, and bias will be treated.
The Problem of God – 15407 – THEO 001 – 11 Prof. Kerry Danner-McDonald | MTR 11:00 am – 11:50 am
An examination of the religious dimension of human experience and consciousness in relation to a number of problems and challenges: the problem of knowledge; the relation of faith and reason; various historical, social and existential determinants of belief; the challenge of atheism and humanism; the impact of secularization on religion.
Women’s and Gender Studies
Labor/Sexuality/Globalization – 13819 – JUPS 224 – 01 Prof. You-me Park | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
This course explores the junctures of globalized labor, national “development,” and the “postcolonial” world system by exploring the concepts of labor, sexuality, and bodies. When and how do we become “workers”? How do we imagine and represent sexualities and bodies in the contexts of national developments and policy making procedures? How do third world workers negotiate their agency from the positionality of the “subaltern”? We will read and discuss literary and cultural texts, fact-finding documents, and theoretical investigations so that the more rigorously historicized concepts of labor, sexuality, and globalization enhance our understanding of social justice, equality, and violence prevention
Nonviolence Theory & Practice – 22609 – JUPS 202 Prof. Mark Lance | MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Is nonviolence a viable option for social and political change in today’s world? Or is it merely an idealistic lifestyle choice? The word “nonviolence” is frequently misunderstood and abused, tending to be defined in the negative. It can be used in very narrow or broad constructs and can be based on a wide variety of philosophies and practices. This course will use numerous case studies, readings on philosophy, theology and strategy, and experiential exercises to examine the roots and directions of both principled and pragmatic ACTIVE nonviolence. The question remains: can we struggle for a just world while at the same time, not use the methods of oppression? Can nonviolent struggle be effective? What’s the difference between conflict resolution and nonviolent struggle?