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HUMAN RIGHTS COURSES FALL 2017
SOCIOLOGY
SOC 310: Racial and Ethnic Diversity │Jean Beaman TR 09:00 10:15; TR 10:30
11:45, UNIV 203
This course is a sociological examination and analysis of the presence and significance of race
and ethnicity in our society. The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation and critical
framework for assessing the origins and manifestations of race and ethnicity. Race and ethnicity
have historically been one basis for differentiation and stratification in the United States and other
societies, and this persists today. In this course, we will examine the emergence of race and
ethnicity as concepts, and how they shape our everyday lives. We will be guided by the following
questions: Why do we study race and ethnicity? How and why are they relevant in our society?
How do we experience race and ethnicity, and how has this changed over time? Topics include
multiculturalism and diversity; media representations; racism and discrimination; colorism; racial
hierarchies; immigration; and different domains of racial inequality.
HISTORY
HIST 469: Black Civil Rights Movement │Cornelius Bynum │MWF 3:30 – 4:20, UNIV 301
This course will examine the origins, dynamics, and consequences of the modern black civil rights
movement by exploring how struggles for racial equality and full citizenship worked to dismantle
entrenched systems of segregation, repression, and discrimination within American society and
culture.
HIST 396: The Afro-American to 1865 │Cornelius Bynum │ MWF 1:30 – 2:20, UNIV 301
This course is designed to introduce students to the trends, events, issues, and people that
shaped African American history from its West and Central African roots to the Civil War. In
particular, this course will focus on presenting black people as active agents in the American
historical narrative that significantly shaped the course of their own lives even within the context
of slavery. To this end, this course sets out to discredit American myths about people of African
descent, examine key elements of black slavery and freedom in the United States, analyze the
slave experience with special emphasis on black resistance and resiliency, and identify the
economic, political, and social factors that shaped and were shaped by African slaves, their
descendants, black communities and institutions, and plantation society.
HIST 460: American Colonial History │Trenton Jones│ MWF 9:30 – 10:20, UNIV 301
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This lecture/discussion course examines the social, political, economic, and cultural development
of England’s mainland American colonies roughly from the founding of Virginia to the middle of
the eighteenth century. It explores motivations for colonization, expectations of colonizers,
challenges encountered in the American wilderness, and relations between settlers and their
British overlords. It also studies the cultural interactions between the settlers and the diverse
peoples from non-English societies, including the many Native Americans and Africansboth
free and slave. The class considers the private as well as the public lives of early Americans,
paying close attention to the hopes and realities of men, women, and children of the lower,”
“middling,” and “better” sorts. The primary goals are for students to gain a general understanding
of the major challenges and opportunities that the peoples of early America faced and to
appreciate the interpretative problems historians encounter in explaining the period. Through a
semester-long research project, students sharpen their research skills as they sift through
evidence to answer questions that they pose about early America.
HIST 407: The Road to World War I: Europe 1870 1919 │Whitney Walton │ MWF 9:30 –
10:20, UNIV 201
This course is a social and cultural history of Europe in the decades prior to World War I and
during the war itself. Some unifying themes and issues include the following: modernism; gender
and sexuality; race and empire; class and politics; the nature and extent of war as rupture with
the past; experiences and memories of war by civilians and combatants. The goal of this course
is to engage students in learning and questioning the latest findings and interpretations of this
formative period in recent history. Additionally, this course intends to develop students' analytical,
verbal communication, and writing skills. To achieve this, students will read and discuss both
primary and secondary texts, and view and discuss several media presentations. Lectures will
guide students through this body of learning, and add to it. Short papers will be assigned on the
readings and media presentations. A research paper will allow student to apply the knowledge
and debates covered in class to their own, original research, and to write history themselves.
HIST 338: History of Human Rights │Rebekah Klein-Pejšová │ MWF 10:30-11:20, UNIV
301
The concept of and struggle for human rights is powerful, pervasive. Its origins, development,
and strategies of implementation contested. Have human beings always had the "right to have
rights"? How did the concept of "rights" arise? What does it mean, and how has it been used?
This course explores human rights' genealogy and uneven historical evolution from the European
Enlightenment through the late twentieth century human rights revolution and experience of
globalization. We will examine Atlantic Revolutionary era articulations of rights of man” and
“human rights,” the interwar institutionalization of rights, the post-WWII shift from minority to
individual human rights, the human rights revolution of the late 1970s, and the relationship
between globalization and human rights using a variety of primary and secondary sources.
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Students will come away with a deeper understanding of a human rights narrative that belongs to
the world, its politics and ideas, and our own humanity.
HIST 382: American Constitutional History │Yvonne M. Pitts │TR 10:30 11:45, UNIV 201
This course explores how fundamental Anglo-Saxon legal theories on justice, republicanism, and
economics have been modified by the American experience from 1763-1896. While the course
deals with judicial interpretations of the Constitution, it does so in terms of the political and social
environments in which the courts operated. The course examines the legal and historical context
in which the Supreme Court established major early constitutional interpretations regarding
federalism, contractual obligations, and regulation of monopolies. The course then turns to the
constitutional debates over sectional strife, slavery, and the coming of the Civil War. Finally, we
conclude by exploring the Reconstruction-era amendments and the debates over racial and
gender equality.
POLITICAL SCIENCE
HONR 299: ISIS: The Islamic State Aaron Hoffman MWF 12:30
This Honors course provides students the opportunity to evaluate key questions surrounding the
rise of ISIS, the most notorious purveyor of terror since Al Qaeda. We will examine a range of
issues that relate to the threat of ISIS and governments responses to it. We will also examine why
groups use violence, how terrorist groups end, and the role of the media in enabling terrorist
violence. Students will not only engage with the scholarship on terrorism, but they will, with the
guidance of the instructors, conduct original research on terrorism using standard social science
techniques such as experiments and statistical analysis. After completing this course, students
will have a solid understanding of international terrorism, its changing nature and causes.
PHILOSOPHY
PHIL 111: Ethics │ Leonard Harris │ TR 03:00 – 04:15 PM, BRNG 1230
A study of the nature of moral value and obligation. Topics such as the following will be
considered: different conceptions of the good life and standards of right conduct; the relation of
non-moral and moral goodness; determinism, free will, and the problem of moral responsibility;
the political and social dimensions of ethics; the principles and methods of moral judgment.
Readings will be drawn both from contemporary sources and from the works of such philosophers
as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Butler, Hume, Kant, and J. S. Mill. Readings will be drawn from
contemporary and classical sources regarding moral responsibility and methods of moral
judgment, especially as these are applied to cases of sexism, racism and exploitation. Topics
such as the following will be considered: different conceptions of the good and a good life, virtue,
and conceptions of liberation from oppression.
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PHIL490: Philosophy of Race Leonard Harris │ TR 12:00 1:15 PM, BRNG 1248
Western philosophers have commonly assumed that races exist. What is a race? Is it morally
wrong to identify by race? Philosophers have ranked races in a hierarchy of normatively better
and worst kinds and sub-kinds. They have presumed correlative unchanging natures and roles of
races using various transcendental, historical or evolutionary scenarios of progress. What is
racism? Racism has been described as intentional efforts to rid society of the ‘unfit’,
‘feebleminded’ and ‘impure’ using, for example, eugenic justifications for legal sterilization and
genocide. Racism has also been described as unintentional evolutionary adaptations to cull from
society inferior kinds. Some philosophers have argued that racism is morally wrong because it is
a vicious form of killing and hoarding. Other philosophers have considered racism primarily wrong
because it is a form of bias, ill will or a violation of the social contract. Racism has been legally
practiced in various forms: race based genocide in Tasmania, America and Rwanda; racial bias
in Japan and Canada; and in less than two decades between 1907 and 1925 California authorized
the performance of 4,636 sterilizations and castrations: “mental patients were sterilized before
discharge, and any criminal found guilty of any crime three times [especially blacks] could be
asexualized [castrated without consent] upon the discretion of a consulting physician.” We will
consider competing conceptions of (1) race, (2) racialism, (3) racism (4) and the ontological nature
of groups.
CIVIL ENGINEERING
CE355: Engineering Environmental Sustainability Loring Nies MWF 11:30 12:20,
WALC 3087
An introduction to the examination of global-scale resource utilization, food, energy and
commodity production, population dynamics, and their ecosystem impacts.