Courses: Previous Semesters

Courses Fall 2011

Politics Department - Courses Fall 2011
(updated 4/18/2011)

Course descriptions

Click for Politics Course schedule for Fall 2011

All Politics Department courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites. For information on requirements for a Politics major or minor, please see Chip Gagnon, Politics Department, 324 Muller Faculty Center.

 

POLT 10100-01, 02 U.S. POLITICS SS LA 1 h

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Juan Arroyo, Muller 308, Ext. 4-3969

ENROLLMENT: 25 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Institutions, processes, and cultural/ideological roots of U.S. politics. We begin by studying a framework of ideologies that will help us to understand the political-

economic institutions that have evolved to reflect the conditions of U.S. society: Congress, the presidency, bureaucracy, judiciary, parties, interest groups, media, and the electoral process. Throughout, we will constantly ask: how democratic is this place? What are your criteria for measuring democracy? Students will be invited to consider how money affects the ability of citizens to influence the political process. Analysis of specific policies may include social security, abortion, health care, taxes, civil liberties, foreign policy, etc.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions, 2-3 short papers (3-5 pages), 1 medium paper (5-7 pages), 1 final paper (7-10 pages)

 

POLT 10100-03 U.S. POLITICS LA SS, 1 h
3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
ENROLLMENT: 27 
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Institutions, processes, and cultural roots of U.S. politics. Complex interrelationships among a highly specific set of political-economic institutions that have evolved to reflect the conditions of U.S. society: Congress, the presidency, bureaucracy, judiciary, parties, interest groups, media, and the electoral process. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions, class presentation.

 

POLT 10100-04 U.S. POLITICS SS LA 1 h

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Alex Moon, Muller 308, Ext. 4-1258

ENROLLMENT: 22

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course has three main purposes. In ascending order of importance, it seeks to familiarize students with the role of voters, interest groups, the media, and parties in the American political system. We will examine the dynamics of American political institutions and (some of) the origins of (some of) the current political cleavages in the U.S.; it will

examine the gap between the ideals and practices of American politics.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion

 

POLT 101000-05 U.S. POLITICS LA, SS, 1, h

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Shevory

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITES: None.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: And basic introduction to U.S. politics. Consider the historical foundations of American political life, including the roots of the U.S. Constitution system. Examines various institutional actors, such as Congress, the President, the courts, and political parties. Enters into policy debates around such as environmental protection, civil rights, and immigration.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion

COURSE REQUIRMENTS AND GRADING: Three take-home exams; A-F.

 

POLT 12200-01, 02 POLITICS AND SOCIETY SS LA

credits 3

INSTRUCTOR: Patricia Rodriguez, Muller 312, Ext. 4-5714
ENROLLMENT: 30
PREREQUISITES: none
STUDENTS: open
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This politics introductory course explores the impact of social forces and societal dynamics on the politics of diverse countries, as well as the influence of politics and the state on society. Students will be learning and analyzing current world political events that are not so well covered in the mainstream media, such as why/when do democracies emerge but also breakdown, why is state power wielded in repressive manners in different types of political systems, what impact does citizen activism have in global and national political and economic issues, and what role do international actors play in reconstructing governments. In the process of examining these issues we will also learn about the history and political processes and events in a variety of countries, such as Chile, North Korea, Egypt, Venezuela, Sudan, Rwanda, China, and others. Students will compare the political conflicts in these different countries from a political-sociological approach.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, group discussion, speakers, films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Lecture and discussion, films/speakers; grading: short opinion papers, exam, group discussion, presentations

 

POLT 12300-01, 02 POLITICAL JUSTICE SS LA 1, g

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Beth Harris, Muller 310, Ext. 4-3517

ENROLLMENT: 28 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We examine the relationships between collective identities, law, politics, power, witnessing, and justice in comparative contexts. The readings and films draw on a number of disciplinary and professional approaches, including law, the social sciences, the humanities, and journalism. We use case studies to analyze conflicts between nation building/national security strategies and those social and politics groups whose civil liberties are threatened by official legal and political strategies. Through the use of digital technologies, students will share and discuss several readings with students at An Najah University in the West Bank. The case studies may explore: 1) the legal dimensions of conflicts between Native Americans, American settlers, and the United States government; 2) the legal consolidation of the Third Reich in Germany and its impact on Jewish people under its rule; 3) the legal construction of Israel’s military rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the impact of military occupation on the Palestinian population; 4) the transformation of law and consequences of “official” justice within the United States in response to threats to national security.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion of readings and videos, video conferences, student presentations of group research projects.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading, watching videos, open-note exam, writing case briefs and essays, researching and preparing group projects and presenting dramatizations and group projects in class.

 

POLT 12800-01, INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SS LA 1 g
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Chip Gagnon, Muller 324, Ext. 4-1103
ENROLLMENT: 30
PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We examine and discuss issues of security ranging from security of the state to security of individuals. Issues include the future of war, terrorism, the global economy, nationalism, ethnic and religious conflict, and the role of the media in how we think about the international. We also
study how different perspectives lead us to see different worlds, looking specifically at realism, liberalism, global humanism, and theories of identity.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Attendance and participation in class discussions; readings for each class; three take-home exam essays. Standard, based on above requirements.

 

POLT 12800-02 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1 G LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Sansoucy

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduces students to basic perspectives and events in world politics (international relations). Different theoretical positions are examined critically. The central purpose of the course is to provide the beginning student of international relations/world politics with the analytic tools necessary to understand contemporary events and to undertake advanced study in these areas. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions.

 

POLT 12900-01, INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL STUDIES SS LA 1 G

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, 314 Muller, ext. 4-3508

ENROLLMENT: 60

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will expose participants to critical global challenges such as the protection of human security in a competitive marketplace; questions of sovereignty and state violence; and globalization and its socio-political and economic consequences. It will foster critical thinking and

writing skills and provide fundamental analytical frames through which students can address on-going debates on representation, identity, eurocentrism and global histories. We will also seek to facilitate dialogue that engenders global citizenship and contributes to the growth of all participants.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, and collaborative work.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular attendance, full participation, presentations, tests, essays and projects. Open to those who are interested in the subject matter. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: POLT 12900, ANTH 12900, HPS 12900.

 

POLT 14100-01 POWER: RACE, SEX AND CLASS SS LA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Zillah Eisenstein, Muller 316, Ext. 4-3554

ENROLLMENT: 28

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will deal with the distribution of power in the U.S. according to economic class, sex, and race hierarchies. We discuss what power is, where it comes from, where it is located. This involves the analysis of power in terms of issues of capitalism, globalism, patriarchy, and racism, as well as the specific issues they raise for policy making, persons, the family, and corporate power. The analysis will hopefully help us understand the relations of power defining black working class women, white male workers, white middle class women, etc. The premise of the course is that in order to understand capitalist society one must understand the racialized aspects of sexuality as a form of power, as well as the sexualized aspects of race. Some specific topics discussed are: the present global and national economic crisis; changing aspects of the nation-state; Bush/Cheney’s wars of/on terror; the Gulf Wars 1991-2010; the Chilean 1973 Coup; Obama’s politics of hope; the changing realities of the middle/working class; the global racialized sexual division of labor; the rise of China in the global market; the continued aftermath of the O.J. Simpson trial, the revolutions in Egypt, Jordan, and so on.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Students will read a variety of books, and see several films. They write two 7-page analytical papers based on the course readings and films. Based on the two writing projects and class participation. Both essays must be completed for course credit.

 

POLT 14200-01, 02 IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES SS LA 1

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Kelly Dietz, Muller 323, Ext. 4-3581

ENROLLMENT: 30

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course explores the ideological roots of political life and political inquiry. Through readings, film, art, music and your own observations, the course focuses on key political ideas and the ideological debates over their meaning and practice. We will examine a range of views on concepts such as liberty, equality, democracy, rationality, security, order, authority, community and nation. We will consider how these and other political ideas developed historically, why certain ideas endure, and why they remain important to understanding politics today. In doing so we will also pay close attention to how political ideas intertwine with constructions of class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. The course encourages critical reflection on where our views about the world come from, and on aspects of political life that we take for granted. Encounters with political theories different from our own subjective views help bring to light our unconscious assumptions and also what is distinctive about our political views. Ideological perspectives the course explores include liberalism and conservatism (and their “neo” variants), socialism, anarchism, and fascism.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: lecture and discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active participation, weekly blog contributions and a semester-long final project. Grading is based on above requirements

 

HONORS SEMINAR: THE POLITICS OF THE WIRE 22003-01 LA, SS, 1

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Shevory

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Enrollment in the honors program

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students will view the first season of the HBO series, The Wire and will engage reading materials related to the social, political, and economic issues raised by show. Topics include, the politics of language, economics of the drug trade, institutional hierarchies of drug gangs and police departments, poverty issues, public housing policy, and race/gender politics. Some attention will also be given to media theory.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture/screenings

COURSE REQUIRMENTS AND GRADING: Three take-home exams; A-F.

 

POLT 23000-01 THE HOLOCAUST SS LA
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249
ENROLLMENT: 28
PREREQUISITES: One social science or humanities course
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introductory survey of major issues related to the Holocaust. We will examine the role of Anti-Semitism in Western Culture and the rise of the racial anti-Semitism that animated Nazi hatred of the Jews. Among the topics to be covered are: The rise of Hitler to power; the initial policies of persecution and dispossession of the Jews and Jewish responses to these policies; the evolution of Nazi policy from expulsion of the Jews to extermination; the role of Jewish community leadership in attempting to cope with a murderous onslaught by establishing Jews in vital industries; the cooperation of many German bureaucrats in the final solution; the relationship of the Holocaust to the Nazi’s overall racial views and their war of racial supremacy in eastern Europe; the ongoing controversy over whether more Jews could have been rescued by the nations opposing Hitler and his regime.

 

POLT 29900-01 FIELD STUDY

1 TO 6 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249

ENROLLMENT: 5

PREREQUISITES: 310-10100, one other course in the social sciences, and permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Opportunity for students to explore and experience facets of political life through work experience and/or field research. Academic credit contingent upon completion of study design with departmental faculty member. (Course may not be used to satisfy 100-level distribution requirements.)


 

POLT 30400-01 PARTY POLITICS LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, ext. 4-1249

ENROLLMENT: 30

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the social sciences

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course covers several important themes in American party politics. The dynamics of presidential and congressional elections are explored. The role of money in politics will be considered. We will also cover the impact of the electoral college and the single member plurality electoral system. Considerable attention will be devoted to the development of the party system from the 1930s to the present. The thesis that elections play a decreasing role in American politics is investigated. We will follow the 2010 midterm elections closely, though this is not a primarily a current events class.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two exams, two short papers. Letter grades

 

POLT 31900-01 Selected Topics in US Politics: THE MEDIA AND US POLITICS   LA SS

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Matt Guardino

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences or equivalent.

STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: News media have long been recognized as a key component of the American political landscape. And as the economy, social organization and technology have become more complex, mass communication has become even more central to democratic politics. This course provides an overview of electronic and print forms of mass communication in U.S. political life, focusing on several themes: the alternately combative and cozy relationship between media and government; how professional media routines shape the content of political news; media’s effects on public opinion, voting behavior and public policy-making; the tensions between news outlets’ role as profit-seeking businesses, on the one hand, and their role as providers of political information and sites for democratic debate, on the other; the nature and effects of political advertising; and critical changes to media taking place today. We will examine these issues in light of our expectations for how a democratic society ought to operate. Class discussions and readings will engage scholarship in political science and communication studies as well as news coverage of contemporary political issues and events. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions.

 

POLT 32700-01, POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT, LA SS
credits 3

INSTRUCTOR: Patricia Rodriguez, Muller 312, Ext. 4-5714
ENROLLMENT: 28
PREREQUISITES: one course in social sciences
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the political, social, and economic challenges of Third World development. It covers a wide range of development approaches aimed at reducing poverty and inequality adopted in different developing countries, with particular attention to the ways in which governments, non-governmental agencies, international aid agencies, and social movements envision and implement development assistance programs. Particular attention will be paid to what alternatives ‘civil-society centered’ development approaches have to offer, including sustainable and participatory development projects throughout Latin America, Asia, Africa and other areas.

The course is designed with the objective of engaging students in a critical look at current development and policy issues (environment, disaster relief, poverty relief efforts, famines, and rural development & displacement) around the globe, thereby enhancing students’ research and analytic skills for class and future work in international and national political and economic development issues. The course will be strongly discussion and policy based, as we tackle the diverse topics and perspectives that surround these issues.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, group discussion, speakers, films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: participation, policy and response papers, group or individual project

 

POLT 33000-01 EUROPEAN POLITICS LA SS
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Juan Arroyo, Muller 308, Ext. 4-3969
ENROLLMENT: 24
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences or the equivalent.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We start with the question of European identity: do we only mean the EU or something more general? Who is included or excluded, and how is this decided? This will lead to a discussion of “European” values. We will address tensions affecting the creation of a new geo-political entity called Europe out of many separate European countries. We briefly consider the structures and selected policies of the European Union.
The course will introduce further tools for understanding European politics by looking at some of the key European ideological/political groups that are less familiar in the U.S. (Social Democracy, Christian Democracy, the Greens, post-Communism and the far right). Similarly, the course will look at the ideas and practices behind welfare state policies: education, welfare, immigration, employment policy, and the environment.
Finally, students will examine the political systems of selected European countries, with their distinct sets of actors and policy priorities. The emphasis will be on institutional and policy variations in how each country responds to the same needs or issues, such as economics, civil rights, regional identity, and nationalism.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADES: Readings, active participation in class, 2-3 short analysis exercises (3-4 pages), 1 medium paper (5-7 pages), 1 final paper (8-12 pages).

 

POLT 34054-01 Selected Topics in Comparative and International Studies: JAPANESE POLITICS    LA SS

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Sansoucy

ENROLLMENT: 27

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences or equivalent.

STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course will provide an introduction to modern Japanese politics in comparative perspective. Topics to be covered include the historical foundations of the Japanese state, the Japanese system of political parties and elections, legislative politics, and the bureaucracy. We will also examine Japan's civil-military relations, as well as its industrial, foreign, immigration, minority, and aging policies. The course will also cover the debate on Article 9 (forbidding Japan from fighting a war) and constitutional revision, as well as the government's response to the recent earthquake and tsunami. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions

 

POLT 34200-01 LIBERALISM AND MARXISM SS LA

TOPIC: HISTORICALLY THEORIZING CAPITALISM, SLAVERY, AND PATRIARCHY

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Zillah Eisenstein, Muller 316, Ext 4-3554

ENROLLMENT: 29

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course intends to open students to thinking theoretically and within historical contexts in order for you to develop your own questions about the viability of politics. I provide contemporary examples for the historical dilemmas posed in these historical classics. We will dialogue with the past through the present, be it the revolution in Egypt, or the Obama presidency, or… We examine and query the relationship between liberalism and marxism in terms of sexual, racial, and economic class hierarchies. The course deals with the capitalist division of labor and its relation to the racist and patriarchal sexual division of labor in slavery. The theorists studied are: John Locke, JJ Rousseau, Karl Marx, JS Mill, Sri Aurobindo, Rosa Luxemburg, and Maria Stewart. Our study looks to significant conflicts between marxism and liberalism within their theories of private property and individuality. And, we look to the similarities within these theories of masculinist privilege and slave-trade relations. Constructs of nature, natural, democracy, civilization, rationality, inclusivity, and humanity are explored.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures and class discussion of the readings

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Serious commitment to the readings and to your own creativity. There are two 8-page analytically developed papers based on the course readings.

GRADING: Based on the two papers and class participation. Both essays must be completed for course credit.

 

POLT 34053-01 AFRICA IN WORLD POLITICS LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, 314 Muller, ext. 4-3508

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITES: 3 courses in the social sciences.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students explore transcontinental dynamics and Africa’s changing position in the global economy and complex relationships with China, African Diaspora, Middle East and western societies. May include a study of the recent political uprisings in North Africa, debates over African responses to the war against terrorism, the global politics of international “aid”, western gender diplomacy, AIDS discourse, environmental politics, the diamond trails, the African union, creation of the new Sudanese state and African contributions to human rights philosophy and practice. Challenges the misconception of African passivity and isolation through a radical re-centering of the continent in global politics and history.

Pre-requisites: (S, IRR).

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Research, discussions and collaborative work.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular attendance, full participation, and assignments.

 

POLT 37000-01 ST: IN PUBLIC POLICY: POLITICS OF WEALTH/POVERTY LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249.

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences or the equivalent.

STUDENTS: Open to all interested student who meet the prerequisites.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will focus on the politics of wealth and poverty. After an extensive consideration of various policy approaches to the global economy, the course will focus on domestic problems. Among the topics to be covered are economic inequality, the attack on America’s modest welfare state, the working poor, and welfare reform.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: 5-6 books, in-class midterm and final exam, research paper on a policy issue. Standard grading.


 

POLT 40100-02 SEMINAR: WITNESS TO WAR, OCCUPATION AND DISPLACEMENT SS LA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Beth Harris, Muller 310, Ext. 4-3517

ENROLLMENT: 15

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences, one of which must be POLT; junior or senior standing. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the role of law in administering the U.S. government’s occupation of Iraq and Israeli government’s occupation of Palestine. We will also examine U.S., Israeli and Colombian policies that have contributed to the creation of large refugee and internally displaced populations of Iraqis, Colombians and Palestinians and the consequences of these forced migrations. We will study multiple strategies of resistance, including various approaches to acting as witnesses, to official and unofficial forms of repression. Witnessing approaches include litigation, reporting, film-making, religious practices, the creation of art and literature, accompaniment, and non-violent direct action. For final projects, students will serve as witnesses to injustices experienced by people living outside the protections of state law. Students may work alone or in groups on these projects.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Classes will include discussions, student presentations, films and possibly video conferences.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Students are required read assigned material, conduct independent research, lead class discussions, complete a final witnessing project related to Iraq, Colombia, or Palestine, write brief reflections on the readings and complete analytical essays.

 

POLT 40102-01 SEMINAR: MISSIONARIES FOR DEMOCRACY SS LA
TOPIC: Missionaries for Democracy
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Chip Gagnon, Muller 324, Ext. 4-1103
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences, one of which must be POLT; junior or senior standing. 

STUDENTS: Open to interested students who meet prerequisites
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why and how does the US try to spread democracy around the world? We’ll address this question through comparing democracy promotion to traditional religious missionary work, considering the similarities and differences between the two. We’ll explore the definitions of democracy, whether democracy “travels” across cultures, the relationship of democracy promoters to target societies, and think about whether and how democracy promotion is similar to missionary work.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

 

POLT 40103-01 SEMINAR: IMPERIALISMS IN EAST ASIA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Kelly Dietz, Muller 323, Ext. 4-3581

ENROLLMENT: 14
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences, one of which must be POLT; junior or senior standing. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will focus on the question of empire in our own times through the lens of imperialisms and imperial encounters of the past. We will explore in particular the contemporary legacies and manifestations of Chinese, Japanese, European and American imperialisms in the East Asian region. A central focus will be how ideas and practices of imperialism intertwine with one another, and how they intertwine with ideas and practices of the international state system. We will also consider how different forms and strategies of opposition to imperialism shed light on the politics of empire in the region (and beyond). In doing so, we will examine competing narratives about territory, identity, race and experiences of colonial encounters—and how power relations shape whose stories count in which contexts. Throughout the course we will reflect critically about how our own lives relate to the topics under discussion. Some of the key concepts we will interrogate include imperialism, colonialism, decolonization, sovereignty, nation/alism, and state.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active participation, weekly blog contributions, short essay on topic of student’s choice, final take-home exam

 

POLT 40200-01 SEMINAR: THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TOLERATION LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Alexander Moon

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences, one of which must be POLT; junior or senior standing; at least one course in political theory or philosophy

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What are the limits of toleration? Why have most societies in the history of the world not been tolerant? Course covers history of the concept of toleration from its development in the 16th and 17th centuries; different regimes of toleration in Europe and the Middle East; justifications of it based on the value of public order, autonomy, happiness, moral skepticism, and political rationality; criticism of it as incoherent, repressive, ethnocentric, or inegalitarian; and contemporary issues such as hate speech, pornography, and the Salman Rushdie case. Throughout we will try to answer questions about what toleration actually requires: Does it require simply leaving different groups and people alone? Does it require enabling all groups to enjoy some measure of equality? Does it require recognition, maybe even affirmation, of tolerated groups and their ways of life?

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two eight-page papers with standard grading

 

POLT-40300-01 Tutorial: DISASTER POLITICS SS LA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Muller 314, ext. 4-3508

ENROLLMENT: 5

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences, one of which must be POLT; junior or senior standing. 

STUDENTS: Open to those who fulfill prerequisites and are interested in the subject matter. Participants must enjoy and have a capacity for independent and collaborative research

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A comparative exploration of the socio-political dynamics of national disasters that have attracted global attention including “natural” disasters such as the Haitian earthquake, hurricane Katrina, the Tangshan earthquake and the Tsunami; and technological and human error tragedies, such as the Nigeria military depot explosions and the Chernobyl nuclear explosions. In the wake of such national tragedies, critical social fissures and discourses emerge as societies seek to make sense of the disasters, and to respond to the tragedy. The aftermath of disasters is a propitious time to investigate underlying tensions, grievances, and divides in a polity. We will be analyzing patterns of political dissimulation, media coverage, discourses of identity, race, class, gender, religion and local and global ‘othering’ in responses to the tragedy. In addition, through collaborative research, we shall explore the role of collective memory, political and social culture in the process of disaster resolution and reconstitution of the society and seek to acquire new skills for disaster response training.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Research, Discussion, Practicum

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Active participation, research & field work, projects, presentations & essays.

 

POLT 40500-01 INTERNSHIPS NLA

Variable Credit

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: Permission of instructor and three courses in social sciences or equivalent.

STUDENTS: Interested students should see Don Beachler to register for an internship.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Politics Department offers a wide variety of internship opportunities for students in different fields. Faculty will work with students to find internships that meet their needs. Internships are available in Ithaca and the surrounding areas. Internship/Field Study can be used to meet both 300 and 400 level requirements. Possible internship sites include: Tompkins County Environmental Management Council; Citizen's Environmental Coalition; Offender Aid and Restoration (working with jail inmates); Planned Parenthood; Assemblyman Marty Luster; Congressman Maurice Hinchey; Community Dispute Resolution Agency; Dispositional Alternatives (Youth Bureau); Red Cross; Human Services Coalition; Mayor's Office; City Attorney's Office; Prisoner's Legal Services; Loaves and Fishes; Alternatives Credit Union; Women's Community Center; Cornell Environmental Law Society; Eco-Justice Task Force; City of Ithaca, Dept. of Planning and Development; Tompkins County Planning Department; Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division; Rune Hill Earth Awareness School; New York Public Interest Research Group; Science Center; Battered Women Task Force; GIAC; Downtown Business Council; Day Care Council; Human Rights Commission.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Students receive one hour credit for every 60 hours of internship-related work. Students are required to keep a journal and undertake internship-oriented research and writing.

 

 

School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing