Director: J.C. Salyer (Assistant Professor of Practice, Anthropology & Human Rights)
Assistant Professor: Timothy Vasko (Religion & Human Rights)
Term Assistant Professor: Widney Brown
Adjunct Lecturer: Martin Flaherty
Committee on Human Rights Studies: Elizabeth Bernstein (Women's Studies), Alex Cooley (Political Science), Ayten Gündoğdu (Political Science), Rachel McDermott (Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures), Anupama Rao (History), Rajiv Sethi (Economics), Paige West (Anthropology)

Additional members of the faculty offering courses on human rights:

Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology), Séverine Autesserre (Political Science), James Basker (English), Sheri Berman (Political Science), Kaiama Glover (French), Larry Heuer (Psychology), Janet Jakobsen (Women's Studies), Brian Larkin (Anthropology/Africana Studies), Xiaobo Lü (Political Science), Kimberly Marten (Political Science), José Moya (History), Jonathan Rieder (Sociology)

Requirements for the Combined Major

A minimum of six courses (with a minimum of 18 credits) in the Human Rights Program, including one introductory course (either HRTS BC1025 HUM RGTS IN THEORY& PRACTICE or  HRTS UN3001 INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS); at least two courses from among those designated "core courses"; three "related" courses; and a complete major in a relevant department. Where courses in the Human Rights Program also satisfy departmental requirements, no more than three Human Rights courses may count toward the major. Besides the six courses in the Human Rights Program, students submit a senior thesis or project in the area of human rights, written in the major department. Those interested in a combined major should consult with the Director or other members of the Committee on Human Rights Program. 

Introductory Courses: 


Designated Core Courses:

POLS UN3173Power, Rights, and Social Change: Achieving Justice4
HRTS BC3360Our Bodies and the Struggle to Define Personal Autonomy4.00
RELI UN3671Religion and Human Rights4.00
HRTS BC3851Human Rights & Public Health: Advanced Seminar4.00
HRTS BC3855Religion, Social Justice, and Human Rights4
HRTS BC3900Inequality and Rights4
ANTH BC3913Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society4
HRTS UN3933Mobilities: Migration and Disabilities4.00
HRTS UN3934Seeking Sanctuary in New York City5.00
HRTS BC3935Power, Politics, and Procedure in US Immigration Court5.00
SOCI UN3937Sociology of Human Rights4
HRTS UN3940History of Human Rights3.00
HRTS UN3960Refugees, Rights, and Representation3.00
HRTS UN3970Introduction to Genocide Studies3.00
HRTS GU4011Indigenous Rights and Settler Colonialism in North America3.00
HRTS GU4195Topics in History, Memory and Transitional Justice3
HRTS GU4210Equality, Identity and Rights3.00
HRTS GU4340Human Rights Accountability & Remedies3
HRTS GU4360Menstruation, Gender, and Rights: Interdisciplinary Approaches3
HRTS GU4380Advocacy for Socio-Economic RIghts3
HRTS GU4460Climate Justice3.00
HRTS GU4700Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: A Human Rights Approach3
HRTS GU4910Children's Rights, Armed Conflict, and Peacebuilding3
HRTS GU4940Human Rights and Education3.00
HRTS GU4955Narrative and Representation in Post-Conflict Societites3
HRTS GU4965Gender-Based Violence & Human Rights3.00
HRTS GU4970Refugees, Citizenship, Migration3.00
HRTS GU4975Borders, Surveillance, Rights3.00
HRTS GU4995Education in Conflict Zones4.00

Introductory Courses


Provides a broad overview of the rapidly expanding field of human rights. Lectures on the philosophical, historical, legal and institutional foundations are interspersed with weekly presentations by frontline advocates from the U.S. and overseas

Spring 2024: HRTS BC1025
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 1025 001/00026 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Widney Brown 3.00 57/60


Evolution of the theory and content of human rights; the ideology and impact of human rights movements; national and international human rights law and institutions; their application with attention to universality within states, including the U.S. and internationally

Fall 2024: HRTS UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3001 001/10538 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Andrew Nathan 3.00 146/150

Core Courses


Not offered during 2023-2024 academic year.

Examination of human rights within the context of international migration. The course covers topics such as citizenship, state sovereignty, border control, asylum-seekers, refugees, and undocumented immigrants

HRTS BC3099 INDEPENDENT STUDY II. 1.00-4.00 points.

Independent Study in Human Rights

Spring 2024: HRTS BC3099
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3099 001/00860  
Widney Brown 1.00-4.00 2/5
HRTS 3099 002/00906  
J.C. Salyer 1.00-4.00 1/5

POLS UN3173 Power, Rights, and Social Change: Achieving Justice. 4 points.

This lecture course, accompanied by its weekly discussion section, will introduce students to the field of justice. It will combine an intellectual history of conceptions of justice and modes of political change with an exploration of the main areas of public interest and advocacy. The course is intended to serve as a bridge from the Columbia Core to present issues of social justice. Throughout, the discussion will question how we—contemporary subjects and citizens—can improve our social and political condition and achieve justice.

HRTS UN3190 INT'L HUMAN RIGHTS LAW. 3.00 points.

This course will introduce students to the international law of human rights, and give a basic orientation to fundamental issues and controversies. The course has two principal focal points: first, the nuts and bolts of how international law functions in the field of human rights, and second, the value and limitations of legal approaches to a variety of human rights issues. Throughout the course, both theoretical and practical questions will be addressed, including who bears legal duties and who can assert legal claims, how these duties might be enforced, and accountability and remedy for violations. Attention will be given to how international law is made, what sorts of assumptions underlie various legal mechanisms, and how the law works in a variety of contexts

Spring 2024: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/11782 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Christian De Vos 3.00 22/22
Fall 2024: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/11500 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Belinda Cooper 3.00 15/22


Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or an equivalent. Not an introductory course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3302.
Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or an equivalent. Not an introductory course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3302. Examines the first amendment rights of speech, press, religion and assembly. In-depth analysis of landmark Supreme Court rulings provides the basis for exploring theoretical antecedents as well as contemporary applications of such doctrines as freedom of association, libel, symbolic speech, obscenity, hate speech, political speech, commercial speech, freedom of the press and religion. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program.)

Spring 2024: POLS BC3254
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3254 001/00361 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
323 Milbank Hall
Paula Franzese 3.00 56/60


Examines the constitutional right of freedom of speech and press in the United States. Examines, in depth, various areas of law, including extremist or seditious speech, obscenity, libel, fighting words, the public forum doctrine, and public access to the mass media. Follows the law school course model, with readings focused on actual judicial decisions

HRTS BC3360 Our Bodies and the Struggle to Define Personal Autonomy. 4.00 points.

One of the most hotly debated issues of today is the extent to which the state can legitimately dictate or impinge on one’s bodily autonomy. This is a long-running debate in the area of sexual and reproductive rights, but also is relevant to such current debates as the right to die / right to death with dignity; the right to use drugs for recreational or ritual purposes; engaging in hunger strikes as a protected form of freedom of expression; and the debate about whether the state can mandate vaccines. It is a debate that is highly gendered but also raises questions about how political power and socio-economic status influences how governments act on individuals and communities

Fall 2024: HRTS BC3360
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3360 001/00168 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Widney Brown 4.00 22/20


Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken or are currently taking POLS UN3002. Prerequisites: POLS V1013 or HRTS UN3001 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.
Examination of human rights within the context of international migration. The course covers topics such as citizenship, state sovereignty, border control, asylum-seekers, refugees, and undocumented immigrants. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.)


Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3326. Enrollment limited to 25 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus. Explores seminal caselaw to inform contemporary civil rights and civil liberties jurisprudence and policy. Specifically, the readings examine historical and contemporary first amendment values, including freedom of speech and the press, economic liberties, takings law, discrimination based on race, gender, class and sexual preference, affirmative action, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, the right to die, criminal procedure and adjudication, the rights of the criminally accused post-9/11 and the death penalty. (Cross-listed by the American Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Spring 2024: POLS BC3521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3521 001/00863 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Paula Franzese 3.00 44/58
Fall 2024: POLS BC3521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3521 001/00038 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Paula Franzese 3.00 47/47

HRTS BC3601 INTL LAW & U.N. IN PRACTICE. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 An equivalent course to POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 may be used as a pre-requisite, with departmental permission.
Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 An equivalent course to POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 may be used as a pre-requisite, with departmental permission. Examines the development of international law and the United Nations, their evolution in the Twentieth Century, and their role in world affairs today. Concepts and principles are illustrated through their application to contemporary human rights and humanitarian challenges, and with respect to other threats to international peace and security. The course consists primarily of presentation and discussion, drawing heavily on the practical application of theory to actual experiences and situations. For the Barnard Political Science major, this seminar counts as elective credit only. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.)

Spring 2024: HRTS BC3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3601 001/00027 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Ll016 Milstein Center
Martin Flaherty 4.00 25/25

HIST BC3670 SEEKING ASYLUM. 4.00 points.

Note: This course meets as a lecture but it is a seminar.

Prerequisites: NA
Prerequisites: NA This seminar explores the roots of and responses to the contemporary refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. We examine the historical factors that are propelling people, including families and unaccompanied minors, to flee the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala); the law and politics of asylum that those seeking refuge must negotiate in the U.S.; and the burgeoning system of immigration incarceration that detains ever-greater numbers of non-citizens. The course is organized around a collaboration with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, an organization that provides legal counsel to detainees at the countrys largest immigration detention prison, in Dilley, Texas

RELI UN3671 Religion and Human Rights. 4.00 points.

What is the relationship between religion and human rights? How have different religious traditions conceived of “the human” as a being worthy of inherent dignity and respect, particularly in moments of political, military, economic, and ecological crisis? How and why have modern regimes of human rights privileged some of these ideas and marginalized others? What can these complicated relationships between religion and human rights explain some of the key crises in human rights law and politics today, and what avenues can be charted for moving forward? In this class, we will attempt to answer these questions by first developing a theoretical understanding of some of the key debates about the origins, trajectories, and legacies of modern human rights’ religious entanglements. We will then move on to examine various examples of ideas about and institutions for protecting “humanity” from different regions and histories. Specifically, we will examine how different societies, organizations, and religious traditions have addressed questions of war and violence; freedom of belief and expression; gender and sexual orientation; economic inequality; ecology; and the appropriate ways to punish and remember wrongdoing. In doing so, we will develop a repertoire of theoretical and empirical tools that can help us address both specific crises of human rights in various contexts, as well as the general crisis of faith and and observance of human rights as a universal norm and aspiration for peoples everywhere


Prerequisites: Enrollment in the course is open to 18 undergraduates who have completed at least one core course in human rights and /or international law. This seminar introduces students to the field of health and human rights. It examines how to advocate for and implement public health strategies using a human rights framework. It takes note of current international and domestic debates about the utility of a ;human rights-based approach; to health, discusses methods and ethics of health-related human rights research, and examines case studies of human rights investigations to explore the role of human rights analysis in promoting public health

Fall 2024: HRTS BC3850
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3850 001/00169 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Widney Brown 4.00 20/20

HRTS BC3851 Human Rights & Public Health: Advanced Seminar. 4.00 points.

As we face the triple threats of inequalities, climate change, and a pandemic, the dignity and well-being of many people are under attack or at imminent risk. Exploring several specific issues through the lens of human rights principles and public health standards will provide students with a strong analytic framework for understanding the challenges of and potential for systemic change to address these threats. Specifically, we will be looking at disparate health impacts and how to understand what drives the disparities; intellectual property laws and how they apply during a global crisis; the double-edged sword of digital technology particularly as it applies to health surveillance; the strengths and weaknesses of a biomedical model dominating the public health discourse; and, the politization of health policy. Specifically, we will explore systems of oppression that drive inequalities and lead to disparate health outcomes; the lack of a transnational accountability framework to address both climate change and the rights of those most impacted by it; and how a corporate-driven intellectual property regime has put access to essential medicines, including vaccines, beyond the reach of people living in poverty. Finally, looking at reports ripped from the headlines, we will look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown open the door to widespread digital surveillance with few safeguards to protect privacy rights or to address the biases in many of the algorithms driving this technology

Spring 2024: HRTS BC3851
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3851 001/00028 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Widney Brown 4.00 20/23

HRTS BC3855 Religion, Social Justice, and Human Rights. 4 points.

Prerequisites: At least one course on Human Rights or Religion, or permission of the instructor

This seminar will provide students with the concepts and methodologies necessary to assess some of the different, often ambiguous, roles that the world's major religions play in contemporary international affairs, notably in relation to poverty alleviation and human rights abuses in general as well as to the use of violence and community relations.

HRTS BC3900 Inequality and Rights. 4 points.


Examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political factors that shape immigration law and policy along with the social consequences of those laws and policies. Addresses the development and function of immigration law and aspects of the immigration debate including unauthorized immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and critiques of immigration policy

ANTH BC3913 Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society. 4 points.

This class will examine the historical roots and ongoing persistence of social, economic, and political inequality and the continuing role that it plays in U.S. society by examining how such issues have been addressed both in social science and in law.

HRTS BC3931 SOC JUSTICE & HUM RIGHTS. 3.00 points.

Corequisites: Students must have an internship related to social justice or human rights during
Corequisites: Students must have an internship related to social justice or human rights during This class is intended to complement and enhance the internship experience for students working in internships that relate to social justice and human rights during the Spring 2016 semester. This course will meet bi-weekly to provide an academic framing of the issues that students are working on and to provide an opportunity for students to analyze their internship experience

Fall 2024: HRTS BC3931
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3931 001/00170 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
119 Milstein Center
Widney Brown 3.00 13/20


While the existence of processes of anthropogenic climate change is well established, predictions regarding the future consequences of these processes are far less certain. In no area is the uncertainty regarding near and long term effects as pronounced as in the question of how climate change will affect global migration. This course will address the issue of climate migration in four ways. First, the course will examine the theoretical and empirical literatures that have elucidated the nature of international migration in general. Second, the course will consider the phenomena of anthropogenic climate change as it relates to migration. Third, the course will consider how human rights and other legal regimes do or do not address the humanitarian issues created by anthropogenic climate change. Fourth, the course will synthesize these topics by considering how migration and climate change has arisen as a humanitarian, political, and economic issue in the Pacific. Human Rights elective

HRTS UN3933 Mobilities: Migration and Disabilities. 4.00 points.

In this course students will work in an applied setting to learn about issues that impact asylum seekers with disabilities in a real-world context in cooperation with asylum lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). In essence, IRAP will be our “client” and our class projects and assignments will take the form of research projects that produce materials that will be of assistance to immigration lawyers representing asylum seekers with disabilities. In collaboration with IRAP, we will produce reports addressing the challenges faced by asylum seekers with disabilities from Central America. Specifically, students will work in teams to research country conditions issues relating to the challenges faced by people with impairments and disabilities in Central America and in Mexico. Through a series of individual and team assignments students will prepare a report and presentation to be submitted to IRAP at the end of the semester

HRTS UN3934 Seeking Sanctuary in New York City. 5.00 points.

In a renewed age of anti-immigrant fervor, the last few years have seen attention focused on people seeking asylum – the process under international law by which people fleeing persecution can seek protection in a country not of their citizenship. New York has become a particular flashpoint with a large influx of asylum seekers, most of them from Latin America. Often, they have arrived on buses sent here by southern governors intending to make the border “problem” that of a so-called “sanctuary city.” How has New York responded? And how does this fit into the city’s long history of refuge? This course will offer students an introduction to the theory, ethics, and history of the idea of international protection. We will look specifically at how Latin American citizens have engaged with the US asylum system over time and how this engagement has changed the shape of US immigration laws. We will study the origins of the ideas of international protection, who is understood to qualify and why, how the system has changed over time, and what these developments mean for a broader understanding of human rights across borders. We will also take a critical look at asylum, examine ideas of deservingness and innocence and their intersection with categories of race, class and gender, and question what it means for certain people to be constructed as victims and others to be seen as not eligible – or worthy – of protection. This is an engaged pedagogy course. The class will be organized around a close collaboration with a NY legal organization that has taken on the work of representing many asylum seekers in the city. Students will learn the complexities of US asylum law and will work collectively to use this knowledge, while developing their research skills, to put together reports to be used in active asylum cases

Spring 2024: HRTS UN3934
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3934 001/00029 W F 10:10am - 12:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Amelia Frank-Vitale 5.00 22/20
Fall 2024: HRTS UN3934
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3934 001/00171 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
308 Diana Center
Amelia Frank-Vitale 5.00 21/20
HRTS 3934 001/00171 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
308 Diana Center
Amelia Frank-Vitale 5.00 21/20

HRTS BC3935 Power, Politics, and Procedure in US Immigration Court. 5.00 points.

Immigration court has been described as akin to trying death penalty cases in traffic court. With a backlog of over two million cases and counting, judges have impossibly full dockets, cases get continued at the last minute, and many people are left to their own devices to try to make sense of what their options might be to stay in the United States. A key part of this confusion is because immigration court – though the stakes of decisions are as high as can be – is civil, not criminal. Given this, individuals are not guaranteed the right to a court appointed attorney. New York City, however, has been on the forefront of trying to remedy at least this part of the equation, piloting a unique program to guarantee representation to New Yorkers facing removal proceedings. While having access to an attorney can make a meaningful difference, immigration judges still enjoy wide discretion in how they decide a given case. The core idea of this course is that there is a real utility to observing immigration court, both for research and for contributing to social change. This course will center around a practice of court watching in immigration court in order to develop a scholarly analysis of systems, institutions, and the functioning (or not) of the law. At the same time, this court watching practice will also involve the systematic collection of qualitative data that may be directly useful to immigration attorneys and their clients in their perpetual effort to hold immigration courts accountable and create as fair as possible of a playing field that upholds the basic principles of human rights. To that end, in this class we will study how to conduct courtroom observations, drawing from different methodological approaches and findings, study the idea, history, and critiques of immigration law from across disciplines, and conduct extensive, in depth, immigration court watching. We will partner with local legal services organizations in order to sharpen our sense of what kinds of data is useful for their specific legal interventions and to ensure that the data that we do collect and interpret can become part of a larger project to hold courts accountable. This course will offer students a unique opportunity to see how rigorous social science research and analysis can have real impacts in the world beyond the classroom, and how those two realms, through collaboration, can mutually contribute to advancing social change. They will learn first-hand how the careful application of qualitative research can reveal and sometimes remedy real world situations of structural injustice. This is an engaged pedagogy course. The class will be organized around a close collaboration with a local legal services provider that represents immigrants in court in New York City. Students will learn the complexities of US immigration law and will work collectively, with the local organization, to develop data that could be useful in broader efforts to reform the process by which immigration claims are adjudicated

Spring 2024: HRTS BC3935
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3935 001/00030 W F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Amelia Frank-Vitale 5.00 22/20

SOCI UN3937 Sociology of Human Rights. 4.00 points.

Sociology came to the study of human rights much later than law, philosophy, or political science. In this course, you’ll learn (1) what constitutes a sociology of human rights and (2) what sociology, its classics, and its diverse methods bring to the empirical study and theory of human rights. We’ll explore the history, social institutions and laws, ideas, practices, and theories of human rights. We’ll become familiar with the social actors, social structures, and relationships involved in practices such as violation, claims-making, advocacy, and protection. We’ll consider how social, cultural, political, and economic forces affect human rights issues. We’ll learn about the questions sociologists ask, starting with the most basic (but far from simple) question, “what is a human right?” We’ll tackle key debates in the field, considering – for instance – whether human rights are universal and how human rights relate to cultural norms/values, national sovereignty, and national security. Finally, we’ll apply the concepts we’ve learned to a wide range of issues (ex: how racial, ethnic, gender, and other social inequalities relate to human rights), rights (ex: LGBTQ rights, the rights of laborers, the rights of refugees), and cases (ex: enslavement, the separation of children from their families, circumcision, sterilization, the use of torture). We’ll consider human rights cases in the United States and across the globe, and how events and actions in one place relate to human rights violations in another

Spring 2024: SOCI UN3937
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3937 001/13400 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Rosemary McGunnigle-Gonzales 4.00 20/20

HRTS UN3940 History of Human Rights. 3.00 points.

This course provides students with an introduction to the history of human rights as a compelling, contested, and dynamic constellation of discourses, structures, and practices. As a framework for articulating and pursuing justice at local, national, and global levels, human rights in the 21st century draw on the diverse histories of social movements, moral philosophy, legal institutions, and political maneuvers across the modern period. Claimed most frequently when their violation is most egregious, the history of human rights is also a history of wrongs, with the changing nature and scope of oppression serving to provoke different kinds of human rights struggles. Often invoked as timeless and universal standards, the history of human rights demonstrates their basic malleability, both in terms of which rights are recognized and who qualifies as human, and their fundamental contingency, both in terms of the precariousness of any human rights ‘victory’ and their potential for co-optation in the interests of power. Finally, while this course is primarily concerned with the history of human rights, we will also consider the human rights of history, reflecting on the role of history and historical consciousness in the pursuit for justice. Learning Outcomes Aligned with the critical, historical, and integrative grounding of the course, the objectives for student learning encompass areas of knowledge, skills, and values. They include: Students will analyze the change over time of human rights discourses, institutions, practices. Students will analyze the continuities and discontinuities between historic and contemporary forms of human rights. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of various strategies for promoting human rights deployed by historic actors. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the role of history and historical consciousness in contemporary efforts to secure human rights. Students will develop their capacity for empathy across difference. Students will orient their own values in relation to the dynamic principles of human rights

Spring 2024: HRTS UN3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3940 001/14862 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
303 Uris Hall
Glenn Mitoma 3.00 56/65

HRTS UN3960 Refugees, Rights, and Representation. 3.00 points.

Given that, according to the UNHCR, there are currently 108.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, over 35 million of whom are refugees, it is unsurprising that their predicament preoccupies international lawyers, academics from the social sciences to the humanities, engineers and economists, journalists, policy specialists at NGOs, government officials, artists, tech companies, philanthropists, and, most significantly, displaced persons themselves. This seminar asks how these different actors draw on specific discourses and arguments—technological, scientific, personal, moral, historical—as they construct the figure and the problem of ‘the refugee.’ We will recognize refugee crises as an issue of urgent public concern as well as an occasion for interrogating how such crises are represented across academic, legal, and cultural conversations. Does displacement caused by personal persecution, natural disasters and climate change, armed conflict, or economic deprivation invite different kinds of international attention or sympathy? Where does the sanctuary promised the citizen end and the hospitality owed the stranger begin? How do contemporary developments in climate science, social media technologies, and big data intersect with discourses on refugees? And if ‘the refugee’ tells the lie to the nation state’s capacity to account for the world’s people, what other forms of political and social organization does the refugee live, inspire, create, or warn against? To consider such questions, we will examine political theory, history, anthropology, and philosophy; analyze international legal documents, policy proposals, investigative journalism, and NGO reports; and engage with novels, poetry, film, and photography, among other materials

HRTS UN3970 Introduction to Genocide Studies. 3.00 points.

This course provides students with an introduction to the study of genocide. In this class, we will take a critical approach to understanding genocide, meaning: we will try to avoid easy moralizing and distancing of genocide; we won’t take existing legal and political definitions of genocide for granted; and we will think about power in relation to genocide perpetration and prevention. Our strategy will be interdisciplinary, meaning: we will explore the ways historians, psychologist, lawyers, political scientists, and others have tried to understand genocide; and we will reflect on the limits on what and how we can know about genocide as a human experience. This course aspires to be practical and applied, meaning this course fundamentally anti-genocidal in its purpose, and students will have the opportunity to contribute to and/or develop practical efforts commemorate, advocate against, or prevent the perpetration of genocide

Fall 2024: HRTS UN3970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3970 001/10539 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Glenn Mitoma 3.00 17/22

HRTS GU4011 Indigenous Rights and Settler Colonialism in North America. 3.00 points.

Course Description This interdisciplinary course explores both the rights of Indigenous people in settler colonies as well as the complex historical and theoretical relationship between human rights and settler colonialism. We will pursue three lines of inquiry. The first critically explores how central political concepts of the international state system—sovereignty, property, territory, self-determination—entwine the histories of settler colonialism and human rights. The second charts the rise and mechanisms of the international Indigenous rights movement, in particular its activity at the United Nations leading to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, and its contributions to ongoing debates on environmental and climate justice, group rights, natural resources and territorial autonomy, and cultural rights. The third unit interrogates settler state responses to the movement for Indigenous human rights, such as cooptation, recognition, and apology. Through readings drawn from history, ethnography, political and critical theory, international relations, Native studies, law, and documents produced by intergovernmental organizations and NGOs, we will explore and deepen the tensions between human rights as a theory and practice and the political lives and aspirations of Indigenous peoples and activists. What technologies of rule—such as residential school systems and property law—do settler colonial states deploy to dispossess Indigenous peoples? How have Indigenous peoples used the international human rights regime to mobilize against such dispossession? How have these states resisted the global Indigenous rights movement? And can the human rights regime, rooted in the international state system, meaningfully contribute to anticolonial movements in liberal settler colonies? While we will touch on settler colonialism as it manifests around the globe, the course’s geographical focus will be on North America. Course objectives Throughout this course, you will: Develop a historically-informed understanding of both international indigenous rights and settler colonialism as idea, practice, institution, and discourse; Place the literature on human rights and settler colonialism into critical conversation in order to deepen existing conceptual problems and generate new ones; Identify the main arguments in theoretical texts, legal and policy documents, and public debates; Read and think across disciplines to develop arguments that speak to multiple scholarly communities; Produce an original argument in relation to other authors’ arguments, and construct and organize an analytical, argumentative paper; Communicate ideas effectively in class discussions and presentations; Bring case studies and questions encountered outside the course into the classroom to challenge or nuance the assigned material

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4011 001/13282 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Timothy Wyman-McCarthy 3.00 3/22


The world economy is a patchwork of competing and complementary interests among and between governments, corporations, and civil society. These stakeholders at times cooperate and also conflict over issues of global poverty, inequality, and sustainability. What role do human rights play in coordinating the different interests that drive global economic governance? This seminar will introduce students to different structures of global governance for development, trade, labor, finance, the environment, migration, and intellectual property and investigate their relationship with human rights. Students will learn about public, private, and mixed forms of governance, analyze the ethical and strategic perspectives of the various stakeholders and relate them to existing human rights norms. The course will examine the work of multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the International Financial Institutions, as well as international corporate and non-governmental initiatives

HRTS GU4195 Topics in History, Memory and Transitional Justice. 3 points.

How do societies address their “bad pasts” in order to create “good futures” in the aftermath of conflict, state-sponsored repression, dictatorship, and genocide? Transitional Justice has generated numerous strategic and tactical approaches for redressing often irreparable harms.  These include: international criminal tribunals, national or local legal proceedings, truth commissions, restitution, the accurate revision of history, public apologies, the establishment of monuments and museums, and official commemorations.

The aim of this course is to examine and analyze from a historical perspective the characteristics and problems of transitions from non-democratic/dictatorial/totalitarian/criminal political regimes to the beginnings of democracy and civil society. We shall focus on concepts and comparative cases, and current and past transitional justice-related questions, including historical reconciliation. We will study, among others, the experience of Germany at and after the Nuremberg proceedings, transitional justice in Africa, post-Soviet efforts at coming to terms with its Communist past, the ICTY/ICTR/ICC, amnesty and amnesia, and the legacy and memory of genocide and mass political repression.  Students will gain a substantive framework for understanding the questions and challenges related to transitional justice today.

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4195
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4195 001/10871 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Nanci Adler 3 18/22

HRTS GU4210 Equality, Identity and Rights. 3.00 points.

By connecting law, philosophy, and key human rights cases, this course will examine one of the main dilemmas in human rights theory and practice: the balance between equality and identity in the protection of rights. What forms of equality should be recognized to assure effective rights for all? What forms of identity should be recognized? Can there be effective human rights without an intersectional approach? Should we prioritize redistribution or recognition? What can we learn from cases developed in the UN System, in regional systems of human rights, and in specific countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, and Europe? How can we be effective human rights defenders in a growingly complex field? With these questions in mind, we will address different possibilities of protecting black women in the U.S. and Brazil, Muslim immigrants in Denmark, Indigenous women in Kenya and Canada, persons with disabilities in Tanzania, mothers with HIV in South Africa, poor workers in the Amazon Forest, abducted children in Argentina, and so forth. Learning objectives: • Overview of how equality in human rights is connected to the recognition of identities, or more specifically, to the recognition of an intersectional approach to rights • Understanding different forms of equality that can be advanced through human rights • Adopting a problem-solving approach to an increasingly complex field of human rights, in order to become more effective human rights advocates • Critically analyzing and getting acquainted with cases in the UN system, the regional systems of human rights, and domestic jurisdictions around the world

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4210
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4210 001/15134 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
1102 International Affairs Bldg
Daniela Ikawa 3.00 8/22


This class takes a social movement perspective to analyze and understand the international human rights movement. The course will address the evolution of the international human rights movement and focus on the NGOs that drive the movement on the international, regional and domestic levels. Sessions will highlight the experiences of major human rights NGOs and will address topics including strategy development, institutional representation, research methodologies, partnerships, networks, venues of engagement, campaigning, fundraising and, perhaps most importantly, the fraught and complex debates about adaptation to changing global circumstances, starting with the pre-Cold War period and including some of the most up-to-date issues and questions going on in this field today

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4215 001/10541 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Louis Bickford 3.00 0/22


Refugees, forced migration, and displacement: these subjects top the headlines of the world’s newspapers, not to mention our social media feeds. Over a million refugees have reached Europe’s shores in recent years, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere continue to force people to flee their homes. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and 9/11, politicians in the Global North have focused on borders: who crosses them and how. Walls are being erected. Referendums are being held. We are consumed with thorny questions about who gets to join our political communities. Today there are over 65 million refugees, displaced persons, and stateless persons in the world, represented at last summer’s Olympics by their own team for first the time, a testament to their increasing visibility on the world stage. Global forced displacement recently hit a historical high. And while numbers are increasing, solutions are still elusive. The modern refugee regime, the collection of laws and institutions designed to address the problems faced by refugees, has developed slowly over the course of the last 100 years, first in response to specific crises. That regime has been shaped by a changing geopolitical landscape. At the end of the Cold War, institutions in the field expanded their mandates and preferred solutions to the “problem” of refugees changed. And yet today many scholars and policy makers argue the regime is not fit for purpose. They point to the European refugee crisis as the latest case in point. Why? What went wrong and where? Can it be fixed? This course will largely focus on the issues of forced migration, displacement and refugees related to conflict, although this subject is inevitably intertwined with larger debates about citizenship and humanitarianism. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will address both scholarly and policy debates. Utilizing human rights scholarship, it will draw on work in history that charts the evolution of institutions; legal scholarship that outlines international and domestic laws; work in political science that seeks to understand responses in a comparative perspective, and anthropological studies that address how refugees understand these institutions and their experiences of exile and belonging. These topics are not only the purview of those in the academy, however. Investigative journalists have most recently provided trenchant coverage of the world’s refugees, especially the current European crisis, where many have reported from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Policy makers scramble to keep up with a crisis literally in motion. We will read their communiqués as well. While we will only begin to skim the surface of these issues, in this course you should expect to gain the following expertise: 1) Knowledge of the modern refugee regime and its origins 2) An analysis of actors and institutions who are tasked with responding to refugee crises and how their roles have changed 3) An understanding of a few critical historical case studies, both in the United States and abroad 4) Critical analysis of the current refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East 5) Knowledge of the asylum process in the US and in comparative perspective 6) An understanding of the debates about conducting research with vulnerable populations such as refugees and displaced persons



This course examines how changes in information and communications technology have, over the past two decades, fundamentally transformed the practices of civil society actors engaged with human rights issues. New communications tools such as Twitter, blogs, and Facebook have changed the ways that organizations communicate with their followers and seek to influence public debate. The increasing accessibility of analytic tools for researching and visualizing changing patterns of human rights abuse has empowered groups to better understand and respond more forcefully to these issues. Indeed, the use of social media as a communications tool has made it a data source for those monitoring and analyzing patterns of activity, in ways that draw increasingly on the techniques of big data analysis

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4270
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4270 001/10862 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Ted Perlmutter 3.00 9/22

HRTS GU4300 ECON&SOC RTS:POL/PRAC. 3.00 points.

This course will address economic and social human rights through the lens of what is happening now in the early 21st century, in light of the enormous shifts that have taken place since the modern human rights movement first emerged in the aftermath of WWII. The course will address many of the central debates about economic and social rights and then examine how those debates apply to specific rights and topics including development, health, housing, work, food and education. Throughout, the course will examine how activists and policymakers have responded to all these changes, and ask what might lie ahead for the human rights movement in addressing economic and social rights in a multilateral, globalized world

HRTS GU4340 Human Rights Accountability & Remedies. 3 points.

Not offered during 2023-2024 academic year.

Effective remedies for violations of human rights is a core tenet of human rights law. Yet in practice, victims are rarely able to rely on formal accountability mechanisms to deliver remedies. This course examines how advocates combine political, legal and reputational accountability strategies to hold violators accountable where formal enforcement mechanisms are unavailable. The course will look beyond the international criminal legal system, and instead draw on case studies from contexts where the accountability gap is particularly stark: transnational actors who lack direct accountability relationships with rights-holders, including in international development, peacekeeping and corporate activities.

By delving into practical and tactical considerations, students will build an understanding of how various strategies work together to build a successful campaign for accountability that results in remedies for victims.  Students will engage in simulated exercises in media advocacy, political lobbying, engaging with the UN human rights system, and public campaigning.  Students will learn how to build empowering narratives that shape public opinion, center victims in their work, and nurture transnational partnerships to overcome power differentials.  Through discussions grounded in both theory and practice, students will also critically interrogate the practice of human rights advocacy.

HRTS GU4360 Menstruation, Gender, and Rights: Interdisciplinary Approaches. 3.00 points.

The course will explore the contemporary discourse around menstruation in global and local contexts. The recent shift in public discourse around menstruation is crucial because efforts to support menstruators across the lifespan not only confer health benefits but are also part of an enduring project of pursuing gender equality and women’s rights. Centering attention on menstrual health resists pernicious social control of women’s bodies and recognizes the body as foundational, urgent and politically relevant. This is why menstruation matters: it unites the personal and the political, the intimate and the public, the physiological and the socio-cultural. The course examines gender justice and women’s rights through the lens of menstruation, discussing questions of gender stereotyping, transnational feminism, and gender identity. Students will gain an understanding of the relevance of menstruation across different spheres of life combining bio-medical and socio-cultural factors. We will ask: What is the relationship between menstruation, human rights and gender equality? What does it mean to approach menstrual health research from an interdisciplinary perspective? -- Over the course of the semester, we will examine different spheres of life, including health, education, equality in the work place, freedom of religion, and cultural rights. In doing so, the course will pay particular attention to the intersection of gender and other markers of inequalities, including disability, socio-economic status, age, caste, and gender identity. The course development is supported by the Provost's Interdisciplinary Teaching Award

HRTS GU4380 Advocacy for Socio-Economic RIghts. 3.00 points.

This course will examine practical issues, opportunities, tactics and strategies to advocate for economic and social rights. The course will incorporate central debates about economic and social rights, such as how to identify violators and define state responsibility, whether these rights can be litigated, and how to make implementable recommendations for change, measure implementation and measure impact. The course will also look more in depth at the standards and fulfillment challenges on several of the key rights including health, housing, education, and labor. Throughout the course, you will focus on one economic and social rights topic of your choice. Through the lens of your chosen topic, you will review how organizations and social movements have engaged to affect change on similar issues, and use that research to explore many of the practical skills of advocacy and campaigning: framing recommendations and calls to action; drafting policy briefs; crafting media pitches and social media content; and designing and evaluating an overall advocacy strategy

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4380
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4380 001/11353 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1102 International Affairs Bldg
Mila Rosenthal 3.00 11/22



Debates over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have never been more visible in the international arena. Advocates are beginning to have some success in putting sexual orientation and gender identity on the agenda for inclusion in human rights instruments. But in many local and regional contexts, state-sanctioned homophobia is on the rise, from the official anti-gay stance of Russia featured during the Sochi Winter Games to the passage of Mississippi’s anti-gay bill and Uganda’s anti-homosexuality act. This course examines these trends in relation to strategies pursued by grassroots activists and NGOs and the legal issues they raise, including marriage and family rights, discrimination, violence, torture, sex classification, and asylum. We will also focus on current debates about the relation between sexual rights and gender justice, tensions between universalisty constructions of gay/trans identity and local formations of sexual and gender non-conformity, and legacies of colonialism

HRTS GU4460 Climate Justice. 3.00 points.

The unfolding climate emergency occurs at the confluence of three global systems of domination – capitalism, racialized imperialism, and patriarchy. Premised as they are on exploitation, competition, and inequality rather than consideration, cooperation and balance, these systems of domination not only have caused the crisis but are seemingly unable to resolve it. Among the injustices of the contemporary impasse is the likelihood the people who have least benefited from the global (dis)order, and especially minorities in the global south, will be the worst affected casualties of climate change. Encompassing a focus on equity and frameworks for accountability and redress, the human rights paradigm is a useful lens through which to analyze the emergency, exert accountability, and imagine better futures. It is against this backdrop that this interdisciplinary (climate science, law, politics, social science, development studies and anthropology) course on Climate Justice has been introduced to the Human Rights Studies MA program. This 3-credit course addresses contemporary issues in the evolving discourse and epistemology of climate justice. How should we understand the climate emergency from a social justice perspective? What terminologies, discourses and paradigms are useful? How have individuals, non-government organizations and social movements sought to overcome climate change vulnerabilities and advance climate justice? What litigation, law and policy initiatives have been brought, and with what level of success? And what alternative models of living, working and being are conceivable for a more socially, ecologically, and existentially sustainable world?

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4460
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4460 001/10863 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Jacqueline Dugard 3.00 11/22


The seminar will situate the historical, legal and political analysis within the context of current debates of human rights theory, cultural relativism, racism, “dialogue among civilizations” the post- September 11th era and the increasingly prominent phenomenon of destruction of cultural heritage. Reviewing international legal instruments, national and international practice, jurisprudence and literature of the last sixty years, and using a multidisciplinary approach, the seminar will explore what cultural rights mean both as individual and as collective human rights, with special references to the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, women, migrants and other groups, offering a vision for pluricultural democratic and peaceful societies


The course addresses selected issues in the protection of socio-economic rights in an international and comparative perspective. Socio-economic rights have emerged from the margins into the mainstream of human rights. The course will take this status as its starting point and examine the human rights to housing, food, water, health and sanitation in depth. We will explore conceptual issues through the lens of specific rights which will help us ground these principles and ideas in concrete cases. We will discuss developments on socioeconomic rights and examine their relevance in the United States as well as selected other countries, particularly those with progressive legislation, policies and jurisprudence. What is the meaning and scope of the rights to housing, food, water, health and sanitation? What is the impact of discrimination and inequalities on the enjoyment of socio-economic rights? How can governments be held accountable for the realization of human rights? What machinery is there at the international level to ensure that the rights are protected, respected and fulfilled? How can this machinery be enhanced? How can judicial, quasijudicial, administrative and political mechanisms be used at the domestic level? What is the role of different actors in the context of human rights, the role of States and individuals, but also (powerful) non-State actors and civil society? How have activists and policymakers responded to challenges? And what lies ahead for the human rights movement in addressing economic and social rights in a multilateral, globalized world?

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4500 001/10542 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Jacqueline Dugard 3.00 0/22


(Lecture). We cant talk about human rights without talking about the forms in which we talk about human rights. This course will study the convergences of the thematics, philosophies, politics, practices, and formal properties of literature and human rights. In particular, it will examine how literary questions of narrative shape (and are shaped by) human rights concerns; how do the forms of stories enable and respond to forms of thought, forms of commitment, forms of being, forms of justice, and forms of violation? How does narrative help us to imagine an international order based on human dignity, rights, and equality? We will read classic literary texts and contemporary writing (both literary and non-literary) and view a number of films and other multimedia projects to think about the relationships between story forms and human rights problematics and practices. Likely literary authors: Roberto Bolaño, Miguel de Cervantes, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Slavenka Drakulic, Nuruddin Farah, Janette Turner Hospital, Franz Kafka, Sahar Kalifeh, Sindiwe Magona, Maniza Naqvi, Michael Ondaatje, Alicia Partnoy, Ousmane Sembène, Mark Twain . . . . We will also read theoretical and historical pieces by authors such as Agamben, An-Naim, Appiah, Arendt, Balibar, Bloch, Chakrabarty, Derrida, Douzinas, Habermas, Harlow, Ignatieff, Laclau and Mouffe, Levinas, Lyotard, Marx, Mutua, Nussbaum, Rorty, Said, Scarry, Soyinka, Spivak, Williams

Spring 2024: CLEN GU4550
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4550 001/12312 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Joseph R Slaughter 3.00 30/60


In August 2016, a working group of the International Geological Congress voted to acknowledge a new geological epoch, following 11,700 years of the Holocene, and that it would be called The Anthropocene. The announcement indicated a new era in the earth’s chronology marked by the consequences of human activity on the planet’s ecosystems. Closely related to discussions of sustainability, investigations into the Anthropocene tend to focus on environmental and ecological issues while ignoring its social justice dimensions. This course will investigate how Human Rights has and will be impacted by the Anthropocene, with special attention paid to the human dimensions and consequences of anthropogenic change. Do new and troubling revelations about anthropogenic mistreatment of the earth and its resources modify or amplify the kinds of responsibilities that govern activity between individuals and communities? How do we scale the human response from the urban, to the periurban, to the rural? How must the study of Human Rights evolve to address violence and mistreatment associated not just among humans but also amid human habitats? What sorts of juridical changes must occur to recognize and respond to new manifestations of social injustice that relate directly to consequences of anthropogenic changes to the Earth system? Topics will include discussions of the Environmental Justice movement, agribusiness, access to (and allocation of) natural resources, population growth; its global impact, advocacy for stronger and more accountability through environmental legal change, biodiversity in urban environments, and the growing category of environmental refugees

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4600 001/10645 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Noah Chasin 3.00 0/22


This course is designed to introduce contemporary children’s rights issues and help students develop practical advocacy skills to protect and promote the rights of children. Students will explore case studies of advocacy campaigns addressing issues including juvenile justice, child labor, child marriage, the use of child soldiers, corporal punishment, migration and child refugees, female genital mutilation, and LBGT issues affecting children. Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with international children’s rights standards, as well as a variety of advocacy strategies and avenues, including use of the media, litigation, and advocacy with UN, legislative bodies, and the private sector. Written assignments will focus on practical advocacy tools, including advocacy letters, op-eds, submissions to UN mechanisms or treaty bodies, and the development of an overarching advocacy strategy, including the identification of goals and objectives, and appropriate advocacy targets and tactics

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4650
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4650 001/10543 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Michael Bochenek, Jo Becker 3.00 1/22

HRTS GU4700 Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: A Human Rights Approach. 3 points.

This course examines major ethical dilemmas that emerge in the convergence between human rights and public health at the national and international levels. Using specific case studies, Attention will be given to the rationales, meaning and implementation of the right to health across borders; the theories and practices of allocation of scare resources; the challenges of providing care for minority groups—including sexual minorities, children, and persons with disabilities; and the ethical, legal, and social implications of international health governance. This is an interactive course, with interdisciplinary scholarship and exploration of issues in historical, cultural and political contexts. 


Priority given to human rights studies M.A. students. Open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates on first day of term with the instructor's permission.

The resurgence of religion over the past three decades has had a transformative influence globally and within nations. Religious nationalism, fundamentalism, and communalism have arisen to forcefully compete with secular democracy. With the fall of the Soviet bloc and the bilateralism of the Cold War, ethnic particularism, often of a religious character, has emerged as the locus of identity for people on all continents. These rapid changes engendered by a new, often commanding, role for religion challenge the very concept of individual and universal human rights. They raise difficult theoretical and painfully practical questions as to the preservation of individual human rights, and the relationship of democracy to religion. At the same time, recent currents such as economic globalization, the triumph of the free market, and the communications revolution promote individual autonomy, a cornerstone of human rights. There can be no doubt that religion will occupy an increasingly salient role in the social and political life of nations during the course of the 21st century. The relevance of religion to human rights in our time cannot be undervalued. The course examines the relationship of religion to human rights from several standpoints, including religions role in abetting intolerance, religious minorities as victims of human rights violations, and religion as a framer of human rights ideals which inspire action


The United States has a long complex relationship with the international human rights system. Although its founding was grounded in fundamental norms of inalienable rights, equality and freedom, U.S. history is characterized by divisive and sometimes violent disagreements about who counts as human, what is fundamental to the human condition, and which/how rights should be protected. How has this history contributed to our contemporary struggles? Through engaging with issues related to racial justice, criminal justice, reproductive justice, disability justice, gender justice, and indigenous people’s rights, students are asked to consider how certain rights are sites of contestation within the U.S. political system and within U.S. society. This course offers a multidisciplinary survey of urgent contemporary human rights issues in the United States and seeks to advance students’ skills to examine human rights research and analysis through intersectional approaches. Part of the inquiry of this course is ensuring that students understand existing tensions among several key concepts (1) human rights as a body of international human rights law and institutions; (2) human rights movements using human rights discourse to further their aspirations; (3) constitutional rights in the U.S. as interpreted by U.S. courts that may or may not allude to/be contained in international law; and (4) political rhetoric that use the language of “rights” for political ends. Coursework will ground current human rights debates in their social, legal, and political contexts. It will outline the different actors in the human rights landscape, focusing on mobilization strategies of human rights movements and the policy reforms that they seek to advance human rights agendas. Students will engage with legal cases and legislation in the United States. By the end of this course, you should expect to be able to: Understand critical human rights issues in the United States, and apply international and domestic human rights principles and practice to these contemporary human rights debates; Understand the role of social movements in shaping narratives around human rights; Analyze (through case studies) the real-life application and effects of human rights policies, as well as how they contribute to the promotion, progressive enforcement, and internalization of international human rights

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4880 001/11352 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Joy Chia 3.00 12/22


The course is part of the programs offerings in experiential learning. Students will engage in an applied research project with an NGO partner focused on the role of UN Special Rapporteurs and the strategies they employ. Students will become familiar with the intricacies of the UN human rights system, while also taking a birds-eye view on the system, its challenges and the need for reform, The course seeks to combine critical reflection with practical application, including through the perspectives of practitioners and guest speakers who discuss their strategies for advocacy

HRTS GU4910 Children's Rights, Armed Conflict, and Peacebuilding. 3 points.

According the UN Secretary-General’s (SG) annual report on children and armed conflict last year armed conflicts around the world led to at least 4,000 verified rights violations against children committed by government forces and over 11,500 by non-state armed groups. The violations include killing or maiming, recruitment or use of children in hostilities, sexual violence, using children as human bombs, abductions, the denial of humanitarian access, and attacks on schools and hospitals. About 50 per cent of the estimated 26 million people currently displaced by armed conflicts and violence are children. 

This course examines global approaches, challenges and problems associated with providing resources, implementing laws and guidelines, and ensuring education to children before, during and after armed conflicts. Students will be asked to interrogate current approaches and literature in light of critical theories of childhood, human rights and children’s rights more specifically.  The course utilizes case studies that show the failures of international human rights and NGOs to address the needs of children before, during, and after conflict, as well as the problems with not taking into account children’s perspectives and lived experience. The course seeks to the extent possible to incorporate children’s views on conflict through a review of children’s drawings, writing, and interviews.  It questions the common representations about children and armed conflict that mass media, international development literature, children’s literature, and film promote. The course will also explore the international norms for protecting children in emergencies which have also been strengthened considerably, by a number of UN Security Council resolutions, notably resolutions 1612 and 1820, aimed at ending the abuse of children and civilians in the context of war. What are the responsibilities of the International Community to protect and support children of war? What preventative measures can be taken to better ensure children do not fall victims to armed conflict?  Finally, the course takes a special look at education prior to, during conflict, and post-conflict, to understand how and whether the root causes of conflict-- discrimination, intolerance, economic inequality-- are addressed by educational systems.


Priority for 3rd & 4th yr CC/GS HUMR studs & to HRSMA studs

The course will explore the often-contested terrain of urban contexts, looking at cities fron architectural, sociological, historical, and political positions. What do rights have to do with the city? Can the ancient idea of a right to the city tell us something fundamental about both rights and cities? Our notion of citizenship is based in the understanding of a city as a community, and yet today why do millions of people live in cities without citizenship? The course will be organized thematically in order to discuss such issues as the consequences of cities developments in relation to their peripheries beginning with the normative idea of urban boundaries deriving from fortifying walls, debates around the public sphere, nomadic architecture and urbanism, informal settlements such as slums and shantytowns, surveillance and control in urban centers, refugees and the places they live, catastrophes natural and man-made and reconstruction, and sovereign areas within cities the United Nations, War Crimes Tribunals. At the heart of our inquiry will be an investigation of the ways in which rights within urban contexts are either granted or withheld

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4915 011/10875 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
253 Engineering Terrace
Noah Chasin 3.00 16/22
HRTS 4915 AU1/18563 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Othr Other
Noah Chasin 3.00 7/8


This seminar will cover various issues, debates, and concepts in the international law of armed conflict (known as international humanitarian law), particularly as it relates to the protection of non-combatants (civilians and prisoners of war). In doing so, we will examine how international humanitarian law and human rights law intersect. Both sets of legal norms are designed to protect the lives, well-being, and dignity of individuals.However, the condition of armed conflict provides a much wider set of options for governments and individuals to engage in violent, deadly action against others, including killing, forcibly detaining, and destroying the property of those designated as combatants. At the same time, the means of waging war are not unlimited, but rather are tightly regulated by both treaty and customary law. This course will examine how these regulations operate in theory and practice, focusing on the principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4930 001/10864 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
477 Alfred Lerner Hall
Bruce Cronin 4.00 15/22

HRTS GU4940 Human Rights and Education. 3.00 points.

In this course, we will consider human rights as an educational enterprise, and education as a human rights practice. In addition to codifying the human right to education in Article 26, the Universal Declaration gives priority to “teaching and education” as a primary mechanism for ensuring respect, recognition, and observance of human rights. While human rights are more typically understood through legal and political discourse, this course focuses on education as both the site of and a strategy in struggles for just, equitable, and dignified communities. This course examines both the right to education and the emergent field of human rights education, and provides students the opportunity to analyze human rights as a form of public pedagogy aimed at fostering particular kinds of subjects and communities. Using historical and contemporary examples, the course explores various educational strategies designed to promote human rights in different contexts and among different learners, and evaluates educational institutions as potential sites of human rights promotion and violation

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4940 001/14864 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Glenn Mitoma 3.00 18/22



Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Please e-mail the instructor at
Prerequisites: the instructors permission. Please e-mail the instructor at This course will examine the tension between two contradictory trends in world politics. On the one hand, we have emerged from a century that has seen some of the most brutal practices ever perpetrated by states against their populations in the form of genocide, systematic torture, mass murder and ethnic cleansing. Many of these abuses occurred after the Holocaust, even though the mantra never again was viewed by many as a pledge never to allow a repeat of these practices. Events in the new century suggest that these trends will not end anytime soon. At the same time, since the middle of the twentieth century, for the first time in human history there has been a growing global consensus that all individuals are entitled to at least some level of protection from abuse by their governments. This concept of human rights has been institutionalized through international law, diplomacy, international discourse, transnational activism, and the foreign policies of many states. Over the past two decades, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and international tribunals have gone further than any institutions in human history to try to stem state abuses. This seminar will try to make sense of these contradictions

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4950
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4950 001/10544 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Bruce Cronin 3.00 8/22

HRTS GU4955 Narrative and Representation in Post-Conflict Societites. 3 points.

This course explores the relationship between narrative and the legacy of violence and atrocity in post-conflict societies, focusing particularly on the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia (and more briefly Indonesia and Armenia). Examining a range of medium – including, but not limited, to eye-witness accounts, memoirs, history books, government reports, film, theater, memorials - we will consider how different narratives address issues of history and memory, justice and judgment. We will also discuss how narrative influences efforts to achieve reconciliation and come to terms with the past on both personal and societal levels. Does revisiting the past allow people who either suffered or inflicted terrible violence – or both – once again live together? Are there particular modes or genres of narrative that are particularly successful in terms of enabling societies to reflect on their past and respond adequately? Can justice and accountability ever be achieved?These are some of the questions we will consider as we examine the ways in which atrocities are written about, remembered, judged and interpreted.

HRTS GU4965 Gender-Based Violence & Human Rights. 3.00 points.

The term 'gendercide' highlights a range of distinct and specific forms of violence executed against human beings based on their own gender self-identification as well as patriarchal assumptions about their gender. In this course, we will examine research discerning, movements challenging, and the adjudication, and/or lack thereof, of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in several major categories traversing spatial, temporal, and ideological contexts, including: reproductive rights and health; trafficking and migration; and disaster and pandemics. It is critical to: interrogate the ideologies that drive and sustain GBV; examine in detail the harm it presents to human beings; explore what can be done to protect the security of those experiencing GBV; and to think about measures of prevention to guard additional human beings from experiencing it. The heart of the course will involve an intersectional analysis of specific case studies; highlighting the GBV associated with each case; examining the impact of GBV on human rights; and how GBV has been addressed in society. The close study of each case will assist students in illuminating intricacies, complexities, and challenges to human security in specific contexts

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4965
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4965 001/10644 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Julie Rajan 3.00 0/22

HRTS GU4970 Refugees, Citizenship, Migration. 3.00 points.

This interdisciplinary course grapples with nation-states and cities at its margins, exploring the exclusions, oppositions, silences and, in particular, the 'Others' or 'in-betweens' of the nation-state as an organizing tool. ‘Illegal migrants’, ‘refugees’, ‘asylum seekers’, ‘exiles’, ‘nomads’, ‘aliens’, and other ‘Others’: these are all in-between figures, exceptions to a political order defined by membership in the city, borders, sovereignty and nation-states. In their very existence, they represent a challenge to this political order, as social and political theorists have long recognized. This seminar explores the dynamics, contradictions and politics surrounding nation-states and their Others with particular attention to the responses to them on the part of ostensibly liberal-democratic states. We examine the relationship between citizenship, statelessness, refugee-hood and migration as exceptions to a political order defined by membership in the city, borders, sovereignty and nation-states. Students will engage with film, fiction, visual animations and displacement maps to examine key theoretical and critical interventions by scholars who examine nation-states and cities at their margins. To this end, participants will examine key theoretical interventions by Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Giorgio Agamben alongside scholars who have grappled with, contested, and developed their ideas, such as Étienne Balibar, Didier Bigo, Jacques Rancière, and Seyla Benhabib. With these texts, the participants will attempt to explore non-national or post-national alternatives to the nation-state and citizenship as a tool for planning and organization of people and space. Taken together, this course provides an alternative to conventional scholarship on this subject. It engages with and provides an alternative to the mainstream literature to take for granted the inclusive and integrative character of nation-states and its respective memberships in the form of refugees, citizens and migrants. At first glance, the course may appear highly theoretical, but not to worry—we will move slowly through the texts and concepts together. The instructor will also ensure that we apply the ideas discussed in class to concrete and tangible case studies with examples given to enable easier access and collective learning

Fall 2024: HRTS GU4970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4970 001/10545 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Shourideh Molavi 3.00 0/22

HRTS GU4975 Borders, Surveillance, Rights. 3.00 points.

This interdisciplinary course grapples with the relationship between borders, surveillance, power and rights, critically examining the ways in which lines, boundaries, and caesuras are drawn among geographical entities, communities, identities, environments, and ultimately, social relations – demarcating self and other, establishing hierarchical relationships and activating infrastructures of violence. This seminar explores the dynamics, contradictions and politics surrounding borders and surveillance, and borrows from the fields of film, architecture, art and urban studies to explore the effect on access to and formulations of human rights. To this end, we engage notions of biopolitics, racialization, exclusion/exception, necropolitics, coloniality, hospitality and securitization, among others. The course also engages visual and spatial methodologies and maps out everyday practices of resistance that seek to challenge, subvert or collapse the multifaceted violence of borders. Taken together, this course provides an alternative to conventional scholarship on this subject. It engages with and provides an alternative to the mainstream literature to take for granted the inclusive and integrative character of nation-states. At first glance, the course may appear highly theoretical, but not to worry—we will move slowly through the texts and concepts together. The instructor will also ensure that we apply the ideas discussed in class to concrete and tangible case studies with examples given to enable easier access and collective learning

Spring 2024: HRTS GU4975
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4975 001/14865 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Mpr River Side Church
Shourideh Molavi 3.00 11/22

HRTS GU4995 Education in Conflict Zones. 4.00 points.

Across the world, conflict and violence are on the rise, in many forms and due to myriad factors. This course explores the relationship between war, conflict, and education. Drawing on a human rights framework and its applications to education, this course will explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in this framework. Questions we will explore include: How does education contribute to, or mitigate conflict? What is the role of education in emergencies? What is the role of education in addressing the needs of refugees? What is the role of education in post conflict contexts and peacebuilding? What is human rights education?

 Related Courses

WMST BC1050 WOMEN AND HEALTH. 3.00 points.

Combines critical feminist and anti-racist analyses of medicine with current research in epidemiology and biomedicine to understand health and health disparities as co-produced by social systems and biology

Spring 2024: WMST BC1050
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 1050 001/00733 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Ll002 Milstein Center
Cecelia Lie-Spahn 3.00 86/90

POLS UN1101 POLITICAL THEORY I. 4.00 points.

This course considers key questions at the foundation of political thought. What is justice? How do we justify the coercive power of states? Do we have an obligation to obey the government? Who should make and enforce the law? What basic rights and liberties should governments protect? How should our economic system produce and divide wealth and material resources? What are the claims of excluded or marginalized groups and how can these claims be addressed? We explore these questions through the works of several classical and contemporary political thinkers. A major goal of the course is to practice the skills needed to understand a political thinker’s arguments and to construct one’s own

Spring 2024: POLS UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1101 001/00350 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
202 Altschul Hall
Alyssa Battistoni 4.00 145/150
Fall 2024: POLS UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 1101 001/14904 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Karuna Mantena 4.00 100/100

SOCI UN1203 The Social Animal in the Digital Age. 3.00 points.

This course re-examines central theories and perspectives in the social sciences from the standpoint of digital technologies. Who are we in the digital age? Is the guiding question for the course. We consider the impact of modern technology on society including, forms of interaction and communication, possibilities for problem solving, and re-configurations of social relationships and forms of authority. The course integrates traditional social science readings with contemporary perspectives emerging from scholars who looking at modern social life. The course is an introductory Sociology offering

Fall 2024: SOCI UN1203
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 1203 001/10912 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Sudhir Venkatesh 3.00 53/200

MDES UN2004 Conflicts: Race, Region, Religion. 4.00 points.

Prior to “conflict resolution,” there is conflict. But what is conflict and how do we understand it? This introductory lecture course proposes to explore established objects in their presumed ties to the fact and concept of “conflict.” We will inquire into the nature of conflict as well as into the kinds of conflicts that operate, or seem to operate, perhaps even to structure, the understanding of race, of region, and of religion. We will attend to the solidity and fragility of geographic divisions (regional and trans regional conflicts), their history (modern / premodern, colonial / pre- and post-colonial), the emergence of race (racial and ethnic conflicts), the pertinence of religions (religious strife and violence), their relation to political associations (religion and politics, religion and nationalism) and to other social and/or economic divisions (class, gender). We will interrogate the analytic and descriptive value of keywords like war, enmity, dispute, division, partition. We will also reflect on disciplinary tensions and divisions toward an understanding and perpetuation of conflict. Finally, we will think about the possibility and impossibility of “speaking with the enemy.”

ECON BC2010 The Economics of Gender. 3 points.

Examination of gender differences in the U.S. and other advanced industrial economies. Topics include the division of labor between home and market, the relationship between labor force participation and family structure, the gender earnings gap, occupational segregation, discrimination, and historical, racial, and ethnic group comparisons.

ANTH UN2017 Mafias and Other Dangerous Affiliations. 3.00 points.

Regimes of various shapes and sizes tend to criminalize associations, organizations, and social relations that these ruling powers see as anathema to the social order on which their power depends: witches, officers of toppled political orders, alleged conspirators (rebels, traitors, terrorists, and dissidents), gangsters and mafiosi, or corrupt officers and magnates. Our main goal will be to understand how and under what conditions do those with the power to do so define, investigate, criminalize and prosecute those kinds of social relations that are cast as enemies of public order. We will also pay close attention to questions of knowledge – legal, investigative, political, journalistic, and public – how doubt, certainty, suspicion and surprise shape the struggle over the relationship between the state and society. The main part of the course is organized around six criminal investigations on mafia-related affairs that took place from the 1950s to the present (two are undergoing appeal these days) in western Sicily. After the introductory section, we will spend two weeks (four meetings) on every one of these cases. We will follow attempts to understand the Mafia and similarly criminalized organizations, and procure evidence about it. We will then expand our inquiry from Sicily to cases from all over the world, to examine questions about social relations, law, the uses of culture, and political imagination. *Although this is a social anthropology course, no previous knowledge of anthropology is required or presumed. Classroom lectures will provide necessary disciplinary background

Fall 2024: ANTH UN2017
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2017 001/11493 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3.00 91/120

ECON BC2075 Logic and Limits of Economic Justice. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Economic Reasoning (ECON BC 1003) or Principles of Economics (ECON W1105). An introductory course in political theory or political philosophy is strongly recommended, but not required.

Introduce students to problems of economic justice under capitalism.  Course has three goals: (1) expose students to debates between economics and philosophers about the meaning and nature of justice, (2) explore conflict between efficiency and justice, (3) examine implications of justice for gender equality, intergenerational equity and climate change.


Is there an essential difference between women and men? How do questions about race conflict or overlap with those about gender? Is there a normal way of being queer? Introduction to philosophy and feminism through a critical discussion of these and other questions using historical and contemporary texts, art, and public lectures. Focus includes essentialism, difference, identity, knowledge, objectivity, and queerness

Fall 2024: PHIL UN2110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2110 001/12274 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Christia Mercer 3.00 78/90

WMST BC2140 Critical Approaches in Social and Cultural Theory. 3.00 points.

This course examines the conceptual foundations that support feminist and queer analyses of racial capitalism, security and incarceration, the politics of life and health, and colonial and postcolonial studies, among others. Open to all students; required for the major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE)

Spring 2024: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/00763 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll002 Milstein Center
Janet Jakobsen 3.00 66/70
Fall 2024: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/00135 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
324 Milbank Hall
Alexander Pittman 3.00 35/35


Enrollment for this class is by instructor approval and an application is required. Please fill out the form here: This introductory course for the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE) is open to all students. We focus on the critical study of social difference as an interdisciplinary practice, using texts with diverse modes of argumentation and evidence to analyze social differences as fundamentally entangled and co-produced. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, the professor will frequently be joined by other faculty from the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), who bring distinct disciplinary and subject matter expertise. Some keywords for this course include hybridity, diaspora, borderlands, migration, and intersectionality

Spring 2024: WMST BC2150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2150 001/00764 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
405 Milbank Hall
Marisa Solomon 3.00 63/70
Fall 2024: WMST BC2150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2150 001/00022 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
504 Diana Center
Manijeh Moradian 3.00 12/28


Catastrophes and disasters are often seen as inherently natural crises when in reality they are both caused and affected by anthropogenic forces and their impacts are conditioned by existing social, economic, and political factors. To truly understand catastrophes, such as the incipient climate crisis, extreme weather events, and even the current coronavirus pandemic, we will examine the complex interplay between environmental and social factors through both anthropological and human rights lenses. Specifically, the course will address the social and cultural aspects of catastrophe by focusing on the climate crisis, its causes, and its impacts. First, the course will consider the phenomena of anthropogenic climate change. Second, the course will examine the theoretical and empirical literatures that have elucidated the nature of climate change as a social, as well as a biophysical, process. Finally, the course will consider how human rights and other legal regimes do or do not address the social justice and humanitarian issues created by anthropogenic climate change. This course is an equivalent to ANTH S3215 and you cannot receive credit for both courses


Environmental history seeks to expand the customary framework of historical inquiry, challenging students to construct narratives of the past that incorporate not only human beings but also the natural world with which human life is intimately intertwined. As a result, environmental history places at center stage a wide range of previously overlooked historical actors such as plants, animals, and diseases. Moreover, by locating nature within human history, environmental history encourages its practitioners to rethink some of the fundamental categories through which our understanding of the natural world is expressed: wilderness and civilization, wild and tame, natural and artificial. For those interested in the study of ethnicity, environmental history casts into particularly sharp relief the ways in which the natural world can serve both to undermine and to reinforce the divisions within human societies. Although all human beings share profound biological similarities, they have nonetheless enjoyed unequal access to natural resources and to healthy environments—differences that have all-too-frequently been justified by depicting such conditions as “natural.”

Spring 2024: HIST UN2222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2222 001/11628 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
517 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4.00 39/70
HIST 2222 AU1/18961 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Othr Other
Karl Jacoby 4.00 5/5


This course will examine the historical development of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States since the Civil War. The course will give particular focus to the interactions between conceptions of crime, normalcy and deviance, and the broader social and political context of policy making

Fall 2024: HIST BC2401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2401 001/00027 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Ll002 Milstein Center
Matthew Vaz 3.00 48/48

AHIS UN2425 Visual Activism. 4.00 points.

How has visual culture played a role within the social movements of the last several decades, such as #BlackLivesMatter and Extinction Rebellion? How, we might ask, is activism made visible; how does it erupt (or disappear) with collective fields of vision? Drawing upon Black South African queer photographer Zanele Muholi’s term “visual activism” as a flexible rubric that encompasses both formal practices and political strategies, this lecture class interrogates contemporary visual cultures of dissent, resistance, and protest as they span a range of ideological positions. We will examine recent developments in and around recent intersections of art and politics from around the world, looking closely at performances, photographs, feminist dances, graffiti, murals, street art, posters, pussy hats, and graphic interventions, with a special focus on tactics of illegibility and encodedness. Topics include visual responses to structural racisms, global climate change, indigenous land rights, state violence, gentrification, forced migration, and queer/trans issues


This course focuses on some of the present, and possible future, socio-ecological conditions of life on planet earth. In particular we will work to understand the historic, economic, political, and socio-cultural forces that created the conditions we call climate change. With this we will take a particular interest in the question of how race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, class, and gender articulate with the material effects of climate change. The course also focuses on how we, as scholars, citizens, and activists can work to alter these current conditions in ways that foster social and ecological justice for all living beings. Although we will ground our scholarship in anthropology, to encourage interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary thought, weekly readings will be drawn from across scholarly and activist canons. While becoming familiar with scholarly and activist conversations about space and place, risk and vulnerability, and ontology and epistemology, we will work through a series of recent events as case studies to understand causes, effects, affects, and potential solutions

SOCI UN2500 Mass Incarceration and Beyond. 4.00 points.

This course for undergraduate students provides a sociological perspective on mass incarceration and examines alternative politics and policies for reform. Through seminar discussions and presentations, students will engage with key lines of scholarship examining the emergence and consequences of historically large prison populations in the United States and review current policy debates. Key themes of the course will include the close connection between mass incarceration and racial inequality, contemporary criminal justice policy, and alternative visions of justice. Building on a collaboration between a researcher in the field of criminal justice policy (Western) and a leading advocate for reform (Nixon), this course will offer a systematic review of research while also employing strong images and language that convey the moral urgency of America’s incarceration crisis. Enlisting theoretical and empirical analysis paints a clear and convincing picture that mass incarceration is not just a solution to a criminal justice problem, but is a sociological problem itself. Seminar discussions each week will introduce students to key lines of research, present current community justice initiatives, and explore strategies that could significantly reduce incarceration


Through assigned readings and a group research project, students will gain familiarity with a range of historical and social science problems at the intersection of ethnic/racial/sexual formations, technological networks, and health politics since the turn of the twentieth century. Topics to be examined will include, but will not be limited to, black women's health organization and care; HIV/AIDS politics, policy, and community response; benign neglect; urban renewal and gentrification; medical abuses and the legacy of Tuskegee; tuberculosis control; and environmental justice. There are no required qualifications for enrollment, although students will find the material more accessible if they have had previous coursework experience in United States history, pre-health professional (pre-med, pre-nursing, or pre-public health), African-American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies

Fall 2024: HIST UN2523
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2523 001/10486 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Samuel Roberts 4.00 47/105

ARCH UN2530 Life Beyond Emergency: Domesticities of Displacement, Inhabitations of Migration. 3.00 points.

Life Beyond Emergency examines constructed environments and spatial practices in contexts of displacement, within the connected histories of colonialism and humanitarianism in the postcolonial world. People migrating under duress, seeking refuge, practicing mutual aid, and sheltering in governmental or nongovernmental settings invest architecture with a critical heritage value and imaginaries of life beyond emergency. The course considers a politics and poetics of an architecture of partitions, borders, and camps: territories and domesticities of concern to authorities and inhabited by ordinary people forging solidarities and futures. We will investigate the connected histories and theories of humanitarianism and colonialism, which have not only shaped lives as people inhabit spaces of emergency, but produced rationales for the construction of landscapes and domesticities of refuge, enacted spatial violence and territorial contestations, and structured architectural knowledge. The course examines iconic forms such as refugee camps in relation to histories of colonial institutions such as archives and prisons. From Somalia to Palestine to Bangladesh and beyond, our inquiry into contested ‘borderlands’ where the greatest number of people have been forced to migrate as ‘refugees’ invites students to interrogate normalized discourses and spaces in order to imagine and analyze emergency environments as constructions that people have resisted, endured, and transcended

Fall 2024: ARCH UN2530
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ARCH 2530 001/00063 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
263 Macy Hall
Anooradha Siddiqi 3.00 43/60

HIST UN2533 US LESBIAN & GAY HISTORY. 4.00 points.

This course explores the social, cultural, and political history of lesbians, gay men, and other socially constituted sexual and gender minorities, primarily in the twentieth century. Since the production and regulation of queer life has always been intimately linked to the production and policing of “normal” sexuality and gender, we will also pay attention to the shifting boundaries of normative sexuality, especially heterosexuality, as well as other developments in American history that shaped gay life, such as the Second World War, Cold War, urbanization, and the minority rights revolution. Themes include the emergence of homosexuality and heterosexuality as categories of experience and identity; the changing relationship between homosexuality and transgenderism; the development of diverse lesbian and gay subcultures and their representation in popular culture; the sources of antigay hostility; religion and sexual science; generational change and everyday life; AIDS; and gay, antigay, feminist, and queer movements

PSYC UN2690 Frontiers of Justice. 4.00 points.

Frontiers of Justice is designed to encourage students and equip them with the skills to become active and effective “Change Agents” within their academic institutions and larger communities. Oriented by the question, What does justice look like?, this course aims to raise political and social awareness and engagement with the challenges facing New York City and strengthen ties between Columbia University, disadvantaged communities, and city government agencies and community organizations. Through sharing ideas about how to make structural and systemic change in ways that integrate science, law, politics, history, narrative and community engagement, the course is intended to support students in working to break down racial and ethnic barriers and toward a more fair and just society

HIST UN2972 Unsettling Science. 4.00 points.

Unsettling Science invites students to do exactly that: ask big questions about science and interrupt preconceived ideas about what science is and who does it. This course is an introductory dive into the interplay between science, technology, health, environment, and society. By offering deep historical and contemporary perspectives, this course equips students with skills essential to critically exploring not only longstanding questions about the world but also urgent issues of our time. Unsettling Science will provide students with the critical and methodological tools to think creatively about local and global challenges and develop interventions. To do so, the course focuses on a series of fundamental questions that underpin the study of science and society from a variety of perspectives

Fall 2024: HIST UN2972
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2972 001/14525 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Madisson Whitman 4.00 40/40


Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033, or permission of the instructor. Conceptualization and measurement of inequality and poverty, poverty traps and distributional dynamics, economics and politics of public policies, in both poor and rich countries

Fall 2024: ECON BC3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3011 001/00045 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
140 Horace Mann Hall
Ashley Timmer 3.00 50/50


Prerequisites: (ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033) and ECON UN3412 ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033 and Econometrics, or permission of the instructor.

Examination of new challenges in the global economy from unequal income distribution and poor institutions to health epidemics and natural disasters. Accessing and analyzing real-time and historic data to understand the current global economy.  Applied econometric techniques.

Spring 2024: ECON BC3029
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3029 001/00779 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
203 Diana Center
Anja Tolonen 3.00 22/30


This course explores the meaning of American citizenship in connection with the country’s immigration history. Topics include historic pathways to citizenship for migrants; barriers to citizenship including wealth, race, gender, beliefs and documentation; and critical issues such as colonialism, statelessness, dual nationality, and birthright citizenship. We will ask how have people become citizens and under what authority has that citizenship been granted? What are the historic barriers to citizenship and how have they shifted over time? What major questions remain unanswered by Congress and the Supreme Court regarding the rights of migrants to attain and retain American citizenship?

Fall 2024: HIST UN3030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3030 001/14140 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Jessica Lee 4.00 0/13

POLS BC3035 Feminist Political Thought. 3.00 points.

Feminism is often recognized as a political movement. But is there a feminist way of thinking about politics? In this course, we’ll investigate the core premises, provocations, proposals, and tensions of feminism as they relate to specifically political problems, focusing particularly on feminist political thought as it developed in the twentieth century. Who is the subject of feminist politics? What is the meaning of “difference,” and how can—or should—feminists seek to organize across it? What are appropriate topics for politics, and what should remain private? Is the family a space for politics? The household? The body? How much of the personal can, and should, be made political? Are there feminist ways of doing politics? We will consider these questions with reference to texts from both feminist activists and feminist scholars

ECON BC3039 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: ECON BC1003 or ECON W1105. Prerequisite for Economics majors: ECON BC3035.

Link between economic behavior and environmental quality: valuation of non-market benefits of pollution abatement; emissions standards; taxes; and transferable discharge permits. Specific problems of hazardous waste; the distribution of hazardous pollutants across different sub-groups of the U.S. population; the exploitation of commonly owned natural resources; and the links between the environment, income distribution, and economic development.

Fall 2024: ECON BC3039
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3039 001/00488 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
504 Diana Center
3 45/50


Globalization and mass migration are reconfiguring the modern world and reshaping the contours of nation-states. New technologies that facilitate the movement of information, goods and people across borders have made it easier for people to remain culturally, politically, economically and socially connected to the places from which they migrated. This seminar focuses on the experiences of the youngest members of these global migration patterns—children and youth—and asks: What do these global flows mean for educating young people to be members of the multiple communities to which they belong? This seminar will explore the following questions: What is globalization and why is it leading to new patterns of migration? How do children and youth experience ruptures and continuities across contexts of migration? How do language policies affect young people’s capacity to be educated in a new land? What does it mean to forge a sense of belonging and citizenship in a “globalized” world, and how does this challenge our models of national citizenship? How are the processes by which young people are incorporated into their new country entwined with structures of race, class, and gender? Drawing on fiction, autobiography, and anthropological and sociological research this class will explore these questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives

Fall 2024: EDUC BC3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3040 001/00384 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
308 Diana Center
Orubba Almansouri 4.00 11/20

EDUC BC3041 Grace Lee Boggs Learning Lab. 4.00 points.

We have witnessed a significant increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community due to COVID-19 as well as the remarkable response to these atrocities, particularly among BIPOC individuals and their white allies. Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American woman and Barnard alumna, dedicated her life to addressing inequity in its myriad forms. This lab-based research course will explore Boggs’ life as an activist and educator and will give students an opportunity to develop an action-based digital research project to advance equity and justice in New York City


The History of the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskala) in 19th century Europe and the development of Zionism through the current peace process between the state of Israel and the Arab states and the Palestinian national movement. Provides a historical overview of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict to familiarize undergraduates with the background of the current situation. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class

Spring 2024: MDES UN3042
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3042 001/12620 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
330 Uris Hall
Joseph Massad 4.00 34/60

EESC BC3043 Water, Sanitation, and Health. 3 points.

This course focuses on understanding water, sanitation and health in the developing world and how these factors interact to afect people's lives.  Specifically, what are the options for providing cleaner water and improved sanitation in order to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases in the developing world?

ECON BC3049 Economic Evaluation of Social Programs. 3 points.

Not offered during 2023-2024 academic year.

Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 Intermediate Micro Theory and ECON BC2411 Statistics for Economics, or the equivalents

A study of the effectiveness of social programs and the different quantitative techniques economists use to evaluate policy interventions. Cost-benefit analysis, testing predictions of economic theories. Specific examples of successful and unsuccessful social programs in the U.S. and around the world.


Using the theme of “Arts and Humanities in the City”, this seminar will build participants’ knowledge of critical literacy, digital storytelling methods, and ways to use New York City as a resource for teaching the Arts (Dance, Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts), Social Studies, and English Language Arts in grades K-12. Critical literacy is an approach to teaching and learning that focuses on developing students’ abilities to read, analyze, understand, question, and critique hidden perspectives and socially-constructed power relations embedded in what it means to be literate in a content area

Spring 2024: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00835 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
306 Milbank Hall
Drew Chambers 4.00 17/20
Fall 2024: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00399 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
502 Diana Center
Maria Rivera Maulucci 4.00 18/20

GRKM UN3070 Picturing Antigone. 3.00 points.

What is it that makes Antigone, Sophocles’s tragedy from the 5th century B.C.E, such a powerful vehicle for the consideration of subjectivity, ethics, and politics in the present day? In this seminar an anthropologist and a photojournalist consider Antigone’s productivity for political analysis, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and feminist studies and consider how the play has evolved into a contemporary site for the consideration of war, fascism, ethical action, gender, democracy, and colonialism in places such as Nazi-occupied Paris, the Texas-Mexico border, “dirty-war” Argentina, apartheid South Africa, Taliban-sieged Kandahar, and Covid-striken New York. This investigation draws on a wide range of materials, including literary criticism, film, and archival photographs. Throughout the semester, students also develop familiarity with photography as a medium of inquiry, in preparation for their final projects on a modern adaptation of Antigone

POLS UN3100 JUSTICE. 3.00 points.

An inquiry into the nature and implications of justice in areas ranging from criminal justice to social justice to the circumstances of war and peace, considering issues such as abortion, the criminalization of behavior, the death penalty, climate change, global poverty, civil disobedience, and international conflict

POLS BC3102 * Colloquium on Race and Modern Political Thought. 4 points.

Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: POLS 1013 or the equivalent.

Race and Modern Political Thought is a Political Theory colloquium that explores how the concept of race became available to modern thought as a legitimate conceptualization of human being and difference and to political thought as an idea useful to structuring political communities.  Is race best understood in ideological terms, i.e., as a viewpoint shared by philosophers and lay-persons alike about difference that usefully reflected the needs and aspirations of slaveholders and colonialists?  Or is race instead an artifact of modern forms of reasoning?  Or should we ignore questions of origin and simply take seriously the notion that the only practical—ethically correct or politically progressive—approach to theorizing race is to attend critically to the organization of racial power?   What kind of idea is race?


Since Gandhi’s experiments in mass satyagraha over a century ago, nonviolence has become a staple of protest politics across the globe. From the Occupy movements to the Arab Spring to Movement for Black Lives, it might even be entering a new phase of revitalization. At the same time, what exactly nonviolence is and what it can accomplish in politics is very much under debate. This course aims to understand the politics of nonviolence by examining the political ideas and political careers of its most well-known twentieth-century advocates, M.K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Though still venerated as founding figures of nonviolent protest, Gandhi and King have come to be remembered in ways that can misconstrue how they understood and practiced nonviolent politics. To many, Gandhi is a saintly idealist, who wanted to imbue politics with the spirit of ahimsa, truth, and conscience. Likewise, King is taken to be a spokesman for interracial brotherhood and Christian love. While partly true, these images also downplay the political side of their nonviolence – the techniques of organizing and strategies of protest that made their movements successful. We will examine the evolution of Gandhi’s and King’s political thinking in relation to the movements they led – the Indian independence movement and the civil rights movement in the US. We will consider how the theory and practice of nonviolence evolved and changed as it moved from one context to another. We will be especially focused on understanding the dynamics of nonviolent protest

POLS UN3122 Citizenship, Rights, and Immigration. 3 points.

Our political discourse is inundated with talk of citizenship. In this course we will examine various theories of citizenship, paying particular attention to the way the increasing complexity and multiculturalism of societies have challenged our understanding of this concept. We will also consider how different conceptions of citizenship address the challenges raised by both global and local forces. After an overview of different theories of citizenship, we explore the debates about political rights and representation for oppressed groups and minorities and consider the nationalist and cosmopolitan understandings of civic identity. What should be the criteria for citizenship? What rights should citizens have? Does citizenship require boundaries? Does democratic citizenship demand a particular kind of patriotism? What rights should illegal immigrants have? What role does the court play in defining citizenship rights? Can there be global or transnational citizenship? Though the primary focus will be to explore normative theories of citizenship, we will briefly consider how the European Union and the United States are dealing with some of the pressing issues regarding citizenship: immigration and assimilation. 


This course is designed to introduce major theories sexuality, desire and identity. We will be considering the relations between the history of sexuality and the politics of gender. We will read some primary texts in gender theory, and in the study of sexuality, desire, and embodiment. This course also provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary examination of human sexual and erotic desires, orientations, and identities. We will study how desires are constructed, how they vary and remain the same in different places and times, and how they interact with other social and cultural phenomena such as government, family, popular culture, scientific inquiry, and, especially, race and class.   

MDES UN3131 Crisis and War in the Horn of Africa. 3.00 points.

The Horn of Africa is often described as a disaster story, a land of terror, crisis and failure. But is it really a place in crisis? In what ways and for whom? For the people of the region, what constitutes meaningful social and political life? Is it possible to approach politics in the Horn of Africa through lenses other than those of violence and disaster? Are there other methods of understanding the experiences of crisis and recovery? In addition to examining emerging research trends in the region the course examines various approaches to the questions of war, humanitarian intervention, peace building, democratization, and economic reform. It considers how the study of popular culture, religious change, and social movements provide other ways to think about collective life. The seminar is intended for those interested in the study of Africa and the Middle East, and other regions that may seem bleak to outsiders but can provide new ways of understanding politics


Love and sex have long been studied as historical constructs influenced by social, political, and economic dimensions. This course aims to expand this discourse by incorporating the often-overlooked lens of technological mediation. Beginning with the premise that romantic love is deeply shaped by the affordances of the technology of the time, a critical awareness of technological mediation in romance –especially of digital technologies, i.e. online dating, social media, or cybersex— allows for a deeper understanding of how social categories such as gender, race, class, ability, or sexuality are technologically-mediated, thereby informing our societal and cultural perceptions of love, dating, and sex. Sandra Moyano-Ariza is Term Assistant Professor of WGSS and Research Director at BCRW. Her research works at the intersection of pop culture, philosophy, and digital technologies, with interests in the fields of media studies and digital scholarship, contemporary feminist theory, critical race theory, posthumanism, and affect theory


This course encompasses themes of race, ethnicity, mass incarceration, and immigration in the modern United States, with special attention to the stories of Latinx people. We will consider the roles of journalistic writing, documentaries, and personal narratives in shaping public policy and attitudes towards lives behind bars. Guest speakers will also provide personal experiences to help reframe our own narratives and perspectives on these issues. The course’s primary goal is to challenge the process of how stories of race, immigration, and mass incarceration are written, by developing scholarly pieces

Fall 2024: ENGL BC3214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3214 001/00532 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
502 Diana Center
Maria Hinojosa 4.00 20/20


Emphasizes foundations and development of black communities post-1940, and mechanisms in society that create and maintain racial inequality. Explores notions of identity and culture through lenses of gender, class and sexual orientation, and ideologies that form the foundation of black politics. Primarily lecture with some discussion

Spring 2024: SOCI BC3214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3214 001/00199 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
328 Milbank Hall
Mignon Moore 3.00 37/45

SOCI UN3217 LAW & SOCIETY. 3.00 points.

Examines how people use law, how law affects people, and how law develops, using social scientific research.  Covers law in everyday life; legal and social change; legal subjects such as citizens and corporations, and the legitimacy of law.  Recommended for pre-law and social-science majors.  No required prerequisites or previous knowledge.

SOCI UN3235 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested.
Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested. Social movements and the theories social scientists use to explain them, with emphasis on contemporary American activism. Cases include the Southern civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, contemporary feminist mobilizations, LGBTQ activism, immigrant rights and more recent forms of grassroots politics

Fall 2024: SOCI UN3235
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3235 001/00733 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
328 Milbank Hall
Debra Minkoff 4.00 23/40


Abortion access will shape the lives of your generation—and yet the issue of abortion is too often left to misinformation and disconnected from its role in overall reproductive freedom. In this course, we will put abortion into multiple contexts (historical, political, legal, pharmaceutical, religious), drawing interdisciplinary material from scholars, activists, community organizers, lawyers, care providers, and journalists. Each class will feature a guest speaker who has dedicated their career to advocating for abortion as a critical part of overall reproductive healthcare in the United States and internationally. Grounded in the reproductive justice framework, which aims not only to protect the “right to choose” but also to create the economic, social, and environmental conditions in which people can parent with dignity, we will think of abortion as one critical part of a constellation of projects that, together, work toward total reproductive freedom

Spring 2024: AMST BC3220
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AMST 3220 001/00628 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Wendy Schor-Haim, Cecelia Lie-Spahn 4.00 55/60

SOCI BC3236 Arab New York. 3.00 points.

Arab New York introduces students to a little-known community with a long history in New York City dating back to the late 1800s. Students will explore where Arab American communities thrive in New York and learn about the history of these neighborhoods. Applying sociological theories of assimilation, we will assess how immigrants from the Arab world have fared over time in New York City

Spring 2024: SOCI BC3236
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3236 001/00201 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Randa Serhan 3.00 47/45


This course examines the role of race in American politics and the political behavior of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Topics will include, but are not limited to, minority political participation, segregation, gentrification, group identity, implicit bias, political representation, media effects, and the role of race in political campaigns


Prerequisites: None
Examines the ways sociologists have studied the field of medicine and experiences of health and illness. We cannot understand topics of health and illness by only looking at biological phenomena; we must consider a variety of social, political, economic, and cultural forces. Uses sociological perspectives and methods to understand topics such as: unequal patterns in health and illness; how people make sense of and manage illness; the ways doctors and patients interact with each other; changes in the medical profession, health policies and institutions; social movements around health; and how some behaviors but not others become understood as medical problems. Course is geared towards pre-med students as well as those with general interests in medicine, health and society

Spring 2024: SOCI UN3246
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3246 001/00205 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Amy Zhou 3.00 40/45


Black Lives Matter is an American phenomenon. This course situates BLM in relation to other and earlier movements in the Global South and elsewhere. Through textual analysis and critical reading, we take up the discursive, rhetorical, and poetical strategies of opposition to marginalization, criminalization, and racial othering


This course will introduce students to research on the institutions of the US carceral system, including the police, courts, prisons, and immigration control. We will focus on two questions: how race relates to experiences with the institutions of the carceral state, and how those institutions in turn influence racial politics. The main objective is not the accumulation of factual knowledge about this system, but familiarity with theoretical frameworks with which to make and critically assess arguments about the functioning of carceral institutions as they relate to racialized people and the functioning of democracy

Spring 2024: POLS UN3255
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3255 001/13146 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
141 Uris Hall
Andrew McCall 3.00 61/60
Fall 2024: POLS UN3255
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3255 001/14908 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Andrew McCall 3.00 100/100

CSER UN3303 Whiteness, Sentiment and Political Belonging. 4.00 points.

Scholars of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race have long been preoccupied with the terms, categories, and processes through which the United States has excluded or qualified the citizenship of particular groups, including women, immigrants, indigenous nations, and descendants of enslaved Africans. Yet it has spent less time interrogating the unqualified content of Americanness, and the work that the imagination of a "default" American identity does in contemporary political life. This seminar introduces students to this problem through an unspoken racial dimension of American political belonging -- the presumed whiteness of ideal American citizens. Readings drawn from several disciplinary traditions, including anthropology, linguistics, sociology, history, and journalism, will ground students in the course's key concepts, including racial markedness, the history of racialization, and public sentiment. Students will mobilize these tools to analyze several cases that rendered white sentiment explicit in politically efficacious ways, including the "panic" incited by the destabilization of race-based residential segregation, the "paranoia" of conspiracy theorists, the "sympathy" associated with natural disasters, and the "resentment" or "rage" associated with the loss of racial privileges

Spring 2024: CSER UN3303
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3303 001/13126 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Catherine Fennell 4.00 15/15

POLS BC3307 *Colloquium on Racial Violence. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 Intro to American Politics or an equivalent American Politics course. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

This colloquium examines two particular episodes of racial violence, each of which situates the political differently: lynchings and prisons. The goal is to not only explore how to bring the state back in but also examine the differences, similarities and points of intersections across disciplines.


Considering local, national, and international activist case studies through social movement theories, we work together to understand what activism looks like, the people who engage in it, how activist messages are constructed, and how visions of transformation are developed. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor


Prerequisites: Students must attend first class.
This class explores how racism and racialized capitalism and politics shape the distribution of material resources among cities and suburbs in metropolitan areas and the racial and ethnic groups residing in them. Readings and discussion focus on the history of metropolitan area expansion and economic development, as well as contemporary social processes shaping racial and ethnic groups’ access to high-quality public goods and private amenities. We address racial and ethnic groups’ evolving political agendas in today’s increasingly market-driven socio-political context, noting the roles of residents; federal, state, and local governments; market institutions and actors; urban planners, activist organizations, foundations, and social scientists, among others. Here is a sample of specific topics: race/ethnicity and who “belongs” in what “place;” inequitable government and market investment across racial and ethnic communities over time and “sedimentation effects” (for example, the “redlining” of Black communities leading to their inability to access loan and credit markets and the resulting wealth gap between Blacks and Whites); gentrification processes; creating sufficient, sustainable tax bases; and suburban sprawl. Assignments will include two short response papers, mid-term and final exams, and another project to be determined


This course explores how civil war, revolution, militarization, mass violence, refugee crises, and terrorism impact urban spaces, and how city dwellers engage in urban resilience, negotiate and attempt to reclaim their right to the city. Through case studies of Beirut (1975-present), Baghdad (2003-present), Cairo (2011-present), Diyarbakir (1914-present), Aleppo (1914-present), and Jerusalem (1914-present), this course traces how urban life adjusted to destruction (and post-conflict reconstruction), violence, and anarchy; how neighborhoods were reshaped; and how local ethnic, religious, and political dynamics played out in these cities and metropolises. Relying on multi-disciplinary and post-disciplinary scholarship, and employing a wealth of audiovisual material, literary works, and interviews conducted by the instructor, the course scrutinizes how conflicts have impacted urban life in the Middle East, and how civilians react to, confront, and resist militarization in urban spaces

Spring 2024: MDES UN3331
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3331 001/12945 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Pupin Laboratories
Khatchig Mouradian 3.00 38/50

WMST UN3335 Gender and Wars: Perspectives from the Global South. 3 points.

Wars are salient features of globalization. But, how can we understand the relationship between gender and war? How do notions of masculinities and femininities operate in the organizing, waging, protesting, and commemorating war? Starting from the premise that gender is crucial to explaining what happens in national revolutionary wars, postcolonial conflicts and civil wars, peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions, and the social and personal aspects when wars come to an end; this course considers a transnational feminist analysis to reflect on the relationship between gender and militarism. It pulls together literature from different disciplinary fields to explore the gendered dimensions of wars of national liberation, armed conflicts, wartime gender based/sexual violence, politics of victimhood, anti-war activism, resistance and agency. We will pay particular attention to case studies from the global South.

The gendered analyses of war will be explored from a multi-disciplinary framework including history, anthropology, sociology, political science, international relations, philosophy, literature and film. We will utilize film, journalistic accounts, ethnographic narratives and other resources to explore the complex ways in which people, especially men and women experience and respond to wars differently. 


Who determines American foreign policy? How does the CNN Effect impact choices in American foreign policy? This course seeks to answer those questions by focusing on how domestic politics can influence American foreign policy decisions. The Domestic Reality of American Foreign Policy will examine how formal and informal political actors affect the foreign policy process. The course will briefly review the determinants of American Foreign Policy, such as the role theory, external sources, and psychological and societal sources. This course will place a premium on the outer concentric circle of the American foreign policy process by examining how informal political actors can influence foreign policy decisions, such as the mass media, interest groups, and public opinion polls can sway presidential decisions regarding foreign policy issues. The course will rely on using the garage can model to critically analyze how foreign policy decisions are decided that require public support. Moreover, this course will examine broad topics, including how internal matters in the United States, such as racial unrest, queer social movements, and other domestic considerations, can impact American foreign policy issues

POLS UN3401 Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe. 3 points.

This course will examine the development of democracies and dictatorships in Europe from the French Revolution to the present day. It will analyze the nature and dynamics of European political history and use the European experience as a foundation upon which to build a broader understanding of how different types of political regimes emerge, function and are sustained over time. Prior knowledge of European history and comparative politics is welcome, but not presumed.

POLS BC3402 The Comparative Politics of Gender Inequality. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC 3507. Enrollment limited to 20 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

Uses major analytical perspectives in comparative politics to understand the persistence of gender inequality in advanced industrial states. Topics include: political representation and participation; political economy and capitalism; the historical development of welfare states; electoral systems, electoral quotas; the role of supranational and international organizations; and social policy.

RELI UN3407 Muslims in Diaspora. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Consideration of controversies surrounding mosque-building, headscarves, honor killing, and other publicized issues that expose tensions surrounding citizenship and belonging for Muslims in North America and Europe. Exploration of film and other media representations of Muslims in the West. There will be additional meeting times for film screenings

POLS BC3411 *Colloquium on Building Peace. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1601 (Intro to International Politics) or equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

How can we build peace in the aftermath of extensive violence? How can international actors help in this process? This colloquium focuses on international peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding efforts in recent conflicts. It covers general concepts, theories, and debates, as well as specific cases of peacebuilding successes and failures. Cross-listed with Human Rights.

Fall 2024: POLS BC3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3411 001/00470 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
407 Barnard Hall
Severine Autesserre 4 12/12

RELI UN3415 Climate, Religion, and the Anthropocene. 4.00 points.

This course examines intersections between religious life and climate change in a comparative and global perspective. In recent years, the idea of the Anthropocene—the period of geological time during which human activity has become the primary force shaping the Earth’s climate—has abounded in both academic and popular literature. This focus on human agency over the climate raises questions about the extent to which humans share equally responsibility for and vulnerability to climate change, as well as differing understandings of human relationships and responsibilities toward the environment. This course uses religion as a lens to examine the role of humans in both creating ecological destruction and efforts to repair and rework relationships with the natural world. We will draw on primary texts from religious traditions around the world in a bid to unsettle human-centric and universalist narratives of the Anthropocene. By the end of the semester, students will have deepened and nuanced their understandings of the notoriously vexed categories of religion and the Anthropocene, and come away with new ways of thinking about the climate crisis

Spring 2024: RELI UN3415
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3415 001/16119 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Raffaella Taylor-Seymour 4.00 19/20

POLS BC3435 COLL: LAW AND VIOLENCE. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: Admission by application through the Barnard Political Science Department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Requires POLS 1011 (Political Theory) or equivalent.
Prerequisites: Admission by application through the Barnard Political Science Department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Requires POLS 1011 (Political Theory) or equivalent. This colloquium examines how the law can participate in the justification of various forms of violence, exclusion, and inequality. It focuses on the power of law to determine which subjects get recognized as persons entitled to rights. Possible topics include slavery, migration, gender, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, and nonhuman animals


Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

In the decades since the publication of Silent Spring and the rise of the environmental movement, public awareness of the impact of industrial products on human health has grown enormously. There is growing concern over BPA, lead, PCBs, asbestos, and synthetic materials that make up the world around us. This course will focus on environmental history, industrial and labor history as well as on how twentieth century consumer culture shapes popular and professional understanding of disease. Throughout the term the class will trace the historical transformation of the origins of disease through primary sources such as documents gathered in lawsuits, and medical and public health literature. Students will be asked to evaluate historical debates about the causes of modern epidemics of cancer, heart disease, lead poisoning, asbestos-related illnesses and other chronic conditions. They will also consider where responsibility for these new concerns lies, particularly as they have emerged in law suits. Together, we will explore the rise of modern environmental movement in the last 75 years

Spring 2024: HIST UN3437
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3437 001/11661 W 8:10am - 10:00am
302 Fayerweather
David Rosner 4.00 14/15

WMST UN3450 Topics in Sexuality and Gender Law. 3 points.

As society shifts in its views about sexuality and gender, so too does the law.  Indeed, legal developments in this area have been among the most dynamic of the past couple of decades.  Yet law does not map easily or perfectly onto lived experience, and legal arguments do not necessarily track the arguments made in public debate.

In this seminar, we will explore the evolving jurisprudence of sexuality and gender law in a variety of areas.  Our goal throughout the semester will be to understand and think about these issues as lawyers do - with our primary focus on understanding and evaluating the arguments that can be made on both (or all) sides of any particular case, with some attention to the factors outside of the courtroom that might shape how courts approach their work.  Related to this, we will also seek to understand how and why some of the jurisprudence has changed over time.


CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Practices like veiling, gendered forms of segregation, and the honor code that are central to Western images of Muslim women are also contested issues throughout the Muslim world. This course examines debates about gender, sexuality, and morality and explores the interplay of political, social, and economic factors in shaping the lives of men and women across the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Europe. The perspective will be primarily anthropological, although special attention will be paid to historical processes associated with colonialism and nation-building that are crucial to understanding present gender politics. We will focus on the sexual politics of everyday life in specific locales and explore the extent to which these are shaped by these histories and the power of representations mobilized in a global world in the present and international political interventions. In addition to reading ethnographic works about particular communities, we read memoirs and critical analyses of the local and transnational activist movements that have emerged to address various aspects of gender politics and rights

Spring 2024: ANTH UN3465
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3465 001/10594 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
413 Kent Hall
Maria Malmstrom 3.00 46/60

URBS UN3480 From Homelessness to Foreclosure: NYC Geographies of Shelter and Home. 4 points.

This course will examine the social, political, and economic elements that have aligned in New York City to produce the most expansive infrastructure of homeless shelters in the United States, as well as ongoing changes in the city’s homeless policy since the housing foreclosure crisis. While we will focus primarily on the past 30 to 40 years in New York City, we will consider the history of homelessness and housing in the United States since the Great Depression. Major themes will include criminalization, origin myths, and representations of people who are experiencing homelessness. Key questions will include: In what ways is the current geography of homelessness the result of historical patterns of racism and discrimination? How does studying homelessness provide insight into the ways urban spaces are made? Why have shelters become the primary public response to homelessness in New York? How are race and gender central to the project of building a shelter infrastructure in New York? How are shelters experienced by those living in them? What are some of the ways people living in shelters organize to advocate for their rights and to resist mainstream representations?


Since September 11, 2001, there has been an avalanche of immigration enforcement policies and initiatives proposed or implemented under the guise of national security. This course will analyze the domino effect of the Patriot Act, the Absconder Initiative, Special Registration, the Real I.D. Act, border security including the building of the 700-mile fence along the U.S./Mexico border, Secured Communities Act-that requires the cooperation of state and local authorities in immigration enforcement, the challenge to birthright citizenship, and now the congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. Have these policies been effective in combating the war on terrorism and promoting national security? Who stands to benefit from these enforcement strategies? Do immigrant communities feel safer in the U.S.? How have states joined the federal bandwagon of immigration enforcement or created solutions to an inflexible, broken immigration system?

Fall 2024: CSER UN3490
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3490 001/13928 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Elizabeth OuYang 4.00 13/22


Beginning in the mid-1970s a democratic wave swept the globe. It started in Southern Europe, spread throughout Latin America, parts of East Asia and Africa, and engulfed the former Soviet bloc. In all, dozens of new democracies emerged during the late twentieth century and by the early 21st century there were more democracies in the world than there had ever been before. Over the last decade and a half, however, a democratic undertow has sent in. Many new democracies have slid back towards dictatorship and many old democracies have experienced significant problems as well. This colloquium will exam the literature on democratic consolidation and backsliding, providing students with an overview of the most important theories about what makes democracy work—or not


Comparative study of gender, race, and sexuality through specific historical, socio-cultural contexts in which these systems of power have operated. With a focus on social contexts of slavery, colonialism, and modern capitalism for the elaboration of sex-gender categories and systems across historical time

HIST UN3518 COLUMBIA UNI & SLAVERY. 4.00 points.

In this course, students will write original, independent papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia College and its colonial predecessor Kings College, with the institution of slavery


This course will introduce the students to the important topic of political protest. Each week we will address different aspects of the phenomenon: from the determinant to the actors and strategies of protest. We will discuss how the forms of protest have changed and the current role of the internet in general and social media in particular. Finally, we will discuss the role of the state and state repression, in particular censorship in the dynamics of protest. Since this is a comparative politics course, we will cover a range of different countries, including the United States, as well as both democratic and authoritarian regimes

Spring 2024: POLS UN3528
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3528 001/13152 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
304 Hamilton Hall
Chiara Superti 3.00 42/40


Prerequisites: (POLS UN1501)
Prerequisites: (POLS UN1501) The conventional wisdom is that crime and civil war are linked to disorder. But these are far from disorderly and ungoverned spaces. Unpacking these settings reveals complex forms of non-state governance constructed by a range of actors, including rebel and guerillas, gangs, vigilantes, and protection rackets – sometimes facilitated by the state


A major challenge for governments across the Western Hemisphere is the complex relationship between illicit drugs, violence, and politics. We can see this relationship operating at multiple levels, from everyday politics in gang-controlled neighborhoods to the global arenas where governments debate and craft international drug policy. These links also reach back in history to global wars of empire and colonial rule, race relations during and following the collapse of the institution of slavery, and contemporary drug wars being waged across the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world. Today, the dynamics and consequences of the politics of illicit drugs touch all our lives in different ways, including individual and family struggles with substance abuse, everyday encounters with militarized police, and the strains on democracy and citizenship, among many others. This course will examine some of these dynamics and consequences with a theoretical and empirical focus mainly on Latin America and the United States. Throughout our time together we will connect these pressing issues to broader theories, concepts and empirical findings in political science. The course is divided into several individual modules (denoted below with the headings A – G) under three overarching themes for this semester: 1. Politics of Drugs in a Historical Perspective: The first theme is a broad historical overview of the political origins of illicit drugs and the global drug regime. Some of the main questions we will tackle are: When and why did states label drugs as illicit? How did domestic and global politics come together to shape the global drug regime and the “war on drugs?” What role did race and gender play in the early social construction of illicit drugs? 2. Illicit Drugs, Politics and Governance: The second theme focuses on contemporary linkages between illicit drugs, violence, and politics. Here we will examine the conditions under which illicit drug markets are either violent or (relatively) peaceful. We will tackle questions like: Do states always seek to dismantle drug markets? What is the relationship between illicit drugs and electoral politics? What role do illicit drugs play in governance by armed non-state actors? Are states and criminal actors involved in the drug trade always at “war” with each other? 3. Democracy, Citizenship, and the War on Drugs: The third and final theme centers on the political consequences of the war on drugs for questions of democracy and citizenship in the Western Hemisphere. Some of the questions that will help us make sense of these consequences are: How does the war on drugs impact democracy and citizenship? What is the political economy of imprisonment? And in what ways do imprisonment and police-citizen interactions – stemming from the war on drugs – shape individual and collective political behavior and political subjectivity?

Spring 2024: POLS UN3565
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3565 001/00369 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
405 Milbank Hall
Eduardo Moncada 4.00 54/60


This course focuses on the life experiences and impact of poverty in the contemporary United States. We will be exploring the consequences of financial and material deprivation on work, housing, health, parenting, children, as well as the limits and opportunities for inter-generational mobility and how each of these intersect with gender, racial and ethnic identities. We will be learning about the experiences of individual persons as well as how these particular experiences reflect the overarching patterns of social, political and economic trends in the United States. The course will incorporate a diverse set of disciplinary perspectives to shed light on the challenges faced by persons living in poverty. In addition, there will be an emphasis on learning about and critically assessing methodological approaches applied in the literature. No prior knowledge of methods is required and any technical references will be explained in class


Black Feminism(s)/Womanism(s)

POLS UN3604 War, Peace, and International Interventions in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing, except in consultation with the instructor. Interested students should join the wait list; attendance at the first class is required in order to secure a spot in the class. Registration to discussion section is mandatory.

This course analyzes the causes of violence in wars and examines the debates around emergency aid, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In addition, it focuses on recent conflict situations in Africa -- especially Congo, Sudan, and Rwanda -- as a background against which to understand the distinct dynamics of violence, peace, and international interventions in civil and international conflicts.

POLS BC3605 The Global Politics of Climate Change. 4.00 points.

Climate change mitigation is the greatest global political challenge of our times. This course uses concepts drawn from the broader political science literature to analyze the recent history and possible future trajectories of interactions between international politics and climate change, including the international political economy of various relevant commercial sectors. It has no prerequisites, and no background knowledge is required

Fall 2024: POLS BC3605
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3605 001/00458 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
140 Horace Mann Hall
Kimberly Marten 4.00 30/30

PSYC UN3615 Children at Risk (Lecture). 4 points.

Prerequisites: PSYC UN1010, PSYC UN2280, PSYC UN2620, or PSYC UN2680, and the instructor's permission.

Considers contemporary risk factors in children's lives. The immediate and enduring biological and behavioral impact of risk factors.

Fall 2024: PSYC UN3615
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PSYC 3615 001/10686 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
200b Schermerhorn Hall
Geraldine Downey, Bianca Marlin 4 32/35


The causes and consequences of nationalism. Nationalism as a cause of conflict in contemporary world politics. Strategies for mitigating nationalist and ethnic conflict

Spring 2024: POLS UN3619
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3619 001/13159 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
413 Kent Hall
Jack Snyder 3.00 58/70


This course provides an introduction to the politics of war termination and peace consolidation. The course examines the challenges posed by ending wars and the process by which parties to a conflict arrive at victory, ceasefires, and peace negotiations. It explores how peace is sustained, why peace lasts in some cases and breaks down in others and what can be done to make peace more stable, focusing on the role of international interventions, power-sharing arrangements, reconciliation between adversaries, and reconstruction

ANTH UN3703 Climate Change and Colonialism. 4.00 points.

In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognized colonialism’s contributions to the climate crisis, citing its “historical and ongoing patterns of inequity.” This was the first time that this group of climate experts had ever formally acknowledged colonialism, despite activists, writers, artists, and scholars from around the world emphasizing the devastations of colonial extractions. A sole focus on the present and future of the climate crisis obscures a deeper understanding of how the crisis came to be. This course asks: How has colonialism, namely, colonial processes of domination, extraction, control, dispossession, knowledge-making, and violence, created the climate crisis as well as enduring inequalities? How does the past intimately structure the possibilities of the present? How can an understanding of colonialism’s “historical and ongoing” effects deepen calls for climate justice? This interdisciplinary seminar features an anthropological and historical exploration of the specificities of colonial regimes’ extractive violence against people, land, and resources. We will see how climate change is intensified through unequal social, political, and economic distributions of harm and advantage, and how climate vulnerability is created and maintained. The goal of the course is to provide students with conceptual tools for historicizing climate change, and for critically engaging the consequences of colonial relations of power

SOCI UN3721 Social Justice: Connecting Academics to Action. 5.00 points.

This course will create an opportunity for active engagement between students doing sociology and a local organization working for social change by organizing immigrant communities, Make the Road New York. Students will be expected to actively study and/or participate in a project designed by the instructor and organization leaders. The action/research will primarily take the form of interviews (conducting interviews with members and leaders from an organization or campaign) and participant observation (taking part in the activities of the organization/campaign) and analysis of those interviews and observations. To accomplish this collaborative research project, students will take on different roles throughout the course, including that of fieldworker, project coordinator, analysis coordinator, and context researcher. Students will also read, discuss, and write about literature on scholarly-community partnerships and community organizing. Admittance by application and interview only. Preference to Sociology majors. Spanish speakers and writers, juniors, and seniors

Spring 2024: SOCI UN3721
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3721 001/00774 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Ll018 Milstein Center
Deborah Becher 5.00 14/15

PHIL UN3752 Philosophy of Law. 3 points.

This course explores philosophical reflection on the relationship between law, society and morality. We discuss the nature of law, the nature of legal reasoning, the relationship between law and social policy, and central concepts in civil and criminal law. Readings are drawn from such sources as the natural law tradition, legal positivism, legal realism, and Critical Legal Theory. Readings will be supplemented by analysis of classic cases.


In his Theses on Feuerbach, Karl Marx writes, “Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” The questions to ask in response to Marx’s exhortation include: how do we recognize the need for change and appropriately effect it? What are the relations between our goals and the means to them? How can we better understand our goals to make the means more suitable? When we organize to produce results, what are we doing? Do we know exactly who and what we want to change? What are the “ethics of process”? What exactly do we do when we organize? A tentative definition: to organize is to bring together individuals who have common interests in a way that will enhance their power. What kind of power is this? What other forms of power are there? What is the best form of coordinating among individuals? If we better understand the dynamics of organizing, should we reconceive our goals accordingly? How do we better tap into shared values and concerns? What temptations and distractions get in the way of our goals? What problems prevent us from achieving them? Do we have goals that can be achieved? If not, how can we revise them?

POLS BC3810 *Colloquium on Aid, Politics & Violence in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only.

Explores the concepts, theoretical traditions and debates around development and humanitarian aid, focusing on the relationships between aid, politics, and violence. It looks at the political and military impacts of aid, the linkage between humanitarian aid and conflict resolution, and aid's contribution to perpetuating subtle forms of domination. (Cross-listed by the Africana Studies and the Human Rights Programs.)


Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. Sophomore Standing. Explores migration as a gendered process and what factors account for migratory differences by gender across place and time; including labor markets, education demographic and family structure, gender ideologies, religion, government regulations and legal status, and intrinsic aspects of the migratory flow itself

Fall 2024: HIST BC3870
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3870 001/00255 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Jose Moya 4.00 5/15

ANTH UN3878 Neoliberal Urbanism and the Politics of Exclusion. 4 points.

Enrollment limit is 20.

This seminar examines the impact of neo-liberal strategies and practices of urban development and governance on contemporary American cities with special emphasis on the dividing practices that have led to the segregation, stigmatization and exclusion of urbanites on the basis of class, race, sex/gender and other power-laden ascriptions of difference and pathology. We will situate the formative period of neoliberal urbanism in the urban renewal or "slum clearance" programs of the 1950s and 1960s-initiatives that registered post-war anxieties concerning civil defense, urban disinvestment and growing populations of racial-cum-ethnic "minorities." Through a reading of key anthropological ethnographies and other literature across disciplines, we will examine topics including: deindustrialization and the construction of the inner city and "ghetto underclass," the cultural politics of neo-liberal governance, the privatization and policing of public space, gated communities, gentrification and socioeconomic polarization, and homelessness

RELI UN3881 The Doctrine of Discovery: Religion, Law, and Legacies of 1492. 4.00 points.

How did European-Christians justify the colonization of the Americas? Did these justifications vary between different European empires, and between the Protestant and Catholic faiths, and if so, how? Do these justifications remain in effect in modern jurisprudence and ministries? This class explores these questions by introducing students to the Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery is the defining legal rationale for European Colonization in the Western Hemisphere. The Doctrine has its origins in a body of ecclesiastic, legal, and philosophical texts dating to the late-fifteenth century, and was summarized by Chief Justice John Marshall of the United States Supreme Court, in the final, unanimous decision the judiciary issued on the 1823 case Johnson v. M’Intosh. Students will be introduced to the major, primary texts that make up the Doctrine, as well as contemporary critical studies of these texts and the Doctrine in general

Fall 2024: RELI UN3881
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3881 001/00353 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Timothy Vasko 4.00 9/15

SOCI BC3909 Ethnic Conflict and Unrest. 4 points.

Not offered during 2023-2024 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing. SOCI BC1003 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Post-1965 immigration in the U.S. has prompted conflicts between new immigrant groups and established racial and ethnic groups. This seminar explores ethnic conflict and unrest that takes place in the streets, workplace, and everyday social life. Focus is on sociological theories that explain the tensions associated with the arrival of new immigrants.


This is an undergraduate seminar in social stratification. The course focuses on the current American experience with socioeconomic inequality and mobility. The goals of the course are to understand how inequality is conceptualized and measured in the social sciences, to understand the structure of inequality in the contemporary U.S. to learn the principal theories and evidence for long term trends in inequality, to understand the persistence of poverty and the impact of social policies on American rates of poverty, and to understand the forces that both produce and inhibit intergenerational social mobility in the U.S. Given the nature of the subject matter, a minority of the readings will sometimes involve quantitative social science material. The course does not presume that students have advanced training in statistics, and any readings sections that contain mathematical or statistical content will be explained in class in nontechnical terms as needed. In these instances, our focus will not be on the methods, but rather on the conclusions reached by the author concerning the research question that is addressed in the text

Fall 2024: SOCI UN3914
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3914 001/10918 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
509 Knox Hall
Thomas DiPrete 4.00 20/20

SOCI UN3915 Stigma and Discrimination. 4 points.

This course considers stigma and discrimination as general processes that apply to a broad range of phenomena, from mental illness to obesity to HIV/AIDS to racial groups. We will use a conceptual framework that considers power and social stratification to be central to stigma and discrimination. We will focus on both macro- and micro-level social processes and their interconnections, and we will draw on literature from both sociology and psychology.


Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval required
This course considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist and queer movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered and sexual inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist and queer politics, and human rights. If it is a small world after all, how do forces of globalization shape and redefine the relationship between gender, sexuality, and powerful institutions like the state? And, if power swirls everywhere, how are transnational power dynamics reinscribed in gendered bodies? How is the body represented in discussions of nationalism and in the political economy of globalization? These questions will frame this course by highlighting how gender, sexuality, and power coalesce to impact the lives of individuals in various spaces including workplaces, the academy, the home, religious institutions, the government, and civil society, and human rights organizations. This course will enable us to think transnationally, historically, and dynamically, using gender and sexuality as lenses through which to critique relations of power and the ways that power informs our everyday lives and subjectivities

Spring 2024: WMST UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3915 001/11763 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Sonia Ahsan 4.00 14/20
Fall 2024: WMST UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3915 001/13512 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Tara Gonsalves 4.00 15/18

SOCI BC3918 Gender and Inequality in Families. 4 points.

Critical exploration of contemporary US families. Analyzes the ways gendered forces structure relations between and among family members. Investigates changes over time in roles and expectation for family members. Topics include social class differences, LGBT families, transnational families, parent-child relationships, domestic violence, racial/ethnic variation in men’s experiences.

CSER UN3924 Latin American and Latina/o Social Movements. 4 points.

In Latin America, a wave of new popular social movements have been transforming politics and social reality. In the United States, latino/as are building on decades of organizing and demographic growth to claim a new public persona and challenge their marginal status. What are the significant areas of political action, and how can we understand them? What claims can those disenfranchised for reasons of race, class, or national origin make on societies? Indigenous survival movements in Brazil, multi-ethnic electoral alliances in Bolivia, growing Afro-Colombian assertion, Dominican community organizing in New York City, and poetic post-marxist guerrillas in Mexico are just a few of the new forms of social activism that are transforming class, ethnic identity, and citizenship throughout the Americas, and combating the dominance of free-market social and economic policies. We will discuss a number of important social movements throughout the region, while developing tools for understanding social movements and their possibilities. This class is designed to give you an opportunity to do independent research; as a result, it will demand your intensive engagement, and your willingness both to master the information and tools we go over in class, and to pursue a specific topic of your own choosing. Students will all write a term paper based on independent research.


CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.
Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructors permission. This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents

Spring 2024: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/13107 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4.00 20/22
Fall 2024: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/13934 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Manan Ahmed 4.00 20/20


This seminar investigates the experiences of slavery and freedom among African-descended people living and laboring in the various parts of the Atlantic World. The course will trace critical aspects of these two major, interconnected historical phenomena with an eye to how specific cases either manifested or troubled broader trends across various slaveholding societies. The first half of the course addresses the history of slavery and the second half pertains to experiences in emancipation. However, since the abolition of slavery occurs at different moments in various areas of the Atlantic World, the course will adhere to a more thematic and less chronological structure, in its examination of the multiple avenues to freedom available in various regions. Weekly units will approach major themes relevant to both slavery and emancipation, such as racial epistemologies among slaveowners/employers, labor regimes in slave and free societies, cultural innovations among slave and freed communities, gendered discourses and sexual relations within slave and free communities, and slaves’ and free people’s resistance to domination. The goal of this course is to broaden students’ comprehension of the history of slavery and freedom, and to promote an understanding of the transition from slavery to freedom in the Americas as creating both continuities and ruptures in the structure and practices of the various societies concerned

SOCI BC3934 Global Activism. 4.00 points.

This seminar will investigate efforts to coordinate, justify, and understand global activism through lenses of internationalism, solidarity, and universal human rights. We will also study transformations in the global institutional landscape – comprising international finance, supranational unions, and non-governmental organizations – which is itself the contradictory outcome of prior cycles of contestation. We will survey historical precedents, analyze contemporary manifestations, and speculate on the future prospects of global activism. Students will explore cases and concepts by reading scholarly literature and by considering the political practices, texts, and media created by movements themselves

Spring 2024: SOCI BC3934
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3934 001/00268 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Ll017 Milstein Center
Andrew Anastasi 4.00 14/15


This course will examine how the American legal system decided constitutional challenges affecting the empowerment of African, Latino, and Asian American communities from the 19th century to the present. Focus will be on the role that race, citizenship, capitalism/labor, property, and ownership played in the court decision in the context of the historical, social, and political conditions existing at the time. Topics include the denial of citizenship and naturalization to slaves and immigrants, government sanctioned segregation, the struggle for reparations for descendants of slavery, and Japanese Americans during World War II

Spring 2024: CSER UN3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3940 001/13117 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Elizabeth OuYang 4.00 17/22

AHIS BC3949 The Art of Witness: Memorials and Historical Trauma. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

Examines aesthetic responses to collective historical traumas, such as slavery, the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima, AIDS, homelessness, immigration, and the recent attack on the World Trade Center. Studies theories about trauma, memory, and representation. Explores debates about the function and form of memorials.


This course addresses basic contemporary social issues from several angles of vision: from the perspective of scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and judges. Through the use of case studies, students will examine the nature of theories, evidence, facts, proof, and argument as found in the work of scientists and scholars who have engaged the substantive issues presented in the course

Spring 2024: SOCI UN3960
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3960 001/14869 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
546 Jerome L Greene Hall
Jonathan Cole 4.00 18/20


In this class we will examine the school as a central institution in modern society, and we will grapple with an important question in the sociology of education: what role to schools play in reinforcing or challenging broader patters of social inequality? We will pay special attention to the ways in which students class, race/ethnicity and gender shape their educational experiences. We will also look at how schools are organized, how schools construct differences among students, and how schools sort kids into different (and unequal) groups. Finally we will explore the types of interventions - at both the individual and organizational levels - that can mitigate inequality in educational achievement and help low-income students to succeed. One such intervention that has shown promise is tutoring in academic and social and behavioral skills, and interventions that strengthen self-affirmation. A major component of this class is your experience as a tutor. You will be trained as tutors to work with students from local high schools both through in-person tutoring and through tutoring using social networking technologies. Throughout the semester we will combine our academic learning with critical reflection on our experience sin the field. Because you will be working with NYC high school students, we will pay special attention to how NYC high schools are organized and how current issues in education play out in the context of NYC schools


Genealogies of Feminism: Course focuses on the development of a particular topic or issue in feminist, queer, and/or WGSS scholarship. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, though priority will be given to students completing the ISSG graduate certificate. Topics differ by semester offered, and are reflected in the course subtitle. For a description of the current offering, please visit the link in the Class Notes

Fall 2024: WMST GU4000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4000 001/11746 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Julia Bryan-Wilson 4.00 5/18

WMST GU4317 ADVANCED TOPICS. 4.00 points.

In this course, our point of departure will be the precariousness of embodied existence, in which precarity is understood as both an existential condition and as the socially uneven culmination of neoliberal political and economic trends. We will draw upon a variety of interdisciplinary literatures—including feminist, critical race, and queer studies; science and technology studies; disability studies; and medical sociology and anthropology—to consider some of the ways in which our bodies have served as both the repository and substratum of recent social transformations. Within the context of current pandemic crises relating to both public health and to myriad forms of social inequality, we will also consider appeals to the beneficence of science, technology, medicine, and the rational governance of dis-ease. What can critical histories of plagues, epidemics, and quarantines teach us about emergent forms of biopolitics? We will conclude by considering the interventions of contemporary disability and social justice activists, and the alternative possibilities that they have posited for self-care and mutual aid

CPLS GU4325 Abolition Medicine: Medical Racisms and Anti-Racisms. 3.00 points.

In 1935, WEB Dubois wrote about abolition democracy: an idea based not only on breaking down unjust systems, but on building up new, antiracist social structures. Scholar activists like Angela Davis, Ruth Gilmore and Mariame Kaba have long contended that the abolition of slavery was but one first step in ongoing abolitionist practices dismantling racialized systems of policing, surveillance and incarceration. The possibilities of prison and police abolition have recently come into the mainstream national consciousness during the 2020 resurgence of nationwide Black Lives Matters (BLM) protests. As we collectively imagine what nonpunitive and supportive community reinvestment in employment, education, childcare, mental health, and housing might look like, medicine must be a part of these conversations. Indeed, if racist violence is a public health emergency, and we are trying to bring forth a “public health approach to public safety” – what are medicine’s responsibilities to these social and institutional reinventions? Medicine has a long and fraught history of racial violence. It was, after all, medicine and pseudoscientific inquiry that helped establish what we know as the racial categorizations of today: ways of separating human beings based on things like skin color and hair texture that were used (and often continue to be used) to justify the enslavement, exclusion, or genocide of one group of people by another. Additionally, the history of the professionalization of U.S. medicine, through the formation of medical schools and professional organizations as well as and the certification of trained physicians, is a history of exclusion, with a solidification of the identity of “physician” around upper middle class white masculinity. Indeed, the 1910 Flexner Report, whose aim was to make consistent training across the country’s medical schools, was explicit in its racism. From practices of eugenic sterilization, to histories of experimentation upon bodies of color, medicine is unfortunately built upon racist, sexist and able-ist practices. This course is built on the premise that a socially just practice of medicine is a bioethical imperative. Such a practice cannot be achieved, however, without examining medicine’s histories of racism, as well as learning from and building upon histories of anti-racist health practice. The first half of the semester will be dedicated to learning about histories of medical racism: from eugenics and racist experimentation to public health xenophobic fear mongering. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to examining medical and grassroots anti-racist practices: from the free health clinics and hospital takeovers of the Black Panther and Young Lords Parties, to environmental activism in Flint and the Sioux Rock Reservation to antiracist AIDS and COVID activism

Spring 2024: CPLS GU4325
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 4325 001/10663 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 3.00 20/20

CSER GU4340 Visionary Medicine: Racial Justice, Health and Speculative Fictions. 4 points.

In Fall 2014, medical students across the U.S. staged die-ins as part of the nationwide #blacklivesmatter protests. The intention was to create a shocking visual spectacle, laying on the line “white coats for black lives.” The images were all over social media: students of all colors, dressed in lab coats, lying prone against eerily clean tile floors, stethoscopes in pockets, hands and around necks. One prone student held a sign reading, “Racism is Real.” These medical students’ collective protests not only created visual spectacle, but produced a dynamic speculative fiction. What would it mean if instead of Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Freddie Gray, these other, more seemingly elite bodies were subjected to police violence? In another viral image, a group of African American male medical students from Harvard posed wearing hoodies beneath their white coats, making clear that the bodies of some future doctors could perhaps be more easily targeted for state-sanctioned brutality. “They tried to bury us,” read a sign held by one of the students, “they didn’t realize we were seeds.” Both medicine and racial justice are acts of speculation; their practices are inextricable from the practice of imagining. By imagining new cures, new discoveries and new futures for human beings in the face of illness, medicine is necessarily always committing acts of speculation. By imagining ourselves into a more racially just future, by simply imagining ourselves any sort of future in the face of racist erasure, social justice activists are similarly involved in creating speculative fictions. This course begins with the premise that racial justice is the bioethical imperative of our time. It will explore the space of science fiction as a methodology of imagining such just futures, embracing the work of Asian- and Afroturism, Cosmos Latinos and Indigenous Imaginaries. We will explore issues including Biocolonialism, Alien/nation, Transnational Labor and Reproduction, the Borderlands and Other Diasporic Spaces. This course will be seminar-style and will make central learner participation and presentation. The seminar will be inter-disciplinary, drawing from science and speculative fictions, cultural studies, gender studies, narrative medicine, disability studies, and bioethics. Ultimately, the course aims to connect the work of science and speculative fiction with on the ground action and organizing.

MDES GU4349 Concentration Camps from Cuba to East Asia. 3 points.

Forcibly moving civilians to designated areas as a wartime measure has constituted a widely practiced military strategy for centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, colonial powers increasingly provided more structure and organization to these policies of relocation and internment in the Americas, Africa, and East Asia. This course provides a social history of civilian internment and mass murder from late-19th century colonial cases to World War II.

Through case studies of the Spanish-Cuban war, the South African War, the Philippines-American War, the genocide of the Herrero and Nama in Southwest Africa, the Armenian Genocide, and the Holocaust, the course traces the evolution of the concentration camp from a counter-insurgency strategy in wartime to a weapon of mass murder. The course also examines the internment of Japanese Americans, and the Japanese “comfort stations” in comparative perspective.



This 4000-level course examines how societies grapple with the legacy of mass violence, through an exploration of historical texts, memoirs, textbooks, litigation, and media reports and debates on confronting the past. Focusing on case studies of the Herero Genocide, the Armenian genocide during WWI, and the Holocaust and the Comfort Women during WWII, students investigate the crime and its sequelae, looking at how societies deal with skeletons in their closets ( engaging in silence, trivialization, rationalization, and denial to acknowledgment, apology, and repair); surveying responses of survivors and their descendants (with particular attention to intergeneration transmission of trauma, forgiveness, resentment, and the pursuit of redress); and dissecting public debates on modern day issues that harken back to past atrocities

Fall 2024: MDES GU4357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4357 001/15447 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Khatchig Mouradian 4.00 13/30

POLS GU4409 Political Activism and Social Movements. 3 points.

How do ordinary citizens participate in democratic politics? The course examines main concepts in the comparative study of political participation and social and political movements to address this question. The first part of the course focuses on normative and methodological aspects related to the study of political activism. In this part, we examine the role that citizens’ political activism plays in democratic politics and look at how these normative views are reflected in the methods used to study political activism (individual and organizational surveys, protest event analysis, participant observation). In the second part of the course, we focus on the individual-level political participation. Here we discuss various modes of political action available to citizens of contemporary democracies and examine micro-, meso-, macro-factors that determine people’s willingness to get involved in politics. The third part of the course focuses on the meso-level of political actors that organize and coordinate people’s political activism – social movements, interest groups and civil society organizations. This part of the course discusses the role of organizational resources, strategic action repertoire, political opportunities and framing and campaigning strategies of mobilizing actors.


Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213 ECON GU4400 is strongly recommended.
Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213 ECON GU4400 is strongly recommended. What differences does race make in the U.S. economy? Why does it make these differences? Are these differences things we should be concerned about? If so, what should be done? The course examines labor markets, housing markets, capital markets, crime, education, and the links among these markets. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are studied

Fall 2024: ECON GU4438
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 4438 001/11022 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Brendan O'Flaherty 3.00 81/86

POLS GU4474 Politics, Justice and Human Rights in Southeast Asia. 4 points.

The course starts from the premise that questions of justice are essentially political, and their study cannot be safely left in the sole hands of lawyers and legal experts. In recent years, a number of important global trends have become evident in the study of justice. These include a growing focus on transitional justice – especially how the transition from an authoritarian regime, or from conditions of violent conflict, may best be handled. Another important trend is the so-called ‘new constitutionalism’ – efforts to strengthen checks and balances through establishing new institutions such as constitutional courts. A third trend concerns disturbing developments in the use of the criminal justice system for essentially political purposes. This course will explore how these recent trends are being played out in various parts of Southeast Asia.


Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213
Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213 This course studies gender gaps, their extent, determinants and consequences. The focus will be on the allocation of rights in different cultures and over time, why women's rights have typically been more limited and why most societies have traditionally favored males in the allocation of resources

Fall 2024: ECON GU4480
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 4480 001/11024 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Lena Edlund 3.00 49/60

WMST GU4506 Gender Justice. 3 points.

This course will provide an introduction to the concrete legal contexts in which issues of gender and justice have been articulated, disputed and hesitatingly, if not provisionally, resolved. Readings will cover issues such as Workplace Equality, Sexual Harassment, Sex Role Stereotyping, Work/Family Conflict, Marriage and Alternatives to Marriage, Compulsory Masculinity, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Reproduction and Pregnancy, Rape, Sex Work & Trafficking. Through these readings we will explore the multiple ways in which the law has contended with sexual difference, gender-based stereotypes, and the meaning of equality in domestic, transnational and international contexts. So too, we will discuss how feminist theorists have thought about sex, gender and sexuality in understanding and critiquing our legal system and its norms.

HIST GU4518 Research Seminar: Columbia and Slavery. 4 points.

In this course, students will write original, independent papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia College and its colonial predecessor King's College, with the institution of slavery.

Fall 2024: HIST GU4518
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4518 001/10482 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Stephanie McCurry 4 6/13

PSYC GU4612 Frontiers of Justice. 4.00 points.

Frontiers of Justice is designed to encourage students and equip them with the skills to become active and effective “Change Agents” within their academic institutions and larger communities.. Oriented by the question, What does justice look like?, this course aims to raise political and social awareness and engagement with the challenges facing New York City and strengthen ties between Columbia University, disadvantaged communities, and city government agencies and community organizations. Through sharing ideas about how to make structural and systemic change in ways that integrate science, law, politics, history, narrative and community engagement, the course is intended to support students in working to break down racial and ethnic barriers and toward a more fair and just society

Spring 2024: PSYC GU4612
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PSYC 4612 002/11930 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
200b Schermerhorn Hall
Peter Dixon 4.00 24/25

SOCI GU4801 Israel and the Palestinians. 4.00 points.

The seminar will examine the main political, economic, and social processes that have been shaping contemporary Israel. The underlying assumption in this seminar is that much of these processes have been shaped by the 100-year Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict. The first part of the course will accordingly focus on the historical background informing the conflict and leading to the Palestinian refugee problem and establishment of a Jewish, but not Palestinian, state in 1948. The second part of the seminar focuses on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (and Gaza) and the settlement project, as well as on USA's role and its impact on the conflict, the occupation, and Israel. These topics did not get much academic attention until recently, but as researchers began to realize that the Occupation and the West Bank settlements are among the most permanent institutions in Israel, they have come under the scrutiny of academic research. The third part the seminar will concentrate on the development of the conflict after the establishment of Israel and its effects on sociological processes and institutions in contemporary Israel. Analyzing patterns of continuity and change in the past seven decades, we will discuss immigration and emigration patterns, as well as issue relating to ethnicity, gender, religion and politics, and the Israeli military

Spring 2024: SOCI GU4801
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 4801 001/18244 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
509 Knox Hall
Yinon Cohen 4.00 16/18

POLS GU4852 Insurgencies and Civil Wars. 3 points.

Civil wars have become the predominant type of conflict in recent years and decades, as exemplified by the civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Yemen, among others. Invariably, these civil wars feature insurgencies, i.e., organized, protracted politico-military struggles designed to weaken control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority, while increasing insurgent control.

The purpose of this course is to examine the causes, nature, and termination of civil wars and the insurgencies that characterize them. Special emphasis is placed on the conduct of civil wars—the nature of insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN). The course offers different theoretical perspectives and provides historical and contemporary case studies.


Nomads, natives, peasants, hill people, aboriginals, hunter-gatherers, First Nations—these are just a handful of the terms in use to define indigenous peoples globally. The names these groups use to describe themselves, as well as the varying religious practices, attitudes, and beliefs among these populations are far more numerous and complex. For much of recorded history however, colonial centers of power have defined indigenous peoples racially and often in terms of lacking religion; as pagan, barbarian, non-modern, and without history or civilization. Despite this conundrum of identity and classification, indigenous religious traditions often have well-documented and observable pasts. This course considers the challenges associated with studying indigenous religious history, as well as the changing social, political, and legal dimensions of religious practice among native groups over time and in relationship to the state. Organized thematically and geographically, we will engage with classic works of ethnohistory, environmental history, indigenous studies, anthropology, and religious studies as well as primary sources that include legal documentation, military records, personal testimony, and oral narrative

Spring 2024: RELI GU4999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4999 001/00483 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
903 Altschul Hall
Tiffany Hale 4.00 31/30

SIPA U6700 Inside the Situation Room. 3.0 Points.

Category: EPD:Political, GPP, ISP, MIA Core: Interstate Relations, TMAC, IO/UNS

In an era increasingly defined by geopolitical competition, it is more important than ever for future policymakers to understand why and how foreign policy decisions are made. Inside the Situation Room, co-taught by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo, employs insights from diverse academic fields—including political psychology, domestic politics, and international relations—and the direct experience of high-level principals in the room to understand the key factors which underpin a nation’s most crucial decisions. This course allows students to engage with a range of case studies and examine decision-making in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts, from the search for Osama bin Laden, to the “red line” in Syria, to negotiating with Iran. Students will be taught how to analyze and understand the complex interplay between individual psychology, domestic politics, public opinion, bureaucracy, the international environment, and other factors which feed into decisions about foreign policy—from crisis diplomacy to the use of force, signaling and perception, intelligence and its analysis, the deployment of other instruments of statecraft, and more. Through this course, students will think carefully and analytically about how leaders and other actors view the world, how they arrive at their decisions, and how various social, political, and psychological factors shape the policies they devise to promote their interests abroad. For more information, visit:

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2024 001 15267 Keren Yarhi-Milo W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA