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 UN3002Human Rights and Immigration3
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
SOCI UN3937Sociology of Human Rights4
HRTS GU4195Topics in History, Memory and Transitional Justice3
HRTS GU4340Human Rights Accountability & Remedies3
HRTS GU4360Menstruation, Gender, and Rights: Interdisciplinary Approaches3
HRTS GU4380Advocating and Campaigning for Social and Economic Rights3
HRTS GU4700Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: A Human Rights Approach3
HRTS GU4910Children's Rights, Armed Conflict, and Peacebuilding3
HRTS GU4955Narrative and Representation in Post-Conflict Societites3
HRTS GU4965Gender-Based Violence & Human Rights3.00

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 2023: HRTS BC1025
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 1025 001/00051 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Widney Brown 3.00 56/60


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 2023: HRTS UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3001 001/10537 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
3.00 138/150

Core Courses

POLS UN3002 Human Rights and Immigration. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken or are currently taking POLS BC3410. Prerequisites: POLS V1013 or HRTS UN3001 or the equivalent. Enrollment limited to 25 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. 

Fall 2023: POLS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3002 001/00234 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
504 Diana Center
Ayten Gundogdu 3 46/46

HRTS BC3099 INDEPENDENT STUDY II. 1.00-4.00 points.

Independent Study in Human Rights

Spring 2023: HRTS BC3099
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3099 001/00813  
Widney Brown 1.00-4.00 3/1

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 2023: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/11740 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
301 Hamilton Hall
Christian De Vos 3.00 24/22
Fall 2023: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/10511 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Belinda Cooper 3.00 0/22


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 2023: POLS BC3254
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3254 001/00316 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
405 Milbank Hall
Paula Franzese 3.00 61/60


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 2023: HRTS BC3360
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3360 001/00016 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
111 Milstein 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.)

Fall 2023: POLS BC3410
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3410 001/00250 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
119 Milstein Center
Ayten Gundogdu 4.00 12/12


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.)

Fall 2023: POLS BC3521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3521 001/00258 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
323 Milbank Hall
Paula Franzese 3.00 46/46

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 2023: HRTS BC3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3601 001/00052 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Martin Flaherty 4.00 28/25

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

Spring 2023: HIST BC3670
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3670 001/00152 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Ll016 Milstein Center
Nara Milanich 4.00 18/20

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

Spring 2023: RELI UN3671
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3671 001/00194 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
119 Milstein Center
Timothy Vasko 4.00 14/15


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 2023: HRTS BC3850
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3850 001/00017 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
407 Barnard Hall
Widney Brown 4.00 22/20

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 2023: HRTS BC3851
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3851 001/00053 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Widney Brown 4.00 22/21

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

Fall 2023: ANTH BC3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3911 001/00013 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
111 Milstein Center
J.C. Salyer 4.00 22/20

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 2023: HRTS BC3931
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3931 001/00018 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Widney Brown 3.00 17/20


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

Fall 2023: ANTH BC3932
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3932 001/00014 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
111 Milstein Center
J.C. Salyer 4.00 22/20

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

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 2023: SOCI UN3937
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3937 001/14851 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Rosemary McGunnigle-Gonzales 4.00 20/20
Fall 2023: SOCI UN3937
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3937 001/10926 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Rosemary McGunnigle-Gonzales 4.00 20/20


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.


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 2023: HRTS GU4215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4215 001/10495 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Louis Bickford 3.00 7/22


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 2023: HRTS GU4270
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4270 001/12091 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Ted Perlmutter 3.00 17/22

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 2023-24 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 Advocating and Campaigning for Social and 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 2023: HRTS GU4380
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4380 001/12039 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
1102 International Affairs Bldg
Mila Rosenthal 3.00 8/22



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

Fall 2023: HRTS GU4400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4400 001/12684 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Paisley Currah 3.00 3/22


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 2023: HRTS GU4500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4500 001/10496 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Jacqueline Dugard 3.00 3/22


(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


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

Spring 2023: HRTS GU4600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4600 001/11673 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Noah Chasin 3.00 13/22
Fall 2023: HRTS GU4600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4600 001/11313 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 2023: HRTS GU4650
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4650 001/10508 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 2023: HRTS GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4880 001/15187 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Joy Chia 3.00 19/22


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


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 2023: HRTS GU4930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4930 001/11677 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Bruce Cronin 4.00 16/22



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 2023: HRTS GU4950
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4950 001/10498 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Bruce Cronin 3.00 7/22

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 2023: HRTS GU4965
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4965 001/10535 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Julie Rajan 3.00 2/22

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Spring 2023: WMST BC1050
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 1050 001/00655 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
405 Milbank Hall
Rebecca Jordan-Young 3.00 91/95

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

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ANTH UN2017 Mafias and Other Dangerous Affiliations. 3.00 points.

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Spring 2023: ANTH UN2017
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 2017 001/13485 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3.00 69/90

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.


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Spring 2023: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/00656 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
323 Milbank Hall
Janet Jakobsen 3.00 63/70
Fall 2023: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/00730 T Th 12:40pm - 1:50pm
405 Milbank Hall
Marisa Solomon 3.00 53/54


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Spring 2023: WMST BC2150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2150 001/00657 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll002 Milstein Center
Rebecca Jordan-Young, Renee Hill 3.00 70/75
Fall 2023: WMST BC2150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2150 001/00729 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
405 Milbank Hall
3.00 72/72


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


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Spring 2023: HIST UN2222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2222 001/11184 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
310 Fayerweather
Karl Jacoby 4.00 51/70
HIST 2222 AU1/18502 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Othr Other
Karl Jacoby 4.00 6/6


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 2023: HIST BC2401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2401 001/00181 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Matthew Vaz 3.00 45/45


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 2023: HIST UN2523
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2523 001/10416 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Samuel Roberts 4.00 90/105

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

Fall 2023: HIST UN2533
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2533 001/10392 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
George Chauncey 4.00 140/140

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


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 2023: ECON BC3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3011 001/00262 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Ashley Timmer 3.00 48/58


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 2023: ECON BC3029
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3029 001/00361 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
328 Milbank Hall
Anja Tolonen 3.00 12/45


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 2023: HIST UN3030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3030 001/15174 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Jessica Lee 4.00 0/13

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.

Spring 2023: ECON BC3039
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3039 001/00297 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
302 Barnard Hall
Belinda Archibong 3 43/45
Fall 2023: ECON BC3039
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3039 001/00677 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Belinda Archibong 3 43/45


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

Spring 2023: EDUC BC3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3040 001/00709 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Ll001 Milstein Center
Chandler Miranda 4.00 18/20
Fall 2023: EDUC BC3040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3040 001/00346 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
113 Milstein Center
4.00 10/16

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 2023-24 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 2023: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00783 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Ll018 Milstein Center
Maria Rivera Maulucci 4.00 15/20
Fall 2023: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00383 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Ll018 Milstein Center
Maria Rivera Maulucci 4.00 15/20

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

Spring 2023: POLS UN3100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3100 001/12697 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
312 Mathematics Building
David Johnston 3.00 122/116

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. 


Investigates the significance of contemporary and historical issues of social, political, and cultural conflicts centered on womens bodies. How do such conflicts constitute women, and what do they tell us about societies, cultures, and politics? - D. Ko


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 2023: ENGL BC3214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3214 001/00491 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
119 Milstein 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

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.

Spring 2023: SOCI UN3217
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3217 001/00043 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
302 Barnard Hall
Deborah Becher 3.00 39/40
Fall 2023: SOCI UN3217
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3217 001/00163 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
328 Milbank Hall
Deborah Becher 3.00 40/40

SOCI UN3235 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS. 3.00 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 2023: SOCI UN3235
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3235 001/00164 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
328 Milbank Hall
Andrew Anastasi 3.00 35/35


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

Spring 2023: POLS UN3245
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3245 001/12705 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
413 Kent Hall
Yamil Velez 3.00 55/70

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 2023: SOCI BC3236
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3236 001/00045 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Randa Serhan 3.00 46/45


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

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

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

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. 

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.

Fall 2023: POLS UN3401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3401 001/00249 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ll002 Milstein Center
Sheri Berman 3 50/54

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

Fall 2023: RELI UN3407
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3407 001/13818 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Ebadur Rahman 4 20/20

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 2023: POLS BC3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3411 001/00251 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Severine Autesserre 4 11/12

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 2023: HIST UN3437
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3437 001/11204 W 8:10am - 10:00am
311 Fayerweather
David Rosner 4.00 13/15

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 that are central to Western images of women and Islam are also contested issues throughout the Muslim world. Examines debates about Islam and gender and explores the interplay of cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping women's lives in the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia

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 2023: CSER UN3490
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3490 001/10952 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Elizabeth OuYang 4.00 25/22


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

Fall 2023: POLS BC3505
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3505 001/00257 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Sheri Berman 4.00 11/12


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

Spring 2023: WMST BC3514
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3514 001/00660 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Alexander Pittman 4.00 21/20


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 2023: POLS UN3528
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3528 001/12710 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
303 Hamilton Hall
Chiara Superti 3.00 40/42


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

Fall 2023: POLS BC3543
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3543 001/00259 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Ll017 Milstein Center
Eduardo Moncada 4.00 12/12


One of the major challenges for democracy in much of the developing world is the complex links between illegal drug markets and politics. These linkages span multiple levels, from the microdynamics of everyday politics in territories controlled by drug gangs to interdependence between drug trafficking and civil conflict to the contentious politics of global drug regimes. This course will examine these dynamics theoretically and empirically with a focus on the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and Sough America as well as the Caribbean).

Fall 2023: POLS UN3565
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3565 001/00260 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Eduardo Moncada 3.00 50/50


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.

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 2023: PSYC UN3615
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PSYC 3615 001/13170 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
200b Schermerhorn Hall
Geraldine Downey, Bianca Marlin 4 33/35


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


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

Fall 2023: POLS UN3623
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3623 001/13522 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Sarah Daly 3.00 50/50


Many of us are drawn to sociology because we care about making the world more just. One important promise of the discipline is that social research can help direct efforts toward progressive social change. And yet, people and organizations on the front lines of grassroots action are often not privy to social-science research and vice versa. This course will create an opportunity for active engagement between students doing sociology and a local organization working for social change. Before the semester begins, the instructor(s) will have secured a commitment to a partnership with a community organization and planned a research or action project for the students to complete over the course of a semester. During the class, students will be expected to actively study and/or participate in the project designed by the instructor and organization leaders. The action/research may take the form of participant observation (taking part in the activities of the organization/campaign and analyzing your experiences); interviews (conducting interviews with members and leaders from an organization or campaign); historical analysis (studying the origins and development of the organization(s) or campaign(s)); or something else entirely. Students will also read, discuss, and write about literature on scholarly-community partnerships, collective-action models, and relevant social issues. We will study a combination of scholarly work, practical organizing advice, and case studies. This course is intended to be one semester of a two-semester course. Students may take either Part I or II or both. The opportunity to take two semesters (and engage with two different projects) should allow students to engage more deeply and broadly with the material and relationship with the organization

Spring 2023: SOCI UN3721
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3721 001/00047 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
318 Milbank Hall
Deborah Becher 4.00 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.

Fall 2023: PHIL UN3752
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3752 001/13529 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Michele Moody-Adams 3 75/75


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.)

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

SOCI BC3909 Ethnic Conflict and Unrest. 4 points.

Not offered during 2023-24 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 2023: SOCI UN3914
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3914 001/10297 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
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 seminar considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, colonialism/postcoloniality, war, refugees, global care chains, sexuality, sex and care work. Required for the major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), but open to non-majors, space permitting. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor

Spring 2023: WMST UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3915 001/13671 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Sonia Ahsan 4.00 16/20

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 2023: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/10147 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
602 Northwest Corner
Czarina Thelen 4.00 22/22
CSER 3928 002/14981 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Emma Crane 4.00 22/22
Fall 2023: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/10928 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Manan Ahmed 4.00 22/20


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

Fall 2023: HIST UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3928 001/10420 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Natasha Lightfoot 4.00 0/13

SOCI BC3934 Global Activism. 4 points.

This seminar explores social movements and political protest on the global stage. We will bring together the literatures on social movements and the sociology of globalization and transnationalism to explore the emergence, development, dynamics and consequences of global activism.


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 2023: CSER UN3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3940 001/10000 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Elizabeth OuYang 4.00 22/22

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


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

Spring 2023: WMST GU4000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4000 001/12711 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Julia Bryan-Wilson 4.00 13/14
Fall 2023: WMST GU4000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4000 001/11644 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marianne Hirsch 4.00 10/20

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 2023: CPLS GU4325
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 4325 001/14436 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 3.00 18/18

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 2023: MDES GU4357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4357 001/10903 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Khatchig Mouradian 4.00 30/30

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 2023: ECON GU4438
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 4438 001/11168 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Brendan O'Flaherty 3.00 63/100

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 2023: ECON GU4480
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 4480 001/11170 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Lena Edlund 3.00 38/54

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.

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 2023: RELI GU4999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4999 001/00198 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Tiffany Hale 4.00 15/15